[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Pemberton 10-19-2015 by Ord. No. 2015-10. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The following terms, wherever used herein or referred to in this chapter, shall have the respective meanings assigned to them unless a different meaning clearly appears from the context:
- ACCESSORY STRUCTURE
- A structure, the use of which is incidental to that of the main building and which is attached thereto or located on the same premises.
- BASEMENT or CELLAR
- Any floor, any portion of which is more than 24 inches below the adjacent grade level.
- A combination of materials to form a construction adapted to permanent or continuous occupancy or use for public, institutional, residence, business or storage purposes.
- CERTIFIED MAIL
- Certified mail.
- The condition or appearance of a building or part thereof, characterized by holes, breaks, rot, crumbling, cracking, peeling, rusting or other evidence of physical decay or neglect, lack of maintenance or excessive use.
- Any structure designed for use by human occupants for sleeping and living purposes, whether occupied or vacant, except that the foregoing shall not apply to hotels.
- ENFORCEMENT OFFICERS
- All officials, officers or employees entrusted with the enforcement of the provisions of this chapter.
- EXPOSED TO PUBLIC VIEW
- Any premises or any part thereof, or any building or any part thereof, which may be lawfully viewed by the public or any member thereof from a sidewalk, street, alleyway, licensed open-air parking lot or from any adjoining or neighboring premises.
- EXTERIOR OF THE PREMISES
- Those portions of a building which are exposed to public view and the open space of any premises outside of any building erected thereon.
- FIRE HAZARD (see also NUISANCE)
- Anything or any act which increases or may cause an increase of the hazard or menace of fire to a greater degree than that customarily recognized as normal by persons in the public service of preventing, suppressing or extinguishing fire, or which may obstruct, delay or hinder or may become the cause of an obstruction, a delay, a hazard or a hindrance to the prevention, suppression or extinguishment of fire.
- GARBAGE (see also REFUSE and RUBBISH)
- Putrescible animal and vegetable waste resulting from the handling, preparation, cooking and consumption of food.
- The presence of insects, rodents, vermin or other pests on the premises which constitute a health hazard.
- (1) Any public nuisance known at common law or in equity jurisprudence or as provided by the statutes of the State of New Jersey or the ordinances of the Borough of Pemberton.
- (2) Any attractive nuisance which may prove detrimental to the health or safety of children, whether in a building, on the premises of a building or upon an unoccupied lot. This includes but is not limited to abandoned wells, shafts, basements, excavations, abandoned iceboxes, refrigerators, motor vehicles, any structurally unsound fences or structures, lumber, trash, fences, debris or vegetation such as poison ivy, oak or sumac, which may prove a hazard for inquisitive minors.
- (3) Physical conditions dangerous to human life or detrimental to health of persons on or near the premises where the conditions exist.
- (4) Insufficient ventilation or illumination in violation of this chapter.
- (5) Inadequate or unsanitary sewage or plumbing facilities in violation of Borough ordinances.
- (6) Unsanitary conditions or anything offensive to the senses or dangerous to health in violation of this chapter.
- (7) Whatever renders air, food or drink unwholesome or detrimental to health of human beings.
- (8) Fire hazards.
- Any person living or sleeping in, occupying or having actual possession of a premises or a part thereof.
- Any person who has charge, care or control of a premises or part thereof, whether with or without the knowledge and consent of the owner.
- Shall include the title holder, any agent of the title holder having authority to act with respect to a vacant property, any foreclosing entity subject to the provisions of N.J.S.A. 46:10B-51 (P.L. 2008, c. 127, Sec. 17 as amended by P.L. 2009, c, 296), or any other entity determined by the Borough of Pemberton to have authority to act with respect to the property, or any person who, alone or jointly or severally with others, shall have legal or equitable title to any premises, with or without accompanying actual possession thereof, or shall have charge, care or control of any dwelling or dwelling unit as owner or agent of the owner or as fiduciary, including but not limited to executor, executrix, administrator, administratrix, trustee, receiver or guardian of the estate, or as a mortgagee in possession regardless of how such possession was obtained. Any person who is a lessee subletting or reassigning any part or all of any dwelling or dwelling unit shall be deemed to be a co-owner with the lessor and/or assigned by said lessee.
- A lot, plot or parcel of land, including the buildings or structures thereon.
- REFUSE (see also GARBAGE and RUBBISH)
- All putrescible and nonputrescible solid wastes (except body wastes), including but not limited to garbage, rubbish, ashes, street cleanings, dead animals, abandoned automobiles and solid market and industrial wastes.
- RUBBISH (see also GARBAGE and REFUSE)
- Nonputrescible solid wastes consisting of both combustible and noncombustible wastes, such as paper, wrappings, cigarettes, tin cans, yard clippings, leaves, wood, grass, bedding, crockery and similar materials.
- A combination of any materials, whether fixed or portable, forming a construction, including buildings.
- VACANT PROPERTY
- Any building used or to be used as a residence which is not legally occupied or at which substantially all lawful construction operations or residential occupancy has ceased, and which is in such condition that it cannot legally be reoccupied without repair or rehabilitation, including but not limited to any property meeting the definition of abandoned property in N.J.S.A. 55:19-80; provided, however, that any property where all building systems are in working order, where the building and grounds are maintained in good order, or where the building is in habitable condition, and where the building is being actively marketed by its owner for sale or rental, shall not be deemed a vacant property for purposes of the chapter.
- Deterioration, decay or damage caused by exposure to the elements.
