Township of Pequannock, NJ
Morris County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Amended 4-24-2001 by Ord. No. 2001-02]
This chapter shall be known as the "Commercial Maintenance Code of the Township of Pequannock, County of Morris and State of New Jersey Fixing Minimum Standards Governing the Maintenance, Appearance and Condition of Commercial Property; Fixing Responsibilities and Duties upon Owners, Operators and Others; Authorizing and Establishing Procedures for the Inspection of Commercial Property and Fixing Penalties for Violations" and is referred to in this chapter in the short form as "this code."
[Amended 4-24-2001 by Ord. No. 2001-02]
The purpose of this code is to protect the public health, safety and welfare by establishing minimum standards governing the maintenance, appearance and condition of commercial premises and shopping centers; to fix responsibilities and duties upon owners, operators and occupants; to authorize and establish procedures for the inspection of commercial premises and shopping centers; to fix penalties for the violations of this code; and to provide for the right of access by the agents and employees of the Township to enforce compliance with the provisions hereof whenever necessary. This code is hereby declared to be remedial and essential for the public interest, and it is intended that this code be liberally construed to effectuate the purpose as stated herein.
[Amended 4-24-2001 by Ord. No. 2001-02]
The following terms, wherever used herein, shall have the following meanings, unless a different meaning clearly appears from the context:
COMMERCIAL PREMISES
A building or buildings or any part thereof, and the lot or tract upon which the building or buildings are situated, where commercial activity of any kind takes place. "Commercial activity" shall include, but is not limited to, gasoline service stations; stores for retail sales; liquor stores; taverns and inns; restaurants, including but not limited to drive-in restaurants, snack bars, hot dog, hamburger or ice cream stands; professional activities, including but not limited to, medical, dental, legal, architectural and accounting; personal services, including but not limited to, real estate, insurance, barber shops, hair dressers and repair shops of all kinds; and amusements, including but not limited to, movies, skating rinks, bowling alleys; whether part of a shopping area or not. "Commercial activity" shall not include sale of agricultural products produced on the premises.
EXTERIOR OF THE PREMISES
Those portions of a building that are exposed to public view and the open space of any premises outside of any building erected thereon.
HARBORAGE
Any condition, man-made or natural, which affords a breeding place or hiding place for rodents, insects or other pests.
INFESTATION
The presence of insects, rodents, vermin or other pests on the premises, which constitute a health hazard.
A. 
Any common law nuisance or as provided by the laws of the State of New Jersey or ordinance of the Township of Pequannock.
B. 
Any attractive nuisance which may prove detrimental to the health or safety of children, whether in a building or upon a lot. This includes, but is not limited to, any structurally unsound fences or structures, lumber, trash, fences, debris, or vegetation such as poison ivy, poison oak or poison sumac, which may prove a hazard for inquisitive minors.
C. 
Abandoned vehicles, trailers, carts, wagons, vessels or other things; any vehicle, trailer, cart, wagon, vessel or other thing which is inoperable, physically or by operation of law, or which remains outside in an unfenced area of premises which are not used or maintained for the sale of motor vehicles, trailers, campers or boats.
D. 
Any physical condition dangerous to human life or detrimental to the health of persons on or near the premises where the condition exists. This includes, but is not limited to, harborage, as defined above, existence or presence of any water or other liquid in which mosquito larvae breed or exist; any deposit or accumulation of trash, litter, garbage, refuse debris or any organic or inorganic matter which may attract flies and to which flies may have access, or in which fly larvae or pupae breed or exist; the existence, presence or maintenance of any brush, weeds, dead and dying trees, stumps, roots, limbs, obnoxious growth, filth, garbage trash, refuse and debris which is or may become a fire hazard or otherwise detrimental to the health, safety and welfare of persons; the existence or presence of any ragweed, poison ivy, poison sumac or other noxious growth of any kind; the presence, existence or maintenance of any holes, excavations, breaks, projections or obstructions; accumulations of ice, snow or water; and excretion of pets and other animals on paths, walks, driveways, parking lots and parking areas and other parts of the exterior of the premises which are intended for use by persons or which are accessible to and likely to be used by such persons.
E. 
The escape into open air from any stack, vent, chimney or any other entrance to the open air of such quantities of smoke, fly ash, dust, fumes, vapors, mists or gases which endanger or interfere with the health, safety and general welfare of persons, or the creation of excessive and noxious amounts of dust.
F. 
Any act or maintenance of any condition which causes or threatens pollution, as defined by the laws of the State of New Jersey, of any waters in this Township in such manner as to endanger the health, safety or general welfare of persons upon any premises within this Township.
G. 
Unsanitary conditions or anything unreasonably offensive to the senses or dangerous to health, in violation of this code.
