[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Township Council of the Township of Toms River 5-25-2010 by Ord. No. 4258-10; amended in its entirety 4-24-2018 by Ord. No. 4582-18. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Peace and good order — See Ch. 388.
Peddling and soliciting — See Ch. 391.
Noise created by snowmobiles and all-terrain vehicles — See Ch. 488.
Noise created by unlicensed motor-driven vehicles — See Ch. 492.
Noise created by boats — See Ch. 501.
Health nuisances — See Ch. 542.
The word "person," as used herein, shall include the singular and plural and shall also mean and include any person, firm, partnership, limited-liability company, corporation, association, club, society or any other form of association or organization.
It shall be unlawful for any person to make, cause, suffer or permit to be made or to be continued any loud noise, unnecessary noise, unusual noise or any noise or act which either annoys, disturbs, injures or endangers the comfort, repose, health, peace or safety of any other person within the corporate limits of the Township of Toms River. Such conduct shall be considered a "nuisance."
The following acts, among others, are declared to be a nuisance in violation of this chapter, when the noise emanating from such acts is clearly audible from at least 100 feet from the actor, source or device; provided, however, that this enumeration shall not be deemed to be exclusive:
Radios, stereos, etc. The playing of any radio, television, stereo, musical instrument or other machine or device for the production or reproduction of sound in such a manner or in such volume as to unreasonably annoy or disturb the quiet, comfort or repose of persons in any dwelling, hotel or other type of residence, or to disturb the peace, quiet and comfort of neighboring inhabitants, or to play or operate the same with louder volume than is necessary for convenient hearing of the person or persons who are in the room, chamber or venue in which said machine or device is operated and who are voluntary listeners to such sound.
Yelling, shouting, etc. Yelling, shouting, hooting, whistling or singing on public streets or yelling, shouting, hooting, whistling or singing at any other place, whether public or private, in such a manner and in such volume and intensity to disturb the peace and quiet of the neighborhood, or to annoy or disturb the quiet, comfort or repose of persons in any dwelling, hotel or any other place of residence, or of any persons in the vicinity.
Peddlers, hawkers and vendors. The shouting of peddlers, hawkers and vendors, in such a manner and in such volume and intensity to disturb the peace and quiet of the neighborhood, so as to annoy or disturb the quiet, comfort or repose of persons in any dwelling, hotel or any other type of residence, or of any persons in the vicinity.
Loudspeakers and amplifiers for advertising. The use, operation or permitting the playing, use or operation of any radio, television, musical instrument, phonograph, loudspeaker, sound amplifier or other machine or device for the production or reproduction of sound which is cast upon the public streets for the purpose of commercial advertising or attracting the attention of the public to any building, structure, store or establishment.
Construction. The operation of any equipment used in commercial construction, repair, alteration or demolition work on buildings, structures, streets or appurtenances thereto in residential or commercial land use zones on weekdays between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. the following day, or between 6:00 p.m. Saturday night and 8:00 a.m. Monday morning, and on legal holidays, except in the case of urgent necessity in the interest of public health and safety, and then only with permission from the Township Council.
Landscaping equipment. The operation of power mowers and power tools used in landscaping outdoors between the hours of 8:00 p.m. and 8:00 a.m. the following day.
Loading operations. Loading, unloading, opening or otherwise handling boxes, crates, containers, garbage cans or similar objects between the hours of 6:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. the following day, in such a manner as to annoy or disturb the quiet, comfort or repose of persons in any dwelling, hotel or any other type of residence, or of any persons in the vicinity.
Refuse-compacting vehicles. Operating or permitting the operation of any motor vehicle which can compact refuse, and which creates, during the compacting cycle, a disturbing noise between 6:00 p.m. and 6:00 a.m. the following day in residential land use zones.
Vehicle repairs or testing. Repairing, rebuilding, modifying or testing any motor vehicle, off-road vehicle or motorboat in or near a residential land use zone in such a manner as to annoy or disturb the quiet, comfort or repose of persons in any dwelling, hotel or any other type of residence, or of any persons in the vicinity.
Standing motor vehicles. Operating or permitting the operation of a motor vehicle whose gross vehicle weight is in excess of 10,000 pounds, or any attached auxiliary equipment, for a period longer than three minutes in any hour while such vehicle is stationary on a public right-of-way in a residential land use zone, or is on private property in a residential or commercial land use zone, and is not within a completely enclosed structure.
