Township of Bridgewater, NJ
Somerset County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Council of the Township of Bridgewater 12-7-2009 by Ord. No. 09-17. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Land use — See Ch. 126.

§ 168-1 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
DONATION CLOTHING BIN
Any container or receptacle held out to the public as a place for people to drop off articles of clothing and to store such clothing until carted away.
SOLICITATION or SOLICIT
The request, directly or indirectly, for money, credit, property, financial assistance, or other thing of any kind or value.

§ 168-2 Purpose.

This chapter seeks to regulate donation clothing bins by requiring the charity or other person operating the bin to inform donors of a list of individuals or organizations that benefit from the donated items. The chapter will also require municipal registration of clothing bins and written consent from the property owner to place the bin on his or her property. The chapter shall further place location, zoning and possible site plan requirements and safety requirements upon the utilization of such bins.

§ 168-3 Permit required.

Notwithstanding any other provision of law to the contrary, no person shall place, use or employ a donation clothing bin within the Township of Bridgewater for solicitation purposes without obtaining a permit from the Township Zoning Officer which has been favorably recommended by the Township Planner and Township Engineer. Permits are renewable on an annual basis during the month of January.

§ 168-4 Permit fee.

The initial application fee shall be $100. The annual renewal permit fee shall be $25 per bin. These fees are necessary to offset the cost of enforcing the provisions of this chapter.

§ 168-5 Application requirements.

The applicant shall obtain a permit from the Township Zoning Officer and the application shall include the following information:
A. 
The manner in which the person anticipates the proceeds of collected donations will be allocated or spent.
B. 
The name and telephone number of the bona fide office of any person or entity which may share or profit from any clothing or other donations collected via the bin at which such person can be reached during normal business hours. For the purposes of this subsection, an answering machine or service unrelated to the person does not constitute a bona fide office. The applicant shall provide a phone number for nonbusiness hours for emergency purposes; and
C. 
Written consent from the property owner to place the bin on his or her property and acknowledgement from the property owner that the property owner shall insure compliance with the provisions of this Chapter 168.

§ 168-6 Renewal application requirements.

In addition to the above application requirements, renewal applications must include:
A. 
A statement on the manner in which the person has used, sold, or dispersed any clothing or other donation collect via the bin, the method by which the proceeds of collected donations have been allocated or spent, and any changes the person anticipates he or she may make in this process during the period covered by the renewal;
B. 
The name and telephone number of the bona fide office of any entity which shared or profited from any clothing or other donations collected via the bin, and of any entities which may do so during the period covered by the renewal as well as a phone number for nonbusiness hours for emergency purposes; and
C. 
If the location of the bin is to be moved, the new location where the bin is to be situated, as precisely as possible and written consent from the property owner of the new location.
D. 
Annual renewal shall be made by June 1 of each year.

§ 168-7 Display of permit.

The following information shall be clearly and conspicuously displayed on the exterior of the donation clothing bin:
A. 
The permit number and its date of expiration;
B. 
The name and address of the registered person who owns the bin, and of any other entity which may share or profit from any clothing or other donations collected via the bin;
C. 
The telephone number of the owner's bona fide office, and, if applicable, the telephone number of the bona fide office of any other entity which may share or profit from any clothing or other donations collected via the bin. For the purposes of this subsection, an answering machine or service unrelated to the person does not constitute a bona fide office;
D. 
In cases when any entity other than the person who owns the bin may share or profit from any clothing or other donations collected via the bin, a notice, written in a clear and easily understandable manner, indicating the entity other than the person that owns the bin which may share or profit from such donations;
E. 
A statement, consistent with the information provided to the Township in the most recent permit or renewal application, indicating the manner in which the owner anticipates any clothing or other donations collected via the bin would be used, sold, or dispersed, and the method by which the proceeds of collected donations would be allocated or spent.

§ 168-8 Placement of bins.

A. 
Bridgewater Township shall not grant an application for a permit to place, use, or employ a donation clothing bin if it determines that the placement of the bin could constitute a safety hazard. Such hazards shall include, but not be limited to, the placement of a donation clothing bin within 100 yards of any place which stores large amounts of, or sells, fuel or other flammable liquids or gases; or the placement of a bin where it interferes with vehicular or pedestrian circulation. The placement of bins shall be consistent with the recommendations of the Township Planner and Township Engineer pursuant to § 166-3.
B. 
The person placing, using or employing a donation clothing bin shall maintain the bin and the area surrounding the bin such that there shall be no accumulation of clothing or other donations outside the bin.
C. 
The clothing bin shall be emptied no less than once a week and the area immediately surrounding shall be maintained in a clean and sanitary condition, and the clothing bin should remain in good working order and painted.

