Borough of North Arlington, NJ
Bergen County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of North Arlington 6-23-1987 by Ord. No. 1397 (Ch. 273 of the 1984 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES

Uniform construction codes — See Ch. 122.

Graffiti — See Ch. 192.

Littering — See Ch. 221.

Heating of buildings — See Ch. 373.

Public health nuisances — See Ch. 417.

§ 273-1
Findings. 

§ 273-2
Purpose. 

§ 273-3
Applicability. 

§ 273-4
Higher standards to prevail. 

§ 273-5
Compliance with other provisions. 

§ 273-6
Adoption of standards by reference. 

§ 273-7
Title of code. 

§ 273-8
Copies of code on file. 

§ 273-9
Amendments to standards. 

§ 273-10
Vacant buildings. 

§ 273-11
Compliance with provisions. 

§ 273-12
Inspections. 

§ 273-13
Existing remedies. 

§ 273-14
Disposition of fines. 

It is hereby found and declared that there exist in the Borough of North Arlington structures used for residential and nonresidential use which are or may be in the future substandard with respect to structure, equipment or maintenance; or, further, that such conditions, including but not limited to structural deterioration; lack of maintenance of the appearance of the exterior of the premises; infestation, lack of essential heating, plumbing, storage space or refrigeration equipment; lack of maintenance or upkeep of essential utilities and facilities; existence of fire hazards; inadequate provisions for light and air; unsanitary conditions and overcrowding, constitute a menace to the health, safety, morals, welfare and responsible comfort of the citizens and inhabitants of the Borough of North Arlington, New Jersey. It is further found and declared that, by reason of lack of maintenance and progressive deterioration, certain properties have the further effect of creating blighted conditions and initiating slums and that if the same are not curtailed and removed, the aforesaid conditions will grow and spread and will necessitate in time the expenditure of large amounts of public funds to correct and eliminate the same and that, by reason to timely regulations and restrictions as herein contained, the growth of slums and blight may be prevented and the neighborhood and property values thereby maintained, the desirability and amenities of residential and nonresidential uses and neighborhoods enhanced and the public health, safety and welfare protected and fostered.

A. 

The purpose of this chapter is to:

(1) 

Protect the public health, safety, morals and welfare by establishing minimum standards governing the maintenance, appearance, conditions and occupancy of residential and nonresidential premises.

(2) 

Establish minimum standards governing utilities, facilities and other physical components and conditions essential to make the aforesaid facilities fit for human habitation, occupancy and use.

(3) 

Fix certain responsibilities and duties upon owners, operators and occupants.

(4) 

Authorize and establish procedures for the inspection of residential and nonresidential premises.

(5) 

Fix penalties for violations of this chapter.

(6) 

Provide for the right of access across adjoining premises to permit repairs.

(7) 

Provide for the repair, demolition or vacation of premises unfit for human habitation or occupancy or use.

B. 

This chapter is hereby declared to be remedial, preventive and essential for the public interest, and it is intended that this chapter be liberally construed to effectuate the purposes as stated herein.

Every residential and nonresidential building, and the premises on which they are situated in the Borough, used or intended to be used for a dwelling or for commercial, business or industrial occupancy shall comply with the provisions of this chapter, whether or not such buildings shall have been constructed, altered or repaired before or after the enactment of this chapter and irrespective of any permits or licenses which shall have been issued for the use or occupancy of the building or premises, for the construction or repair of the building or for the installation or repair of the building or for the installation or repair of equipment and/or facilities prior to the effective date of this chapter. This chapter establishes minimum standards for the initial and continued occupancy and use of all such buildings and does not replace or modify standards otherwise established for the construction, repair, alteration or use of the building or the equipment or facilities contained therein, except as provided in the following subsection. Where there is mixed occupancy, residential or nonresidential use therein shall be, nevertheless, regulated by and subject to the provisions of this chapter.

In any case where the provisions of this chapter impose a standard higher than is set forth in any other ordinances of the Borough or under the laws of the State of New Jersey, then the standards as set forth herein shall prevail, but if the provisions of this chapter impose a lower standard than any other ordinances of the Borough or of the laws of the State of New Jersey, then the higher standard contained in any such other ordinance or law shall prevail.

No certification of compliance with this chapter shall constitute a defense against any violation of any other ordinance of the Borough applicable to any structure or premises, nor shall any provision herein relieve any owner, operator or occupant from complying with any such other provision or any official of the Borough from enforcing any such other provision.

A code regulating the establishment of minimum maintenance standards for all structures and premises within the Borough is hereby established pursuant to P.L. 1946, c. 21, as amended (N.J.S.A. 40:49-5.1 et seq.). A copy of said code is annexed hereto and made a part hereof without inclusion of the text thereof herein, with additions, deletions and changes as hereinafter set forth.

[Amended 10-8-1996 by Ord. No. 1674
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. II).
]

Said code established and adopted by this chapter is described and designated as the BOCA National Property Maintenance Code/1996 as published by the building Officials and Code Administrators International, Inc.