H. 
Whatever renders air, water, food or drink unwholesome or detrimental to the health of human beings.
I. 
Fire hazards.
OCCUPANT
Any person having actual possession of the premises or any part thereof.
OPERATOR
Any person having charge, care or control of the premises or any part thereof, whether with or without the consent of the owner.
OWNER
Any person who, alone or jointly or severally with other, 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 premises as owner or as fiduciary, including but not limited to, executor, executrix, administrator, administratix, trustee, receiver, or guardian of the estate or as 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 premises shall be deemed to be a co-owner with the lessor and shall have joint responsibility over the portion of the premises subject or assigned by said lessee.
SHOPPING CENTER
One or more buildings or parts thereof designed or existing as a unit, occupied or to be occupied by one or more businesses for the conduct or retail sales, with parking space.
[Amended 4-24-2001 by Ord. No. 2001-02]
All commercial premises and shopping centers and any buildings situated thereon in the Township of Pequannock shall comply with the provisions of this code, whether or not such building shall have been constructed, altered or repaired before or after the enactment of this code. This code establishes minimum standards for the initial and continued occupancy and use of all such buildings and premises and does not replace or modify standards otherwise established for the construction, repair, alteration or use of such buildings or premises contained therein. Where there is a mixed occupancy with commercial and other uses on the same premises, all such uses shall be nevertheless regulated by and subject to the provisions of this code.
[Amended 4-24-2001 by Ord. No. 2001-02]
In any case where the provisions of this code impose a higher standard than is set forth in any other ordinances of the Township of Pequannock or under the laws of the State of New Jersey, then the standards as set forth therein shall prevail, but if the provisions of this code impose a lower standard than any other ordinances of the Township of Pequannock or the laws of the State of New Jersey, then the higher standard contained in any other such ordinance or law shall prevail.
[Amended 4-24-2001 by Ord. No. 2001-02]
Owners and operators shall have all the duties and responsibilities prescribed in this code, and no owner or operator shall be relieved from any such duty and responsibility nor be entitled to defend against any charge of violation thereof by reason of the fact that the occupant is also.
[Amended 4-24-2001 by Ord. No. 2001-02]
Occupants shall have all the duties and responsibilities as prescribed in 135.12, 135.13, 135.14, 135.15, 135.16 and 135.17 of this code, and the occupant shall not be relieved from any such duty and responsibility nor be entitled to defend against any charge or violation thereof by reason of the fact that the owner or operator is also responsible therefore and in violation thereof.
[Amended 4-24-2001 by Ord. No. 2001-02]
Upon discovery by an occupant of any condition of the premises, which constitutes a violation of this code by the owner or operator, the occupant shall report same to the Township Manager, who shall be responsible for enforcement of the provisions of this code.
[Amended 4-24-2001 by Ord. No. 2001-02]
Premises shall be landscaped, and lawns, trees, hedges and bushes shall be kept trimmed and alive. The front and side yards of all premises shall be maintained so that grass shall not exceed eight inches in height.
[Amended 4-24-2001 by Ord. No. 2001-02]
All signs and printed matter, and pictures or illustrations contained thereon, permitted by reasons of other regulations or as a lawful nonconforming use, shall be maintained, painted and in good repair.
[Amended 4-24-2001 by Ord. No. 2001-02]
The exterior of every structure or accessory structure (including fences, signs and store fronts) shall be maintained in good repair. All structural surfaces shall be maintained free of safety hazards, including but not limited to broken windows, loose and falling shingles, roofing or siding and crumbling and falling stone or brick, and fire hazards.
[Amended 4-24-2001 by Ord. No. 2001-02]
Every owner, operator and occupant shall have the duty and responsibility of providing sufficient and suitable receptacles with tight fitting covers for receiving and holding refuse and garbage; and the receptacles shall be maintained in a manner, with the cover in place so as to prevent the creation of a nuisance, and shall be kept in an enclosed space separate and apart from sidewalks and other pedestrian areas, except when set out for collection during the hours of a day scheduled for such collection.
[Amended 4-24-2001 by Ord. No. 2001-02]
The owner, operator and occupant shall maintain paths, walks, driveways, parking lots, parking areas and other parts of the premises, in good repair, free from safety hazards and unsanitary conditions, including but not limited to holes, excavations, breaks, projections, obstructions, ice, uncleared snow, litter, excretion of pets and other animals. All such holes and excavations shall be filled and repaired, and other conditions removed where necessary to eliminate hazards or unsanitary conditions with reasonable dispatch upon their discovery. It shall be the responsibility of the owner, operator and occupant to take reasonable steps to discover, remove and abate any hazards or unsanitary conditions, which may exist on the premises. Any sidewalk in need of replacement shall be replaced with a portland cement concrete sidewalk meeting present standards for new construction. No sidewalk replacement shall commence without the approval of the Township Manager or his designee.
