Township of Lower, NJ
Cape May County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Council of the Township of Lower by Ord. No. 90-17 (Sec. 11-6 of the 1975 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Fire control measures — See Ch. 313.
Fire districts — See Ch. 318.
Tampering with fire-fighting equipment — See Ch. 324.
Fire hydrants — See Ch. 330.
Fire prevention — See Ch. 340.
A. 
Hospitals, nursing homes and convalescent homes.
(1) 
The developers of property to be used for the purpose of constructing a nursing home, convalescent home, hospital or other similar use shall submit a site plan to the Commissioners of Fire District No. 1, No. 2 or No. 3 in the Township of Lower, County of Cape May (hereinafter referred to as "Commissioners"), and/or their designated agents of the Township of Lower, showing the location of all existing and proposed buildings, accessory structures, parking spaces, lighting, screening, paved and landscaped areas, curb cuts providing ingress and egress to the said property, curbs and sidewalks, the flow of traffic upon said premises and such information as the Commissioners and/or their designated agents may require. Said site plan shall be submitted prior to the issuance of any building permit for said hospital, nursing home, convalescent home or other related use. The site plan shall be reviewed by the Commissioners and/or their designated agents to determine if any fire hazard exists, and the approval of the site plan by the Commissioners and/or their designated agents shall be prerequisite to the issuance of any such building permit.
(2) 
Whenever it is deemed necessary for public safety, the Commissioners and/or their designated agents may require the owners or operators of any nursing home, convalescent home, hospital or other similar use to designate fire zones at entrances, loading doors or accessways to said premises and fire lanes in driveways leading from streets to the fire zones. The size of the fire zones and/or fire lanes shall be set at the discretion of the Commissioners and/or their designated agents based upon the size of the property and such other facts as the Commissioners and/or their designated agents may deem relevant. Fire zones shall be outlined in yellow on the paved surface and shall contain, within said outline, the phrase FIRE ZONE in yellow lettering and shall further be striped with diagonal yellow lines. Fire lanes shall be outlined in yellow with the phrase FIRE LANE in yellow lettering on the paved surface. A diagram demonstrating the proper manner of painting and lettering of FIRE ZONES and FIRE LANES shall be made available by the Commissioners and/or their designated agents. All lines, striping and lettering shall be legible at all times. In those instances wherein physical markings of the fire zones or fire lanes on ground surfaces is not practical as determined within the discretion of the Commissioners and/or their designated agents, the required markings may be waived by the Commissioners and/or their designated agents, and signs only as specified herein will be required which shall clearly set forth the appropriate fire zones, fire lanes or any other designation. A metal fire zone and/or fire lane sign shall be provided, erected and maintained by the owner or operator of the property and shall be placed and directed by the Commissioners and/or their designated agents. Said signs shall indicate the terms FIRE ZONE and/or FIRE LANE, shall be of a design and quality and shall be lettered according to the provisions of the State Code and shall be approved by the Commissioners and/or their designated agents. A diagram of a fire zone and/or a fire lane sign shall be made available by the Commissioners and/or their designated agents.
(3) 
No person shall, at any time, park a motor vehicle, locate a garbage dumpster or, in any other manner, obstruct a fire zone or a fire lane whether or not that motor vehicle is occupied or the motor is running. If, at any time due to weather conditions, vandalism or any extenuating circumstances, one of the fire zone or fire lane signs or surface markings is not visible, the remaining markings or signs visible shall be deemed sufficient to provide notice of the existence of such fire zone or fire lane for the purpose of enforcement of this chapter.
B. 
Multiple-dwelling units, condominium projects, cooperative housing projects, places of public assembly, office buildings, private schools, shopping centers and commercial or industrial uses, public or parochial schools, mobile home parks and campgrounds.
(1) 
Whenever it is deemed necessary for public safety, the Commissioners and/or their designated agents may require that the owners or operators of a multiple-dwelling unit, condominium project, cooperative housing project, place of public assembly, office building, public, private or parochial school, shopping center, mobile home park, campgrounds or any commercial or industrial use delineate fire zones and fire lanes in those areas deemed essential by the Commissioners and/or their designated agents for access to parking lots, buildings and accessory uses. Fire zones and fire lanes shall have the dimensions and be outlined, striped and lettered in the same manner as provided in Subsection A(2) of this section. All markings shall be maintained and signs shall be lettered in the manner as set forth in the aforesaid subsection.
(2) 
No person shall, at any time, park a motor vehicle, locate a garbage dumpster or, in any manner, obstruct a fire zone and/or a fire lane. A motor vehicle shall be deemed to be obstructing a designated fire zone or a fire lane whether or not the motor vehicle is occupied or the motor is running.
C. 
Fire areas.
(1) 
The Bureau of Fire Safety and/or its designated agents shall establish fire areas for multiple-dwelling units, condominium projects, cooperative housing projects, places of public assembly, office buildings, public, private and parochial schools, shopping centers, mobile home parks, campgrounds and any other commercial or industrial use. A fire area shall be that area which is determined by the Bureau of Fire Safety and/or its designated agents to remain unobstructed at all times so as to provide access to buildings by Fire Department and other emergency vehicles and to allow access to fire hydrants and standpipes and fire protection devices.
