[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Hasbrouck Heights 3-8-1977 by Ord. No. 1088. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The terms and provisions of P.L. 1942, c. 112, as amended by P.L. 1956, c. 197, being an act entitled "An Act Authorizing Municipalities To Adopt Ordinances Relating to the Repair, Closing and Demolition of Buildings Unfit for Human Habitation or Occupancy or Use and Providing for the Remedies and Procedure in Connection With Action Taken Under Such Ordinances," are hereby made applicable to buildings and structures within the Borough of Hasbrouck Heights which are unfit for use or occupation.
Editor's Note: See N.J.S.A. 40:48-2.3 et seq.
The Building Inspector of the Borough of Hasbrouck Heights is hereby designated and appointed to exercise the powers described by this chapter.
[Amended 5-29-1990 by Ord. No. 1538]
Whenever a petition is filed with the aforementioned public officer by a public authority or by at least five residents of the municipality charging that any building is unfit for human habitation or occupancy or use or whenever it appears to the public officer, on his own motion, that any building is unfit for human habitation or occupancy or use, the public officer shall, if his preliminary investigation discloses a basis for such charges, issue and cause to be served upon the owner of and parties in interest in such building a complaint stating the charges in that respect and containing a notice that a hearing will be held before the public officer, or his designated agent, at a place therein fixed not less than seven days nor more than 30 days after the serving of said complaint, that the owner and parties in interest shall be given the right to file an answer to the complaint and to appear in person, or otherwise, and give testimony at the place and time fixed in the complaint and that the rules of evidence prevailing in the courts shall not be controlling in hearings before the public officer.
If, after such notice and hearing, the public officer determines that the building under consideration is unfit for human habitation or occupancy or use, he shall state, in writing, his findings of fact in support of such determination and shall issue and cause to be served upon the owner thereof and parties in interest an order requiring the repair, alteration or improvement of said building to be made by the owner within a reasonable time, which time shall be set forth in the order, or, at the option of the owner, to vacate or have said building vacated and closed within the times set forth in the order.
If the building is in such a condition as to make it dangerous to the health and safety of persons on or near the premises and the owner fails to repair, alter or improve said building within the time specified in the order, then the owner shall be required to remove or demolish said building within a reasonable time as specified in said order of removal.
If the owner fails to comply with an order to repair, alter or improve or, at the option of the owner, to vacate and close the building, the public officer may cause such building to be repaired, altered or improved or to be vacated and closed. The public officer may cause to be posted on the main entrance of any building so closed a placard with the following words: "This building is unfit for human habitation or occupancy or use; the use or occupation of this building is prohibited and unlawful."
If the owner fails to comply with an order to remove or demolish the building, the public officer may cause such building to be removed or demolished or may contract for the removal or demolition thereof, after advertisement for and receipt of bids therefor.
The amount of the cost of such repairs, alterations or improvements or vacating and closing or removal or demolition, if any, together with the incidental expenses incurred, shall be a municipal lien against the real property upon which such cost was incurred, and the satisfaction of such lien shall be enforced, all as provided in N.J.S.A. 40:48-2.5(f).
The public officer may determine that a building is unfit for human habitation or occupancy or use if he finds that conditions exist in such building which are dangerous or injurious to the health or safety of the occupants of such building, the occupants of neighboring buildings or other residents of such municipality. Such conditions may include the following, without limiting the generality of the foregoing: defects therein increasing the hazards of fire, accident or other calamities; lack of adequate ventilation, light or sanitary facilities; dilapidation; disrepair; structural defects; and uncleanliness.
The public officer may exercise such powers as may be necessary or convenient to carry out and effectuate the purposes and provisions of this chapter, including the following powers, in addition to others herein granted:
To investigate the building conditions in the municipality in order to determine which buildings therein are unfit for human habitation or occupancy or use.
To administer oaths and affirmations, examine witnesses and receive evidence.
To enter upon premises 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 persons in possession.
To appoint and fix the duties of such officers, agents and employees as he deems necessary to carry out the purposes of this chapter.
To delegate any of his functions and powers under this chapter to such officers and agents as he may designate.
Nothing contained in this chapter shall be construed to impair or limit in any way the power of the Borough of Hasbrouck Heights to define and declare nuisances and to cause their removal or abatement, by summary proceedings or otherwise, or to repeal, modify or amend any ordinance of the Borough of Hasbrouck Heights in relation thereto. The powers conferred by this chapter shall be in addition and supplemental to the powers conferred by any other ordinance of the Borough or any other law of the State of New Jersey.