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 as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Brush, grass and debris — See Ch. 185.
Unfit buildings — See Ch. 206.
Electrical standards — See Ch. 291.
Housing standards — See Ch. 380.
Mercantile licenses — See Ch. 432.
Noise — See Ch. 441.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 500.
Solid waste — See Ch. 570.
[Adopted by Ord. No. 2000-5 (Sec. 4-12 of the 1975 Code)]
[Amended by Ord. No. 2001-21]
The purpose of this article is to provide an automatic suspension of a mercantile license issued by the Township for the rental of any property within the Township upon the occurrence of certain events more specifically set forth in § 523-2 below. It shall therefore be a condition upon any license issued for the rental of any property pursuant to Chapter 432, Mercantile Licenses, § 432-4E, that any of the tenants, guests or other occupants of any rental units not be convicted of two or more violations of any Township ordinance or any other federal, state or local law dealing with disorderly, indecent, tumultuous or riotous conduct occurring during any one twelve-month period, which convictions are related to or arising out of the use and occupancy of a rental unit or attributable to acts upon or in proximity to a rental unit. Moreover, it shall be a condition of any license issued for the rental of any property pursuant to Chapter 432, Mercantile Licenses, § 432-4E, that the licensee or any of the licensee's guests, or other occupants of a rental unit, not be convicted of two or more violations of any Township ordinance or any other federal, state or local law arising from or incidental to the physical condition of such rental unit or the land upon which such rental unit is situated, including, without limitation, violations of the Lower Township Property Maintenance Code, Chapter 500, occurring during any one twelve-month period.
[Amended by Ord. No. 2001-21]
A. 
In addition to any other penalty prescribed herein, a holder of any mercantile license for a rental unit within the Township of Lower shall have his or her license suspended upon the happening of one or more of the following:
(1) 
Two or more convictions against the licensee's guest(s), tenant(s), or other occupant(s) of a rental unit for a violation of any Township ordinance or any other federal, state or local law dealing with disorderly, indecent, tumultuous or riotous conduct occurring during any one twelve-month period, which convictions are related to or arising out of the use and occupancy of the rental unit or attributable to acts upon or in proximity to the rental unit or for any other violations of any Township ordinance or any other federal, state or local law arising from or incidental to the condition of the rental unit or the land upon which the rental unit is situated, including, without limitation, violations of the Lower Township Property Maintenance Code, Chapter 500, occurring during any one twelve-month period. In order to support disciplinary action under this section it need not be shown that convictions are of the same individual(s). It shall be sufficient to demonstrate that such convictions involved conduct occurring on two separate occasions during any one twelve-month period.
(2) 
Two or more convictions against the licensee for a violation of any Township ordinance or any other federal, state or local law arising from or incidental to the physical condition of a rental unit or the land upon which such rental unit is situated, including, without limitation, violations of the Lower Township Property Maintenance Code, Chapter 500, occurring during any one twelve-month period.
B. 
For the purposes of this chapter, a conviction shall include any guilty plea entered in a court of competent jurisdiction.
[Amended by Ord. No. 2001-21]
A. 
Violation. A licensee who shall violate this article by reason of the grounds set forth in § 523-2A(1) above shall, upon conviction, be guilty of maintaining a nuisance.
B. 
Warning to licensee. In the event of any one conviction in any court of competent subject matter jurisdiction, including, without limitation, the Lower Township Municipal Court, of a licensee's tenant, guest or other individual as set forth in § 523-2A(1), the Township Clerk shall mail a notice of such conviction, within 30 days of same, to the licensee and/or the managing agent, if any, at the address indicated on the license application. Such notice shall be sent simultaneously by certified mail, return receipt requested, and by regular first class mail and shall inform the licensee that, upon a second conviction of any tenant, guest or other occupant of the rental unit of a Township ordinance or any other federal, state or local law dealing with disorderly, indecent, tumultuous or riotous conduct occurring during a twelve-month period from the first conviction, or the licensee or any tenant, guest or other occupant of the rental unit for any other violations of any Township ordinance or any other federal, state or local law arising from or incidental to the physical condition of the rental unit or the land upon which the rental unit is situated, including, without limitation, violations of the Lower Township Property Maintenance Code, Chapter 500, occurring during any one twelve-month period, the licensee's mercantile license shall be suspended, subject to the procedures set forth herein for a period of one year. The Township Clerk shall also forward a copy of the notice to the Department of Planning and Zoning, which shall maintain a record of all convictions which constitute, or may constitute, grounds for license suspension pursuant to this article.
C. 
Summons. Upon the occurrence of any grounds set forth in § 523-2A(1), the licensee shall be issued a summons for a violation of this article by the Lower Township Police Department or Division of Code Enforcement. This violation shall be prosecuted in the Lower Township Municipal Court, or in any other court of competent subject matter jurisdiction, in accordance with the laws of the State of New Jersey and the rules governing the applicable court.
D. 
Penalties. Any licensee convicted of or pleading guilty to a violation of § 523-3A, by reason of maintaining a nuisance for the grounds set forth in § 523-2A(1), shall be subject to the performance of not more than 180 hours of community service, or a fine of not more than $1,000, or both.
E. 
Record of conviction. Upon a licensee's conviction or plea of guilty to a violation of § 523-3A, the Clerk of the court hearing the matter shall forward a certified judgment evidencing that conviction or plea of guilty to the Township Clerk within five days of the entry thereof. The Township Clerk shall provide a copy of any such certified judgment of conviction to the Department of Planning and Zoning, which shall maintain a record of all convictions which constitute, or may constitute, grounds for license suspension pursuant to this article.
F. 
Suspension of rental license. In addition to any other fine or penalty imposed on a licensee for a violation of § 523-3A, upon receipt of a certified judgment of conviction against a licensee from any court of competent subject matter jurisdiction for any such violation, the Township Clerk shall, on five days' notice sent to the licensee by regular and certified mail, return receipt requested, suspend the licensee's rental license for a period of one year, without further proceeding.
G. 
Special provision for violations of Property Maintenance Code by licensee. Where the licensee of a rental unit has been convicted of or has plead guilty to two or more violations of Township ordinances or any other federal, state or local law arising from or incidental to the physical condition of the rental unit or the land upon which the rental unit is situated, including, without limitation, violations of the Lower Township Property Maintenance Code, Chapter 500, occurring during any one twelve-month period, the Township Clerk shall, on five days' notice sent to the licensee by regular and certified mail, return receipt requested, suspend the licensee's rental license for a period of one year, without further proceeding, which shall be in addition to any other fine or penalty imposed on a licensee for violation of any such laws.
Any rental license which is suspended pursuant to this article shall, upon reinstatement, be placed in probationary status for a period of one year. During the probationary period, the same grounds for suspension of a license as set forth in § 523-2 shall apply, except that any one conviction of a Township ordinance or any other federal or state law during the probationary period shall be grounds for suspension of the license.
A rental license shall be deemed severable with respect to the suspension instituted pursuant to this article. Accordingly, the suspension of any license may be limited to one or more rental units or may apply to all rental units in the property. Any limitation on the suspension shall be noted in the notice of license suspension. If limited to less than all of the rental units, such license shall remain in full force and effect as to any and all rental units not involved in the suspension.
The suspension of any mercantile license pursuant to this article shall not be a defense to any subsequent Township Code violation, including, without limitation, a violation of Chapter 432, Mercantile Licenses, § 432-1, for the rental of any premises without a mercantile license.
The penalties set forth in this article shall be in addition to, and not to the exclusion of, any other penalties which may be imposed for violating any other ordinance of the Township.