(2) 
The number of fire areas, their locations, size and manner of marking shall be determined by the Bureau of Fire Safety and/or their designated agents. The Bureau of Fire Safety and/or its designated agents shall determine the location of a fire area on the basis of size, type and location of the buildings on the property, the manner in which the property is used, the number of motor vehicles operated and parked upon the premises, the number of persons using and occupying the premises, the existing means of ingress and egress, the total area of the property, the size of all parking lots on the property and such other relevant factors as the Bureau of Fire Safety and/or its designated agents may determine upon inspection of the property involved. The Bureau of Fire Safety shall give notice to the owner or operator of the premises of the marking or signs required to designate a fire area. The markings and signs shall be provided by the owner or operator within 30 days of receipt of the notice. All markings and signs shall be provided and maintained in the manner as set forth in Subsection A(2) of this section.
(3) 
The Bureau of Fire Safety and/or its designated agents are authorized to regulate, restrict and prohibit the parking and operation of motor vehicles in and near such fire area and may impose such regulations necessary to insure that the fire area remains free from obstructions.
(4) 
No person shall, at any time, park a motor vehicle, locate a garbage dumpster or, in any other manner, obstruct a fire area. A motor vehicle shall be deemed to be obstructing a designated fire area whether or not the motor vehicle is occupied or the motor is running.
D. 
Towing. The Bureau of Fire Safety and/or its designated agents are authorized to tow motor vehicles and remove all obstructions from any fire zone, fire lane or fire area. The Bureau of Fire Safety and/or its designated agents are also authorized to tow motor vehicles and remove obstructions parked or standing within 10 feet of a fire hydrant. All motor vehicles and other obstructions which are removed pursuant to this subsection may be stored in a storage area approved by the Bureau of Fire Safety and/or its designated agents. The cost of removal and such storage shall be charged to the owner of the vehicle or other obstruction, and the charge shall be paid prior to the release of said vehicle or obstruction, if the owner can be identified, within 24 hours after removal of said vehicle or obstruction.
E. 
Penalties. Any person who is in violation of this section shall be subject to the following penalties:
(1) 
One who obstructs a fire zone, a fire lane or a fire area with a motor vehicle in violation of Subsection A, B or C of this section shall be subject to a fine of $10 for the first offense and a fine of $25 for each offense thereafter.
(2) 
The owner of a garbage dumpster or other obstruction located in a designated fire zone, fire lane or fire area in violation of Subsection A, B or C of this section shall be subject to a fine of not more than $500 or imprisonment for not more than 90 days, or both.
(3) 
Any person or corporation violating any other provision of this section, failing to comply with any order made pursuant to this section or building in violation of plans and specifications submitted to the Bureau of Fire Safety and/or its designated agents and approved pursuant to the terms of this section shall be subject to a fine of not more than $500 or imprisonment for not more than 90 days, or both.
F. 
Enforcement. The Bureau of Fire Safety and/or its designated agents and the Lower Township Police Department shall have concurrent jurisdiction to enforce the provisions of this section.
G. 
Appeal. Any owner or operator of a building or property affected by the provisions of this section who shall disagree with the determination of the Bureau of Fire Safety and/or its designated agents concerning the location of fire zones, fire lanes or fire areas shall have the right to appeal. The appeal shall consist of a hearing before the Bureau of Fire Safety and/or its designated agents. The request for an appeal shall be made to the Bureau of Fire Safety and/or its designated agents within 30 days after notification by the Bureau of Fire Safety and/or its designated agents of the location of the fire zones, fire lanes or fire areas. The Bureau of Fire Safety and/or its designated agents may reverse or amend its prior decision if it is determined that the location of the fire zones, fire lanes or fire areas creates an undue hardship to the owner or operator, would unduly interfere with the normal operation of the business on the property or such other reasons acceptable to the Bureau of Fire Safety and/or its designated agents. A decision shall be made by the Bureau of Fire Safety and/or its designated agents within seven days from the date of the hearing. A majority vote of the Bureau of Fire Safety and/or its designated agents shall be necessary to reverse or amend the original location of the fire zones, fire lanes or fire areas. The owner or operator of the building or property shall comply with the decision of the Bureau of Fire Safety and/or its designated agents within 30 days from receipt of the notice of the decision. Failure to comply with the decision of the Bureau of Fire Safety and/or its designated agents as provided herein shall subject the owner or operator to the penalties as provided in Subsection E of this section.
[Amended by Ord. No. 91-22; Ord. No. 2002-28; 12-17-2007 by Ord. No. 2007-19]
A. 
Initial review of a site plan or subdivision by the Commissioners and/or their designated agents is required to be made. When any alterations or changes are undertaken by an applicant, which changes the original site plan or subdivision, the plans must be resubmitted and reviewed by the Bureau of Fire Safety, and/or its designated agents. The fees shall be set forth below.
B. 
All reviews are valid for a one-year period, after which a review will be deemed unacceptable and a resubmission will be required.
C. 
The fees shall be as follows:
[Amended 2-7-2011 by Ord. No. 2011-02]
(1) 
For any minor site plan: $95.
(2) 
For any major site plan: $150.
(3) 
For any minor subdivision: $45.
(4) 
For any major subdivision: $200.
(5) 
For any resubmission and review, only after the initial application and one review of same has been undertaken: $60.