[Amended 10-8-1996 by Ord. No. 1674]

Three copies of said BOCA National Property Maintenance Code/1996 similarly marked, have been placed on file in the office of the Clerk of the Borough of North Arlington upon the introduction of this chapter and will remain on file there for use and examination by the public until final action is taken on said chapter.

[Amended 10-8-1996 by Ord. No. 1674]

The following Sections of the Code adopted under this chapter are hereby revised or amended as set forth:

A. 

Section PM 101.1 Title, shall include the Borough of North Arlington as the name of the jurisdiction applicable.

B. 

Section PM 106.2 Penalty, shall be amended as follows:

PM 106.2 Penalty: Any person who shall violate a provision of this Code shall upon conviction thereof, be subject to the penalties provided in Chapter 1, Article I, General Penalty, of the Code of the Borough of North Arlington, at the discretion of the court. Each day that a violation continues after due notice has been served shall be deemed a separate offense.
C. 

The definition of "Code Official" under Section PM 202.0, General Definitions, shall be amended as follows: Code Official: The State Uniform Construction Code Enforcing Agency, including the Construction Official and all the duly appointed subcode officials of said agency, Health Officer and Police Department or any of their duly authorized representative.

D. 

Section PM 111.0 of the Code adopted under this chapter is hereby deleted.

E. 

Section PM 202.0, General Definition, shall be amended to add the following definitions:

COMMERCIAL VEHICLE
All trucks, vans, constructions equipment and limousines, bearing commercial license plates which are in excess of four tons net weight.
DETERIORATION
The condition or appearance of a building or part thereof characterized by holes, breaks, rot, crumbling, crackling, peeling, rusting or other evidence of physical decay or neglect, lack of maintenance or excessive use.
EXPOSED TO PUBLIC VIEW
Any premises or part of any premises which may be lawfully viewed by the public or any member thereof.
EXTERIOR OF THE PREMISES
Those portions of a building which are exposed to public view and the open space of any premises outside of any building erected thereon.
FRONT YARD
That space on the same lot with a principal building situated between the front street line or lines and the front line of the building projected to the side property lines. The depth of the front yard shall be measured along a line perpendicular to the front street line or right-of-way line from the point of the foundation of the structure or building closest from such street lines.
REFUSE
All nonputrescible solid wastes, including but not limited to abandoned vehicles and recreational equipment and parts thereof, abandoned machinery and parts thereof, household furnishings, dead animals, debris, junk, appliances, rubbish, scrap lumber, stumps, tires, trash, grass and year clippings. (See also "garbage.")
F. 

Section PM 303.1, Sanitation, shall be amended as to read as follows:

PM 303.1 - Sanitation. It shall be the duty of the owner, operator and/or occupant to maintain all exterior property and premises in a clean; safe and sanitary condition.
G. 

Section PM 303.0, Exterior Property Areas, shall be amended to add the following subsections:

PM 303.9 Trees, Brush and Hedges. All premises and exterior property shall be maintained free from natural growth such as dead and dying or storm-damaged trees and limbs or other growth which, by reason of its conditions or nature, constitutes a hazard to persons lawfully in the vicinity. Trees shall be kept pruned and trimmed to prevent such conditions. Owners of vacant premises must keep them free of nuisances.
Premises shall be kept from becoming overgrown and/or unsightly. Vegetation along the public right-of-way shall be kept from becoming a hazard to pedestrians and motorists.
All brush, hedges and other plant life growing within 25 feet of the intersection of two roadways shall be cut to a height of not more than 2 1/2 feet where it shall be necessary and expedient for the preservation of the public safety, within 10 days after notice to cut the same, by the officer of the municipality, so designated.
PM 303.9(1) - Cost of cutting brush and hedges; charging against lands; lien. In all cases where trees, brush, hedges and other plant life are cut from any lands within the limitations of this section, by or under the direction of an officer of the municipality, such officer shall certify the cost thereof to the governing body, which shall examine the certificate and if found correct shall cause the cost as shown thereon to be charged against said lands, or in the event that such cost is excessive to cause the reasonable cost thereof to be charged against said lands. The amount so charged shall forthwith become a lien upon such lands and shall be added to and become and form part of the taxes next to be assessed and levied upon such lands, the same to bear interest at the same rate as other taxes and shall be collected and enforced by the same officers and in the same manner as taxes.
[Added 10-2-2001 by Ord. No. 1818]
PM 303.10 - Overhanging Objects. All structures and exterior property shall be maintained free of overhanging objects and accumulations of ice and/or snow which, by reason of their location above ground level, constitute a danger of falling on persons lawfully in the vicinity.
PM 303.11 - Ground Surface Hazards. It shall be the duty of the owner, operator and/or occupant to keep the exterior of the premises free of ground surface hazards, such as holes, excavations, breaks and projections, on residential premises within five feet of an unfenced property line or on any part of a nonresidential premises to which the public has lawful access.
PM 303.12 - Commercial and Industrial Material. There shall not be stored or used, at a location exposed to public view, equipment and materials relating to commercial or industrial uses, unless permitted under Chapter 205, Land Development.
H. 

