[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Commissioners of the Township of Long Beach 3-1-2013 by Ord. No. 13-05C. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Nuisances and unfit, damaged and unsafe structures — See Ch. 127.
Editor's Note: This ordinance also repealed former Ch. 60, Brush, Grass and Weeds, adopted 8-2-1974 as § 3-17 of the 1974 Code, as amended.
Article I Prohibited Debris and Depressions
Article II General Provisions
The Township of Long Beach finds it is necessary to ensure that lands, lots, buildings, premises, dwellings, and structures (hereinafter collectively "lands and structures") in the Township are free from debris, filth, brush, trash, refuse, solid waste, weeds, dead and dying trees, stumps, roots, obnoxious growths, obnoxious materials, and other discarded materials, including, but not limited to discarded furniture, appliances, and pipes (hereinafter collectively "debris") in order to protect against, remedy, and eliminate threats to persons, property, and the public health, welfare, and safety, health and fire hazards, and to protect private property rights, economic activities, and neighboring property values.
The Township further finds that there are many deep spots, depressions, and holes (hereinafter collectively "depressions") on certain lands and lots in the Township, which permit the accumulation of stagnant water and debris, the existence of which poses a threat to the public health, safety, and welfare, including, but not limited to, creating fire hazards, health hazards, and providing breeding grounds for mosquitoes, flies, other insects, rodents, and vermin.
The Township further finds that certain threats to persons and property and the public health, safety, and welfare will be abated, addressed, and remedied if the lands and structures in the Township are free from debris and depressions, both of which cause and pose threats to persons, property, and the public health, welfare, and safety, create fire and health hazards, diminish and damage private property rights, economic activities, and neighboring property values, and constitute both public and attractive nuisances.
The Township designates, charges, and authorizes the Director of the Long Beach Island Health Department, a public officer of the Township designated by said Director, and other public officers that may be designated by resolution of the Board of Commissioners (hereinafter collectively "designated public officer"), as the public officer(s) charged with the authority to carry out the provisions of this ordinance.
It shall be the duty of the owners, tenants, or persons in possession of any lands and structures in the Township to maintain those lands and structures free from debris and to keep same maintained in a clean, safe, and sanitary condition.
It shall be the duty of the owners, tenants, or persons in possession of any lands and structures in the Township to maintain those lands and structures free from depressions and that all depressions that occur or are created are filled with a clean fill to a street grade height of eight inches.
Should the owners, tenants, or persons in possession of any lands and structures in the Township unlawfully fail to maintain those lands and structures in accordance with the duties set forth herein, the designated public officer may serve notices of penalties and removal as provided herein.
It shall be the duty of the owners, tenants, or persons in possession of any lands and structures in the Township to remove debris and fill depressions within 10 days after receipt of notice from the designated public officer.
Notices shall be served in writing either personally or by registered mail to the owners, and by posting it upon the lands and structures, if possible, in a conspicuous place. If the whereabouts of an owner is unknown and cannot be ascertained by and through the exercise of reasonable diligence, and service cannot be made by way of personal service or registered mail, the designated public officer exercising the authority provided herein shall make an affidavit to that effect and then cause notice to be published in a newspaper circulating in the Township at least once and not less than 30 days before the improvement is made by the Township. Proof by affidavit of service of the notice shall be filed with the officer in charge of the records of tax liens, but failure to file the proofs shall not invalidate the proceedings if service has been made as hereinbefore provided.
If the owner, tenant, or person in possession of any lands and structures in question fails to abate the condition(s) complained of in the notice within 10 days after receipt of same or 30 days after publication in the newspaper, if service is not effectuated by personal or registered mail, the debris may be removed and depressions filled by or under the direction of the designated public officer and the removal and fill may be performed under that direction by either the Township employees or by third-party contractors pursuant to the provisions of the Local Public Contracts Law, unless the action is necessary to prevent imminent danger to life, limb, or property, in which case no-bid contracts may be entered.
Where the debris shall have been removed and/or depressions filled by the Township pursuant to the terms herein, the designated public officer shall certify the cost thereof to the Board of Commissioners. The Board of Commissioners shall examine the certificate, and if it shall be found correct, the Board of Commissioners shall cause the cost as shown thereon to be charged against the lands and structures from which the debris was removed and/or the depressions filled. The amount so charged shall forthwith become a lien upon the lands and shall be added to become and form a part of the taxes next to be assessed and levied upon the lands, the same to bear interest at the same rate as taxes, and shall be collected and enforced by the same officers and in the same manner as taxes.
The responsibilities of the tenants and owners shall not be diminished by the provision providing for removal of debris and filling of depressions by the Township herein. Removal, abatement, and/or fill by the Township shall be an alternate, optional procedure to remedy, abate, and alleviate the threats to persons and property and the public health and dangers to public health, safety, and welfare in the event that the tenant and owners do not comply with their duties and the notice provided herein.
In the event that the Township removes, abates, and/or fills pursuant to its authority herein and does not secure the services of third-party contractors, the Township shall charge for all costs related to the services provided by the Township employees and officials for the removal, abatement, and fill performed, as to be determined by the Board of Commissioners. In the event that the Township removes, abates, and/or fills pursuant to its authority herein and secures the services of third-party contractors pursuant to the terms herein, the Township shall charge the amount for the costs and fees charged by the third-party contractors.
In addition to the assessment of a municipal lien against the premises upon which the debris or depression was situate, as aforesaid, the Township may also elect to enforce the payment of the assessment of the entire cost of the removal of the debris and filling of the depression, together with interest, as a debt of the owner of the premises and may authorize the institution of an action at law for the collection thereof.
The designated public officer is charged with and authorized to exercise such powers as may be necessary or convenient to carry out and effectuate the purposes and provisions of this ordinance, including, all powers provided by N.J.S.A. 40:48-1, et seq., and, in addition to the others granted herein, the following powers:
To investigate the conditions of the lands and structures;
To administer oaths, affirmations, examine witnesses, and receive evidence;
To enter upon the lands and structures for the purpose of making examinations, provided that such entries shall be made in such manner as to cause the least possible inconvenience to the person(s) in possession, except in circumstances that poses imminent threat and harm to the public health, welfare, and safety;
To appoint and fix the duties of such officers, agents, and employees as (s)he deems necessary to carry out the purpose of this ordinance; and
To delegate any of the functions and powers under the ordinance to such officers and agents as (s)he may designate.
All third-party contractors retained to remove debris and fill depressions shall have the right to enter upon the lands and structures to effectuate all actions required to conduct the removal and filling and actions related thereto under the direction of the designated public officer.
The designated public officer, upon inspection of the lands and structures, shall set forth a written report and/or description of the debris and depressions, which shall be filed in the public officer(s) department and a copy with the Clerk of the Township. The notice served in accordance with § 60-4, however, shall not include the written report and/or description, but generally set forth the debris that shall be removed and/or the depressions that shall be filled within 10 days after receipt of the notice.
All ordinances, or parts of ordinances, inconsistent with this chapter are hereby repealed to the extent of such inconsistency.
If any word, phrase, clause, section, or provisions of this chapter shall be found by any Court of competent jurisdiction to be unenforceable, illegal or unconstitutional, such word, phrase, clause, section, or provision shall be severable from the balance of the ordinance and the remainder of the ordinance shall remain in full force and effect.