Word usage. Whenever the words "accessory structure," "building," "dwelling," "premises" and "structure" are used in this chapter, they shall be construed, unless expressly stated to the contrary, to include the plurals of these words and as if they were followed by the words "or any part thereof." The word "shall" shall be applied retroactively as well as prospectively.
Effective immediately after passage and publication of this chapter required by law, the owner of any vacant property as defined herein shall, within 30 calendar days after the building becomes vacant property or within 30 calendar days after assuming ownership of the vacant property, whichever is later; or with 10 calendar days of receipt of notice by the municipality, file a registration statement for such vacant property with the Property Maintenance Inspector on forms provided by the Borough for such purposes. Failure to receive notice by the municipality shall not constitute grounds for failing to register the property.
Each property having a separate block and lot number as designated in official records of the municipality shall be registered separately.
The registration statement shall include the name, street address, telephone number, and email address of a person 21 years or older, designated by the owner or owners as the authorized agent for receiving notices of code violations and for receiving process in any court proceeding or administrative enforcement proceeding on behalf of such owner or owners in connection with the enforcement of any applicable code; and the name, street address, telephone number, and email address of the firm and the actual name(s) of the firms individual principal(s) responsible for maintaining the property. The individual or representative of the firm responsible for maintaining the property shall be available by telephone or in person on a twenty-four-hour per day, seven-day per week basis. The two entities may be the same or different persons. Both entities shown on the statement must maintain offices in the state of New Jersey or reside within the state of New Jersey.
The registration shall remain valid for one year from the date of registration except for the initial registration time which shall be prorated through December 31. The owner shall be required to renew the registration annually as long as the building remains a vacant property and shall pay a registration or renewal fee in the amount prescribed in § 152-5, for each vacant property registered.
The annual renewal shall be completed by January 1 of each year. The initial registration fee shall be prorated for registration statements received less than 10 months prior to that date.
The owner shall notify the Clerk within 30 calendar days of any change in the registration information by filing an amended registration statement on a form provided by the Clerk for such purpose.
The registration statement shall be deemed prima facie proof of the statements therein contained in any administrative enforcement proceeding or court proceeding instituted by the Borough against the owner or owner of the building.
The owner of any vacant property registered under this chapter shall provide access to the Borough to conduct exterior and interior inspections of the building to determine compliance with municipal codes, upon reasonable notice to the property owner or the designated agent. Such inspections shall be carried out Monday through Thursday during the hours of 9:00 a.m. and 4:00 p.m., or such other time as may be mutually agreed upon between the owner and the Borough.
An owner who meets the requirements of this chapter with respect to the location of his or her residence or workplace in the State of New Jersey may designate him or herself as agent or as the individual responsible for maintaining the property.
By designating an authorized agent under the provisions of this section, the owner consents to receive any and all notices of code violations concerning the registered vacant property and all process in any court proceeding or administrative enforcement proceeding brought to enforce code provisions concerning the registered building by service of the notice or process on the authorized agent. Any owner who has designated an authorized agent under the provisions of this section shall be deemed to consent to the continuation of the agent's designation for the purposes of this section until the owner notifies the Borough of Pemberton in writing of a change of authorized agent or until the owner files a new annual registration statement.
Any owner who fails to register vacant property under the provisions of this chapter shall further be deemed to consent to receive, by posting on the building, in plain view, and by service of notice at the last known address of the owner of the property on record with the Borough of Pemberton by regular and certified mail, any and all notice of code violations and all process in an administrative proceeding brought to enforce code provisions concerning the building.
The initial registration fee for each building shall be $500. The fee for the first renewal is $1,500, and the fee for the second renewal is $3,000. The fee for any subsequent renewals beyond the second renewal is $5,000.
The owner of any building that has become vacant property, and any person maintaining or operating or collecting rent for any such building that has become vacant shall, within 30 days thereof:
Enclose and secure the building against unauthorized entry as provided in the applicable provisions of the Borough Code, or as set forth in the rules and regulations supplementing those codes; and
Post a sign affixed to the building indicating the name, address and telephone number of the owner, the owner's authorized agent for the purpose of service of process, and the person responsible for the day-to-day supervision and management of the building, if such person is different from the owner holding title or authorized agent. The sign shall be of a size and placed in such a location so as to be legible from the nearest public street or sidewalk, whichever is nearer, but shall be no smaller than eight inches by 10 inches; and
Secure the building from unauthorized entry and maintain the sign until the building is again legally occupied or demolished or until repair of rehabilitation of the building is complete; and
Ensure that the exterior grounds of the structure, including yards, fences, sidewalks, walkways, rights-of-way, alleys, retaining walls, attached or unattached accessory structures and driveways, are well-maintained and free from trash, debris, loose litter, and grass and weed growth; and
Continue to maintain the structure in a secure and closed condition, keep the grounds in a clean and well-maintained condition and ensure the sign is visible and intact until the building is again occupied, demolished, or until repair and/or rehabilitation of the building is complete.
Any person who violates any provision of this chapter or of the rules and regulations issued hereunder shall be fined not less than $100 and not more than $1,000 for each offense. Every day that a violation continues shall constitute a separate and distinct offense. Fines assessed under this chapter shall be recoverable from the owner and shall be a lien on the property.
For purposes of this section, failure to file a registration statement within 30 calendar days after a building becomes vacant property or with 30 calendar days after assuming ownership of a vacant property, whichever is later, or within 10 calendar days of receipt of notice by the municipality, and failure to provide correct information on the registration statement, or failure to comply with the provisions of such provisions contained herein shall be deemed to be in violation of this chapter.