[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Shamong 12-17-1982 by Ord. No. 1982-6; amended in its entirety 2-5-2013 by Ord. No. 2013-01. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
Definitions. As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have meanings indicated:
- AGRICULTURAL LAND
- Land or lands which are actually used for agricultural purposes and which are assessed as farmland by the Tax Assessor of the Township of Shamong.
- ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
- For the purposes of this chapter, the Township Zoning Officer or the Township Administrator.
- NATURAL DEBRIS
- For the purposes of this chapter, any brush, weeds, dead and dying trees, stumps, roots, obnoxious growths or any other similar natural vegetation.
- UNNATURAL DEBRIS
- Any filth, garbage, trash, debris, rubbish, refuse, offal, litter, junk, scrap and any other similar material.
- WOODED LAND
- Land or lands which are unimproved and are substantially occupied by woods, timber or forests.
Duties of owners and tenants.
The owner or tenant of any lands lying within the corporate limits of the Township of Shamong is required to remove or cause to be removed from such lands any unnatural debris, in accord with the notice provisions herein.
The owner or tenant of lands other than agricultural land or wooded land lying within the corporate limits of the Township of Shamong is required to remove or cause to be removed from such lands any natural debris, in accord with the notice provisions herein.
Process. Notice to the owner or tenant to cause the removal of the substances referred to in the preceding section may be served upon such owner or tenant, either personally or by certified mail at the address to which tax bills are sent. Such notice shall be kept confidential, to the extent permitted by law, and shall be in writing and shall include a concise statement of the reasons for its issuance. Such notice shall be deemed to be properly and sufficiently served if a copy thereof is sent by regular mail to the last known address of the person or entity upon which the same is served, as shown by the most recent tax records of the municipality, or if a copy thereof is handed to said person or persons or if a copy thereof is left at the usual place of abode or office of said persons or entities. Notice shall be given as aforesaid within or without the municipality.
Initial notice. Initial notice shall provide for a twenty-day cure period. Every such notice shall, in addition to requiring the removal aforesaid, warn the owner or the tenant of the lands to which such notice refers that failure to accomplish such removal within the time stated therein may result in removal by or under the direction of the Director of Public Works of the Township; and the cost of such removal shall be charged to the owner or tenant of such lands and shall be payable to the Township forthwith after the date of submission of the charges. Unless such charges are paid forthwith, the costs aforesaid shall become a lien upon the lands and be collected as provided by N.J.S.A. 40:48-2.14 and enforced by the same officers and in the same manner as taxes.
Notice of violation. The initial notice shall also state that, unless the violation is abated, removed, cured, prevented or desisted (collectively referred to herein as "abatement") within 20 days of the date of service of such notice (exclusive of the date of service), a summons shall be issued for such violation. The enforcement officer may extend the period for compliance with the requirements of this section in regard to the violation stated in the notice for a period in excess of the aforesaid 20 days if, in his or her judgment, the abatement of the condition violated cannot reasonably be effected within the twenty-day period, and in such cases, the enforcement officer shall state such reasonably required extended period of notice, which shall then be applicable instead of the aforesaid 20 days. In the event that the violation is not abated, within said twenty-day period or within such extended period as set forth in the notice, pursuant to the foregoing, a summons shall be issued against the person, persons, entity or entities so notified. Any extension beyond 60 days must be approved by the Township Committee.
Repeat violation. In those instances where a person, persons, entity or entities who have been cited for a violation under the provisions of this subsection and who have abated the violation in response to the notice of violation issued by the enforcement officer thereafter permit, allow or authorize the same type of violation, the enforcement officer shall be authorized to immediately issue a summons for the violation and shall not be required to follow the twenty-day notice procedure as set forth above.
Emergency conditions. Whenever the enforcement officer finds that an emergency condition in violation of this chapter exists, which condition requires immediate attention in order to protect the public health, welfare or safety, he may issue an order to protect by service of notice as set forth above, reciting the existence of such an emergency condition and requiring that such action be taken by the violator as soon as is reasonably necessary to meet the emergency. Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter to the contrary, such order shall be effective immediately. Any person to whom such an order is directed shall comply therewith immediately. Failure to comply within time period provided shall be a violation of this chapter, and the violator shall be subject to the penalty provisions set forth above and in § 60-4 below.
Whenever the owner or tenant of such lands within the Township, receiving the notice provided for by the preceding section to remove from such lands any of the substances hereinbefore mentioned, shall fail and neglect within the time prescribed in the notice to effect removal of such substances, such removal may, at the discretion of the enforcement officer, and not by limitation of the enforcement of violations or penalties, be accomplished by or under the direction of the Director of Public Works. An accurate record of the cost of such removal to the Township shall be determined by the Director of Public Works who shall certify the cost thereof to the Township Administrator, who shall examine the certificate and, if found correct, shall cause the cost as shown thereon, including administrative costs and fees, to be charged against the lands. Such costs are in addition to any of the penalties provided for violations of this chapter. The amount so charged shall become a lien upon such lands and shall be added to and become part of the taxes next to be assessed and levied upon said lands. Said lien shall bear the same interest rate as taxes and shall be collected and enforced by the officers of the municipality in the same manner as taxes.
Any person, firm, corporation, association or legal party whatsoever who or which shall violate, or authorize or procure a violation of, or cause to be violated, any provision of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, be punishable as provided in Chapter 1, General Provisions, Article II, General Penalty, § 1-15, governing general penalty provisions.