Bells and alarms. The sounding or permitting the sounding of any exterior building alarm on any building or motor vehicle, unless such burglar alarm system or similar device shall terminate its operation within 15 minutes after being activated.
Horns, signal devices, etc. The sounding of any horn or signaling device on any automobile, motorcycle, bus or any other vehicle on any street or public place, except as a danger warning; the creation by means of any horn or signaling device of any unreasonably loud or harsh sound; the sounding of any said horn or signaling device for any unnecessary and unreasonable period of time; the use of said horn or signaling device when traffic is for any reason held up; or the use of any horn, whistle or device operated by engine exhaust.
The keeping of any animal or bird which shall emit frequent or long-continued noises.
The hours referred to in this chapter shall be prevailing time, i.e., either Eastern standard time or Eastern daylight saving time.
This chapter is intended to apply and to bind the owners, tenants, occupants, guests and all other persons within the corporate limits of the Township of Toms River. This chapter shall not apply to representatives and employees of the Township of Toms River performing tasks on official business of the Township of Toms River or for specific activities authorized by the Township Council.
It shall be the duty of the Police Department and Code Enforcement Officials of the Township of Toms River to determine whether or not this chapter has been and is being complied with and to enforce the provisions of this chapter against any person violating the same.
Any police officer or Code Enforcement Official of the Township of Toms River, or any individual person, may file a complaint in Municipal Court of the Township of Toms River for any violations of this chapter.
Any person who shall violate any provision of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, be subject to the maximum fines and penalties established under N.J.S.A. 40:49-5, and as same shall be amended from time to time. Each and every day a violation of this chapter shall exist shall constitute a separate violation.
The Township Council finds and declares that there are properties located in the Township where nuisances exist and other activities occur which have resulted in the excessive consumption of municipal services.
The Township Council finds and declares that the cost of the excessive consumption of municipal services relating directly to these nuisance properties should be paid by the property owner and, if applicable, the responsible tenant or occupant, and not through general tax revenues.
This article is intended to establish regulations and procedures identifying, and providing for the assessment and timely payment of the cost of excessive consumption of municipal services, associated with these nuisance properties.
As used in this article, the following terms are defined as set forth herein:
- EXCESSIVE MUNICIPAL SERVICES
- Any qualifying calls made to a property while that property is on probationary nuisance status.
- NUISANCE PROPERTY
- Properties on which activities occur that result in qualifying calls for municipal services during any sixty-day period in excess of the number of calls listed on the schedule in § 368-12 are considered nuisance properties and are subject to the penalties and procedures as set forth in this article.
- PROBATIONARY NUISANCE STATUS
- The designation applied to properties which, as determined by a public officer, have received the requisite number of qualifying calls within a sixty-day period. Probationary nuisance status is effective for a twelve-month period beginning on the date of the public officer's determination. During probationary nuisance status, the property owner and, if applicable, the tenant/occupant, is liable to the Township for user charges from each qualifying call.
- QUALIFYING CALLS
- Calls resulting from violations of state or local laws, regulations, or ordinances, including, but not limited to, those cited in the following list, and others not so identified, but specifically determined to be qualifying by the hearing officer, but not including calls for permitting, licensing, inspections, or similar administrative functions:
- A. The sale, service, or consumption of alcoholic beverages.
- B. Disorderly conduct, disturbing the peace, littering or excessive noise.
- C. Damage to property or injury to a person.
- D. Improperly parking a vehicle, or any motor vehicle violation, on private property.
- E. Possession of a barking, howling, biting, or dangerous animal.
- F. Possession, distribution, or use of a controlled substance.
- G. Prostitution.
- H. Public urination, defecation, or indecent exposure.
- I. Criminal activity.
- J. Township property maintenance, zoning, construction, fire, and health codes.
- USER FEE
- A fee of $300 for each additional qualifying call made to the subject property within the twelve-month period following the date a complaint is issued for excessive consumption of municipal services.
Each Township department, division, agency, or authority, including the Fire Districts, providing municipal services to properties shall designate, either on a permanent or as-needed basis, one or more officials to serve as a public officer to administer and enforce this article. Officials that may serve in this capacity include, but are not limited to, code enforcement officers, the Construction Official or his or her designee; the Chief of Police or his designee; an investigating police officer; the Zoning Officer; or the Fire Official.
Each department, division, agency, or authority of the Township government, including the Fire Districts, providing municipal services to properties must keep and maintain records documenting the following information concerning the properties serviced:
The exact address and Tax Map designation of the subject property.
The name and address of property owners and tenants, if known and applicable.
