[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Health of the Township of Chester 7-9-1997 by Ord. No. 97-4. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Board of Health, or its designated agent, of the Township of Chester is hereby designated as the officer to exercise the powers prescribed by this chapter and shall serve in such capacity without any additional salary.
Pursuant to the provisions of N.J.S.A. 40:49-5.1 et seq., the New Jersey State Housing Code, as approved by the Department of Community Affairs and filed in the Secretary of State's office, is hereby accepted, adopted and established as the standard to be used as a guide in determining whether dwellings in this municipality are safe, sanitary and fit for human habitation and rental. A copy of the New Jersey State Housing Code is annexed to this chapter, and one copy of the same has been placed on file in the office of the Secretary of the Board of Health and is available to all persons desiring to use and examine the same.
The Board of Health, or its designated agent, is hereby authorized and directed to make inspections to determine the condition of dwellings, dwelling units, rooming units and premises located within the Township of Chester in order that it may perform its duty of safeguarding the health and safety of the occupants of dwellings and of the general public. For the purpose of making such inspections, the Board of Health, or its designated agent, is hereby authorized to enter, examine and survey at all reasonable times all dwellings, dwelling units and rooming units, and the person in charge thereof shall give the Board of Health, or its designated agent, free access to such dwelling, dwelling unit or rooming unit and its premises at all reasonable times for the purpose of such inspection, examination and survey. Every occupant of a dwelling or dwelling unit shall give the owner thereof or his agent or employee access to any part of such dwelling or dwelling unit or its premises at all reasonable times for the purpose of making such repairs or alterations as are necessary to effect compliance with the provisions of this chapter or with any lawful rule or regulation adopted or any lawful order issued pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.
Notification. Whenever the Board of Health, or its designated agent, determines that there are reasonable grounds to believe that there has been a violation of any provision of this chapter or of any rule or regulation adopted pursuant thereto, notice of such alleged violation shall be given to the person or persons responsible therefor as hereinafter provided. Such notice shall be put in writing; include a statement of the reasons why it is being issued; allow a reasonable time for the performance of any act it required; and be served upon the owner or his agent or the occupant, as the case may require, provided that such notice shall be deemed to be properly served upon such owner or agent or upon such occupant if a copy thereof is served upon him personally or if a copy thereof is sent by certified mail to his last known address or if a copy thereof is posted in a conspicuous place in or about the dwelling affected by the notice or if he is served with such notice by any other method authorized or required under the laws of this state. Such notice may contain an outline of remedial action which, if taken, will affect compliance with the provisions of this chapter and with the rules and regulations adopted pursuant thereto.
Any person affected by any notice which has been issued in connection with the enforcement of any provision of this chapter or of any rule or regulation adopted pursuant thereto may request and shall be granted a hearing on the matter before the Township Council of the Township of Chester, provided that such person shall file in the office of the Township Clerk a written petition requested such hearing and setting forth a brief statement of the grounds therefor within 10 days after the day the notice was served. Upon receipt of such petition, the Township Council shall set a time and place for such hearing and shall give the petitioner written notice thereof.
At such hearing, the petitioner shall be given an opportunity to be heard and to show why such notice should be modified or withdrawn.
The hearing shall be commenced not later than 10 days after the day on which the petition was filed, provided that, upon application of the petitioner, the Township Clerk may postpone the date of the hearing for a reasonable time beyond such ten-day period if, in her judgment, the petitioner has submitted a good and sufficient reason for such postponement.
After such hearing, the Township Council shall sustain, modify or withdraw the notice, depending upon their findings as to whether the provisions of this chapter and of the rules and regulations adopted pursuant thereto have been complied with. If the Township Council sustains or modifies such notice, it shall be deemed to be an order. Any notice served pursuant to this chapter shall automatically become an order if a written petition for a hearing is not filed in the office of the Township Clerk within 10 days after such notice is served.
The proceedings at such hearing, including the findings and decision of the Township Council, shall be summarized, reduced to writing and entered as a matter of public record in the office of the Township Clerk. Such records shall also include a copy of every notice or order issued in connection with the matter.
Any person aggrieved by the decision of the Township Council may seek relief therefrom in any court of competent jurisdiction, as provided by the laws of the State of New Jersey.
Whenever the Board of Health, or its designated agent, finds that an emergency exists which requires immediate action to protect the public health or safety, it may, without notice or hearing, issue an order reciting the existence of such an emergency and requiring that such action be taken as he deems necessary to meet the emergency. Notwithstanding the other provisions of this chapter, such order shall be effective immediately. Any person to whom such order is directed shall comply therewith immediately, but, upon petition to the Township Clerk, shall be afforded a hearing as soon as possible. After such hearing, depending upon their findings as to whether the provisions of this chapter and of the rules and regulations adopted pursuant thereto have been complied with, the Township Council shall continue such order in effect or modify it or revoke it.
The Board of Health is hereby authorized and empowered to make and adopt such written rules and regulations as it may deem necessary for the proper enforcement of the provisions of this chapter; provided, however, that such rules and regulations shall not be in conflict with the provisions of this chapter nor in any way alter, amend or supersede any of the provisions thereof. The Board of Health shall file a certified copy of all rules and regulations which they may adopt in the office of the Secretary of the Board of Health.
No person shall occupy as owner-occupant or rent to another for occupancy any dwelling or dwelling unit for the purpose of living therein which does not conform to the provisions of the New Jersey State Housing Code established hereby as the standard to be used in determining whether a dwelling is safe, sanitary and fit for human habitation.
Any person, firm or corporation who or which shall violate any of the provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction, be punished by a fine of not less than $5 nor more than $500. Each violation of any of the provisions of this chapter and each day the same is violated shall be deemed and taken to be a separate and distinct offense.