Section PM 304.1, General Maintenance, shall be amended to read as follows:

PM 304.1 - General Maintenance. The exterior of every structure or accessory structure shall be maintained in good repair, and all surfaces thereof shall be kept painted or whitewashed or otherwise provided with a protective treatment, where necessary, for purposes of preservation and appearance. The same shall be maintained free from broken glass, loose shingles, crumbling stone or brick, excessive peeling paint or other conditions reflective of deterioration or inadequate maintenance, to the end that the property itself may be preserved in keeping with the standards of the neighborhood or such higher standards as may be adopted as part of a plan of the renewal by the Borough of North Arlington, such that the appearance of the premises and structures shall not constitute a blighting factor for adjoining property owners nor an element leading to the progressive deterioration and downgrading of the neighborhood with the accompanying diminution of property values.
[Added 10-8-1996 by Ord. No. 1674]
A. 

Definition. An "unoccupied or vacant building" shall mean any structure intended for residential or commercial use which is not currently occupied or in use. For the purpose of the enforcement of this chapter, a presumption shall exist that a structure vacant for six months is not currently occupied or in use.

B. 

Basic equipment and facilities. Every unoccupied or vacant building must comply with the following minimum standards for basic equipment and facilities:

(1) 

Plumbing. All plumbing fixtures shall be properly installed and be in sound condition and good repair.

(2) 

Electricity. Every existing outlet and fixture shall be properly connected. Wiring and service lines shall be maintained in good and safe working condition.

(3) 

Heating plant. The heating plant shall be maintained in a safe condition.

(4) 

Cooking equipment. All cooking equipment shall be maintained in a safe condition.

C. 

Safety from fire. All owners of unoccupied or vacant buildings shall comply with the applicable provisions of the Borough Fire Prevention Code and the following additional provisions of the Borough Fire Prevention Code and the following additional standards for safety from fire:

(1) 

No unoccupied or vacant building shall contain any space utilized for the storage of flammable liquids.

(2) 

No room within any vacant or unoccupied building shall be used for storage or junk, rubbish or wastes, furniture or building materials not intended to be used in the existing building.

(3) 

The early detection and containment of fire being a valid municipal concern, the boarding up of doors and windows shall not be permitted except with the permission of the public officer in emergency situations. When doors and windows are boarded up, they shall be covered with no less than one-half-inch exterior plywood or equivalent, which shall be the same color as the building exterior. In no case shall boarding up of doors and windows be permitted in excess of 90 days without a waiver from the Mayor and Council. Security screens, bars and/or grilles on open windows shall include quick-release mechanisms, both of which shall be subject to the approval of the public officer. The exterior of the premises and the condition of the accessory structures shall be maintained so that the appearance of the premises and all buildings thereof shall reflect a level of maintenance in keeping with the standards of the neighborhood and such that the appearance of the premises and structures shall not constitute a blighting factor for adjoining property owners nor an element leading to the progressive deterioration and downgrading of the neighborhood with the accompanying diminution of property values.

D. 

Further responsibilities of owners. All owners of unoccupied or vacant buildings shall be required to comply with the following standards:

(1) 

Unoccupied or vacant buildings shall not be utilized for storage of any materials, whether solid or liquid, including the yard portion of that building.

(2) 

When a vacant dwelling is found to be infested with rats, termites, roaches and/or any other insects and vermin, the owner shall undertake an expedient means of extermination of such nuisances.

(3) 

All doors and/or lids on appliances, furniture utilized for storage or on heating furnaces shall be locked in order to deny entry to an individual(s) where the potential for physical harm or death may result should said door close and prevent the individual's escape.

E. 

The standards and requirements of this section apply as long as any dwelling remains unoccupied. Upon occupancy, the other sections of this code shall prevail.

[Amended 10-8-1996 by Ord. No. 1674]

Upon issuance of a notice of violation pursuant to this chapter, the property owner, operator or occupant shall correct the conditions and notify the enforcement officer that said conditions have been corrected. A compliance inspection shall then be made. Should full compliance not be achieved at the time of said inspection, the Borough shall be reimbursed by the property owner for the costs of all reinspections. Failure to reimburse the Borough shall result in a lien for said costs being placed against the property in the same manner as real estate taxes.

[Amended 10-8-1996 by Ord. No. 1674]

The enforcement officer shall cause to be made such inspections of the premises within the Borough as he/she shall deem necessary to effect compliance with this chapter.

[Amended 10-8-1996 by Ord. No. 1674]

Nothing in this chapter shall be deemed to abolish or impair existing remedies of the municipality or its officers or agencies relating to the removal or demolition of a structure which is deemed to be unsanitary.

All penalties and money collected under any provision of this chapter or the code established herein shall be paid to the Treasurer of the Borough of North Arlington.