The dates of the incident.
A full description of the nature of the incident and the violations.
The identity of the public employee providing the services.
The department providing the excessive municipal services shall coordinate, as needed, with other municipal agencies and the Division of Law to enforce this article.
During any sixty-day period, properties that necessitate qualifying calls for municipal services that exceed the amounts set forth in the following schedule are designated nuisance properties and subject to the penalties and procedures established under this article.
Residential properties of one through four dwelling units: five qualifying calls.
Convenience, grocery, liquor and retail stores: 10 qualifying calls.
Restaurants, bars, and adult entertainment establishments: 30 qualifying calls.
All other properties not included in the preceding categories: 10 qualifying calls.
Whenever the public officer determines that any property has become a nuisance property based on excessive consumption of municipal services, he or she shall issue a complaint and summons reciting the location of the property and the allegations supporting a finding of excessive use and a notice of hearing setting for the date and time and place for a hearing on the matter.
The complaint shall also provide notice:
That the property is on probationary nuisance status for the 12 months following the date of the complaint.
That during the probationary nuisance status period, each additional qualifying call to the property will be subject to a user fee of $300 per call.
Listing the dates and the nature of the qualifying calls made to the subject property that gave rise to the determination of excessive use.
Directing that the offending activities be immediately abated.
The complaint and notice of hearing shall be served on the property owner and on the tenant or occupant, if applicable. Service shall be made by regular mail and either certified mail return receipt requested, or overnight delivery service to the last known address of the recipient as it appears in Township records.
If the whereabouts of the property owner or the tenant/occupant are unknown and cannot be ascertained by reasonable diligence, service of the complaint and notice of hearing shall be effectuated as follows:
Whenever an individual dwelling unit within a multifamily dwelling has received five qualifying calls within a sixty-day period, the public officer shall notify the property owner and tenant/occupant as provided hereunder so that the property owner can take action to abate the nuisance. This notice shall be issued notwithstanding that the multifamily dwelling did not receive the required number of qualifying calls that would trigger a notice of violation.
A hearing shall be held on the allegations recited in the complaint. The public officer or officers involved shall present evidence and testify at the hearing and may produce witnesses in support of the allegations recited in the complaint. The property owner and any interested party shall have the right to appear at the hearing and testify, produce witnesses, and be represented by an attorney.
One of the Township Attorneys in the Division of Law shall serve as hearing officer. The hearing officer is charged with determining whether, in a sixty-day period, the subject property received qualifying calls in excess of those permitted under § 368-12. If so, the hearing officer shall confirm that the property was on probationary nuisance status from the date of the complaint. If the hearing officer also determines that qualifying calls were made to the subject property during the probationary period, that fact shall be so noted in the hearing officer's findings. Based on these findings, the hearing officer shall enter an order against the property owner or, as applicable, the tenant/occupant, or both.
The following shall be memorialized in the hearing officer's order:
A finding that the subject property was on probationary nuisance status.
A determination that an excessive number of qualifying calls were made to the subject property during the probationary nuisance status period.
An assessment of the reasonable costs of litigation, including, but not limited to, the costs of a court reporter and transcript, and an administrative fee of $100.
An assessment of a user fee of $300 per call for each qualifying call in excess of the permitted number. If the qualifying calls involve the same tenant or occupant, this fee may be apportioned between the owner and the tenant/occupant.
Additional qualifying calls to the subject property following the hearing and within a one-year period from the date of the complaint constitute a further violation of this article and are subject to a user fee of $300 per call. A summons and complaint shall be filed in the Toms River Municipal Court for each subsequent qualifying call, each being a separate violation, with the $300 per call user fee the penalty to be imposed upon a guilty plea or conviction. Notice of this provision shall be incorporated in the hearing officer's order.
The hearing officer's order shall be served upon the appropriate parties in the same manner as service of the complaint and notice of hearing; except that, in the event the whereabouts of the property owner, tenant, or occupant cannot be ascertained, then the order shall also be recorded in the Ocean County Clerk's office.
Any fees, costs, or penalties that remain unpaid 60 days from the date of an order issued pursuant to this article shall be assessed as a lien against the subject property, enforceable and collectible in the same manner as liens for delinquent real property taxes and municipal service charges.
Pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:52-1.2, municipal licenses, permits, and certificates of occupancy applied for or issued to the subject property may be revoked, suspended, withheld, or denied renewal for failure to comply with and satisfy any payment obligations under an order imposed pursuant to this article.