[HISTORY: Adopted by the Common Council of the City of Corbin City 9-11-1972 by Ord. No. 45-1972. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The City of Corbin City hereby declares and finds that there exists in the municipality a building or buildings or parts thereof which are unfit for human habitation or occupancy or use due to dilapidation, defects increasing the hazards of fire, accident or other calamities, lack of ventilation, light or sanitary facilities, or due to other conditions rendering such building or buildings or part thereof unsafe or insanitary or dangerous or detrimental to the health or safety or otherwise inimical to the welfare of the residents of the municipality; and the City of Corbin City desires to exercise the powers set forth in N.J.S.A. 40:48-2.3 et seq. and the several supplements and amendments thereto.
[Amended 10-8-1979 by Ord. No. 11-79; 6-14-1999 by Ord. No. 3-1999]
The Zoning and Code Enforcement Officer, or other public official appointed, from time to time, by resolution of the Council, is hereby designated as the Public Officer to exercise the powers prescribed by this chapter.
Whenever a petition is filed with the public officer by a public authority or by at least five residents of the municipality, charging that any building is unfit for human habitation or occupancy or use, or whenever it appears to the public officer (on his own motion) that any building is unfit for human habitation or occupancy or use, or otherwise unfit as defined by § 35-4, the public officer shall, if his preliminary investigation discloses a basis for such charges, issue and cause to be served upon the owner of and parties in interest in such buildings a complaint stating the charges in that respect and containing a notice that a hearing will be held before the public officer (or his designated agent) at a place therein fixed not less than 10 days nor more than 30 days after the serving of said complaint, that the owner and parties in interest shall be given the right to file an answer to the complaint and to appear in person or otherwise and give testimony at the place and time fixed in the complaint, and that the rules of evidence prevailing in the courts shall not be controlling in hearings before the public officer.
If after such notice and hearing, the public officer determines that the building, buildings or parts thereof are unfit for human habitation or occupancy or use, he shall state in writing his findings of fact in support of such determination and shall issue and cause to be served upon the owner thereof and parties in interest an order.
Requiring the repair, alteration or improvement of said building, buildings or part thereof to be made by the owner within a reasonable time, which time shall be set forth in the order, or, at the option of the owner, to vacate or have the said building vacated and closed within the time set forth in the order; and
If the building, buildings or parts thereof are in such a condition as to make it dangerous to the health and safety of persons on or near the premises and the owner fails to repair, alter or improve the said building, buildings or parts thereof within the time specified in the order, then the owner shall be required to remove or demolish the said building, buildings or parts thereof within a reasonable time as specified in said order of removal.
If the owner fails to comply with an order to repair, alter or improve or, at the option of the owner, to vacate and close the building, the public officer may cause such building to be repaired, altered or improved or to be vacated and closed, the public officer may cause to be posted on the main entrance of any building so closed a placard with the following words: "This building is unfit for human habitation or occupancy or use; the use or occupancy of this building is prohibited and unlawful." It shall be unlawful for any person to own, have, keep, maintain, or live in any building on which there has been posted a placard as herein provided for, or to remove or cause the removal or cause the removal of any such posted placard.
If the owner fails to comply with an order to remove or demolish the building, the public officer may cause such building, buildings or parts thereof to be removed or demolished or may contract for the removal or demolition thereof after advertisement for and receipt of bids therefor.
The amount of the cost of filing of legal papers, expert witnesses' fees, search fees and advertising charges incurred in the course of any proceeding taken under this chapter determined in favor of the municipality, and such cost of repairs, alterations or improvements, or vacating and closing, or removal or demolition, if any, or the amount of balance thereof remaining after deduction of the sum, if any, realized from the sale of materials derived from such building or from any contract for removal or demolition thereof, shall be a municipal lien against the real property upon which such was incurred. If the building is removed or demolished by the public officer, he shall sell the materials of such building. There shall be credited against the cost of the removal or demolition thereof the proceeds of any sale of such materials or any sum derived from any contract for the removal or demolition of the building. If there are no such credits or if the total sum of such costs exceeds the total of such credits, a detailed statement of the aforesaid costs and the amount so due shall be filed with the Municipal Tax Assessor or other custodian of the records of tax liens and a copy thereof shall be forwarded to the owner by registered mail. If the total credits exceed such costs, the balance remaining shall be deposited in the Superior Court by the public officer, shall be secured in such manner as may be directed by such Court, and shall be disbursed according to the order or judgment of the Court to the persons found to be entitled thereto by final order or judgment of such Court; provided, however, that nothing in this section shall be construed to impair or limit in any way the power of the municipality to define and declare nuisances and to cause their removal or abatement, by summary proceedings or otherwise. Any owner or party in interest may, within 60 days from the date of the filing of the lien certificate, proceed in a summary manner in the Superior Court to contest the reasonableness of the amount or accuracy of the costs set forth in the municipal lien certificate.