[Amended 4-24-2001 by Ord. No. 2001-02]
All parts of the premises under the control of the occupant shall be kept in a clean and sanitary condition and performing any acts which would render other parts of the premises unclean or unsanitary or which would obstruct the owner or operator from performing any duty required hereunder or maintaining the premises in a clean and sanitary condition is prohibited.
[Amended 4-24-2001 by Ord. No. 2001-02]
Every owner, operator and occupant shall be responsible for the elimination of infestation in and on the premises subject to his control.
[Amended 4-24-2001 by Ord. No. 2001-02]
The exterior of the premises and all structures thereon shall be kept free from all nuisances and any hazards to the safety of occupants, pedestrians and other persons utilizing the premises and free from unsanitary conditions.
[Amended 4-24-2001 by Ord. No. 2001-02]
The owner and operator of every shopping center shall be responsible for providing and/or maintaining the following:
A. 
A fire lane.
B. 
Means of ingress and egress shall be clearly marked by signs.
C. 
A covered trash basket with at least a twenty-gallon capacity shall be provided for each 150 feet of store frontage in the shopping area. Such baskets may be placed in the walking or pedestrian area.
[Amended 4-24-2001 by Ord. No. 2001-02]
A. 
Outside storage or display or merchandise or equipment shall be forbidden. However, this section shall not apply to outside storage of motor vehicles, trailers, campers, boats or other similar merchandise held for retail sale. This section shall apply but not limited to storage of merchandise or equipment in trailers, motor vehicles, shacks, sheds or other outside containers.
B. 
Waiver of this provision may be applied for by written request to the Township Council and granted based on the size and kind of merchandise or equipment, duration and location of the outside storage and the purposes of this code.
[Amended 4-24-2001 by Ord. No. 2001-02]
All exterior building additions or renovations requiring the issuance of a building permit shall be completed within six months from the date the building permit is issued and all construction supplies shall be neatly stored during construction. The Construction Official may extend the period of time for completion if he is satisfied that the extent of the construction activity reasonably requires a period of time greater than six months to complete or that the property owner establishes a hardship or other good cause for extension.
[Amended 4-24-2001 by Ord. No. 2001-02]
This chapter may be enforced by any Township official or employee (the Enforcement Official") who shall be designated and directed by the Township Manager to address any particular violation(s) of this chapter. The Enforcement Official shall have the authority to issue a Notice of Violation and Abatement (the "Notice") directing the abatement of any violation of this chapter and specifying a time period for abating the violation. In the event the property owner has not provided the Township with a current address for service, the Notice may be posted upon the property. The failure to comply with the Notice shall constitute a violation of this chapter and the penalties, as set forth in Chapter 178 shall apply.
[Amended 4-24-2001 by Ord. No. 2001-02]
Where the violations or conditions existing on the premises are of such a nature as to constitute an immediate threat to life and limb unless abated without delay, the Enforcement Official may either cause the violation to be abated or order the owner, occupant or operator to correct the violation or condition within a period of time not to exceed three days. Upon failure to do so, the Enforcement Official may cause the condition to be abated subject to the provisions of 135.22 of this chapter. In addition, any other remedies set forth in other sections of the Pequannock Township Code shall be available.
[Amended 4-24-2001 by Ord. No. 2001-02]
The Township may abate a violation of this chapter when the Enforcement Official is unable to serve the Notice upon a property owner or when the property owner, after service of the Notice, fails to satisfactorily abate the violation. The Township may also abate a violation, without any prior notice, in an emergency situation as set forth in Section 135.21 of this chapter. If the Enforcement Official recommends that the Township abate a violation, the Enforcement Official shall submit a report of the findings and recommendations to the Township Council. The Township Council may thereupon, by resolution, authorize the abatement of the condition as may be necessary to put the premises in a condition so as to comply with the requirements of this code. The Township Council may also, by such resolution, authorize the expenditure of municipal funds and fix the amount to be used for such purpose.
Upon completion of the abatement the Enforcement Official shall submit a report of the monies expended to the Township Manager for presentation to the Township Council. After review of the report, the Township Council may approve the expenses and costs by resolution and thereupon, the stated amount of expenses and costs spent shall become a lien against the premises, collectible as provided by law in conformity with N.J.S.A. 40:48-2.14. A copy of the resolution approving the expenses and costs shall be certified by the Township Clerk and filed with the Tax Collector of the Township, who shall be responsible for the collection thereof; and a copy of the report and resolution shall be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the owner of the affected premises.