§ 168-9 Regulation of use and location of bins.

The placement and/or use of a clothing bin shall be regulated, and the use and location of bins shall be subject to the following requirements:
A. 
Donation clothing bins shall only be located in nonresidential zoning districts. Exempt from this requirement shall be fire departments, first aid rescue squads, houses of worship and schools, many of which are located in residential zones, provided that no clothing bin located on any fire, first aid squad facility, house of worship or school property shall be closer than 250 feet from an adjacent residential dwelling.
B. 
The location of donation clothing bins on real property shall be consistent with any existing site plan approval for the premises. If it is not, the applicant shall be required to obtain a waiver of site plan approval pursuant to § 126-137 of the Township Land Use Ordinance. If a site plan waiver is not obtained then the applicant shall apply for a revised site plan to the appropriate Land Use Board.
C. 
No more than three receptacles shall be located within any complex.
D. 
Each clothing bin shall not exceed six feet in depth, eight feet in width and six feet in height.
E. 
The clothing bin shall be located in such a manner that it will not interfere with pedestrian and/or traffic circulation or otherwise cause a traffic hazard by virtue of any obstruction that it may create by its placement.
F. 
The receptacles shall be located in a clearly visible and well-lighted area to permit inspection and enforcement.
G. 
The clothing bin may be placed in parking stalls, provided that the approved use for the site in question has been operational for a minimum of one year prior to the request for the clothing bin and provided further that in the written opinion of the Zoning Officer there is sufficient on-site parking to accommodate all uses of the property in accordance with the applicable provisions of the Township Code and existing site plan approval.
H. 
No clothing bin shall be placed in a required buffer area or within three feet of a property line, or in a sight triangle or fire zone.
I. 
No clothing bin shall be placed in a parking space designated as handicapped parking.
J. 
No clothes shall be stored outside the clothing bin.

§ 168-10 Receipt, investigation of complaints.

A. 
Whenever it appears to the Zoning Officer that a person is in violation of § 166-8C, the person who placed the bin shall be advised to correct the condition within 24 hours. For other violations of this chapter, the Zoning Officer shall advise the person in violation to cure the said violation within 10 days of written notice of the violation. In addition to any other means used to notify the person who placed the bin, such warning shall be affixed to the exterior of the bin itself.
B. 
In the event that the person who places the bin has three violations of this chapter within a year, then the Township of Bridgewater may revoke the permit and require removal of the clothing bin. If the owner of the bin does not remove the bin after demand by the Township, then the Township may have the bin removed at the expense of the person who placed the bin and sell at public auction or otherwise dispose of any clothing or other donations collected via the bin. Any proceeds from the sale of the donations collected via the bin shall be paid to the Chief Financial Officer of the Township.

§ 168-11 Additional penalties; remedies.

In addition to any other penalties or remedies authorized by the laws of this state, any person who violates any provision of this chapter or the provisions of P.L. 2007, c. 209 (N.J.S.A. 40:48-2.60 et seq.) which results in seizure of the donation clothing bin shall be:
A. 
Subject to a penalty of up to $500 for the first violation and not to exceed $5,000 for each subsequent violation. The Township may bring this action in the Bridgewater Township Municipal Court or the Superior Court of New Jersey as a summary proceeding under the Penalty Enforcement Law of 1999, P.L. 1999, c. 274 (N.J.S.A. 2A:58-10 et seq.), and any penalty monies collected shall be paid to the Chief Financial Officer of the Township; and
B. 
Deemed ineligible to place, use, or employ a donation clothing bin for solicitation purposes pursuant to this chapter and P.L. 2007, c. 209 (N.J.S.A. 40:48-2.61). A person disqualified from placing, using, or employing a donation clothing bin by violating the provisions of P.L. 2007, c. 209 (N.J.S.A. 40:48-2.60 et seq.) may apply to the Township's Board of Adjustment to have that person's eligibility restored. The Township's Board of Adjustment may restore the eligibility of a person who:
(1) 
Acts within the public interest; and
(2) 
Demonstrates that he or she made a good faith effort to comply with the provisions of this chapter and P.L. 2007, c. 209 (N.J.S.A. 40:48-2.60 et seq.), and all other applicable laws and regulations, or had no fraudulent intentions.