The said public officer may determine that a building, buildings or parts thereof are unfit for human habitation or occupancy or use if he finds that conditions exist in such building, buildings or parts thereof which are dangerous or injurious to the health or safety of the occupants of such building, buildings or parts thereof, the occupants of neighboring buildings or other residents of the City of Corbin City. Without limiting the generality of the foregoing, such conditions may include the following: defects therein increasing the hazards of fire, accident or other calamities; lack of adequate ventilation, light or sanitary facilities; dilapidation; disrepair, structural defects; uncleanliness.
It shall be unlawful for any person to have, keep, use or maintain a building that is unfit for human habitation, occupancy or use or which is dangerous or injurious to the health or safety of the occupants of said building or other occupants of neighboring buildings or other residents or people of or in the City of Corbin City as specified in this section.
Complaints or orders issued by the public officer pursuant to the provisions of this chapter shall be served upon persons either personally or by registered mail, but if such persons' whereabouts is unknown and the same cannot be ascertained by the public officer in the exercise of reasonable diligence, and the public officer shall make an affidavit to that effect, then the serving of such complaints or orders upon such persons may be made by publishing the same once each week for two successive weeks in a newspaper circulated in the City of Corbin City. A copy of such complaint or order shall be posted in a conspicuous place on the premises affected by the complaint or order. A copy of such complaint or order shall be duly recorded or lodged for record with the Clerk of Atlantic County.
The said public officer is hereby authorized to exercise such powers as may be necessary or convenient to carry out and effectuate the purposes and provisions of this chapter, including the following powers in addition to the other powers herein:
To investigate the building conditions in the City of Corbin City in order to determine which buildings therein are unfit for human habitation or occupancy or use.
To administer oaths, affirmations, examine witnesses and receive evidence.
To enter upon premises for the purpose of making examinations; provided that such entries shall be made in such manner as to cause the least inconvenience to the persons in possession.
To appoint and fix the duties of such officers, agents and employees as he deems necessary to carry out the purposes of this chapter.
To delegate any of his functions and powers under this chapter to such officers and agents as he may designate.
Any repair, alteration, improvement, removal or demolition as above provided, may be performed by the municipality, through its proper officials or employees, or the municipality may contract with any person to render such service on behalf of the municipality, under its control and direction and pursuant to specifications showing in detail the service to be rendered and to rules and regulations adopted by the governing body for the same and upon ample security for proper performance being given to the municipality. The procedure to be followed in adopting any such contract shall be in accordance with N.J.S.A. 40:48-5. The municipality may recover the cost thereof from the said owner by action at law, which action shall be in addition to any other remedy provided for by this chapter and shall not make void any lien upon real estate provided for by this chapter nor prevent the imposition of any penalty imposed for violation of this chapter or any ordinance of this municipality.
Nothing in this chapter shall be construed to abrogate or impair the powers of any officer of the City of Corbin City to enforce any provisions of its chapter or other statute or its ordinances or regulations, nor to prevent or punish violations thereof; and the powers conferred by this chapter shall be in addition and supplemental to the powers conferred by any other ordinance of the City of Corbin City.
The following terms, whenever used or referred to in this chapter, shall have the following respective meanings for the purposes of this chapter unless a different meaning clearly appears from the context:
- Any building or structure or part thereof, whether used for human habitation or otherwise, and included any outhouses and appurtenances belonging thereto or usually enjoyed therewith.
- GOVERNING BODY
- The Common Council of the City of Corbin City charged with governing the municipality.
- The holder or holders of the title in fee simple.
- PARTIES IN INTEREST
- All individuals, associations and corporations who have interests of record in a building and any who are in actual possession thereof.
- PUBLIC AUTHORITY
- Any housing authority or any officer who is in charge of any department or branch of the government of the City of Corbin City, County of Atlantic or State of New Jersey relating to health, fire, building regulations or to other activities concerning buildings in the City of Corbin City.
- PUBLIC OFFICER
- The officer or officers who are authorized by this chapter to exercise the powers prescribed by this chapter.
Any person violating any of the provisions of this chapter declared to be unlawful shall, upon conviction in the Municipal Court, be subject to the penalties as provided in Chapter 103 of these ordinances.