Township of Roxbury, NJ
Morris County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Editor's Note: For provisions regarding smoke detectors in single-family, two-family or multi-family dwellings, see section 10-9 "Smoke Detectors" in Chapter X, Fire Prevention.
a. 
There is hereby established in the Township of Roxbury a State Uniform Construction Code enforcing agency to be known as the Roxbury Township Uniform Construction Code Enforcing Agency, consisting of a construction official, building subcode official, plumbing subcode official, electrical subcode official, fire protection subcode official, and such other subcode officials for such additional subcodes as the Commissioner of the Department of Community Affairs, State of New Jersey, shall hereafter adopt as part of the State Uniform Construction Code. The construction official shall be the chief administrator of the enforcing agency.
b. 
Each official position created in paragraph a. shall be filled by a person qualified for such position pursuant to P.L. 1975, C. 217 as amended and N.J.A.C. 5:23; provided that, in lieu of any particular subcode official, an on-site inspection agency may be retained by contract pursuant to N.J.A.C. 5:23. More than one such official position may be held by the same person; provided that such person is qualified pursuant to P.L. 1975, C. 217 and N.J.A.C. 5:23 to hold each such position.
c. 
The public shall have the right to do business with the enforcing agency at one office location except for emergencies, and unforeseen or unavoidable circumstances.
The fee for a construction permit shall be the sum of the subcode and/or administrative and miscellaneous fees listed hereof and shall be paid before the permit is issued. For Construction Fee Schedule see Chapter XXIV, section 24-3.
No person shall be charged a construction permit fee, permit surcharge fee or enforcing agency fee for any construction, reconstruction, alteration or improvement designed and undertaken solely to promote accessibility by disabled persons to an existing public or private structure or any of the facilities contained therein. Further, a disabled person, or a parent or a sibling of a disabled person, shall not be required to pay any municipal fee or charge in order to secure a construction permit for any construction, reconstruction, alteration or improvement which promotes accessibility to his own living unit.
For the purpose of applying this provision, the definition of a "disabled person" offered in the Uniform Construction Code Act (N.J.S.A. 52:27D-126e) shall govern.
The following fire limits are established pursuant to N.J.A.C. 5:23. All those areas lying within commercial and industrial districts as set forth in the zoning ordinance and shown on the zoning map of the township are hereby designated as being within the fire limits.
The construction official shall prepare and submit to the township committee biannually, a report re-evaluating the delineation of the fire limits. This report shall indicate the recommendations of the construction official, the building subcode official, and fire subcode official, regarding those areas which should be designated as within fire limits, with the reasons therefor.
This section shall take effect on January 1, 1977.
All ordinances or parts of ordinances inconsistent with this section are hereby repealed to the extent of such inconsistencies.
The health officer of the township or his representative as authorized by the board of health of the township, is hereby designated as the officer to exercise the powers prescribed by this chapter, and he shall serve in such capacity without any additional salary.
Pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 21, P.L. 1946 (N.J.S.A. 40:49-5. 1) the "New Jersey State Housing Code." as approved by the Departments of Health and Conservation and Economic Development and filed in the secretary of state's office is hereby accepted, adopted and established as a 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 section and three copies of the code have been placed on file in the office of the township clerk and are available to all persons desiring to use and examine the same.
The health officer, or his representative as authorized by the board of health of the township is hereby authorized and directed to make inspections to determine the condition of dwellings, dwelling units, rooming units, and premises located within the township in order that he may perform his 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 health officer, or his representative, is, subject to law, hereby authorized to enter, examine and survey at all reasonable times, all dwellings, dwelling units, rooming units and premises. The owner or occupant of every dwelling, dwelling unit and rooming unit, or the person in charge thereof, shall give the health officer or his representative 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 section or with any lawful rule or regulation adopted or any lawful order issued pursuant to the provisions of this section.
Whenever the health officer or his representative determines that there are reasonable grounds to believe that there has been a violation of any provision of this section, or of any rule or regulation adopted pursuant thereto, he shall give notice of the alleged violation to the person or persons responsible as hereinafter provided. Such notice shall:
a. 
Be put in writing.
b. 
Include a statement of the reasons why it is being issued.
c. 
Allow a reasonable time for the performance of any act it requires.
d. 
Be served upon the owner or his agent, or the occupant, as the case may require; provided that the notice shall be deemed to be properly served upon the owner or agent, or upon the occupant, if a copy is served upon him personally, or if a copy is sent by registered mail to his last known address, or if a copy is posted in a conspicuous place in or about the dwelling affected by the notice, or if he is served with notice by any other method authorized or required under the laws of this State.
The notice may contain an outline of remedial action which, if taken will effect compliance with the provisions of this section and with 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 section, or of any rule or regulation adopted pursuant thereto, may request and shall be granted a hearing on the matter before the board of health of the township, provided such person shall file in the office of the board of health a written petition requesting the hearing and setting forth a brief statement of the grounds therefor within ten days after the day the notice was served. Upon receipt of the petition, the board of health shall set a time and place for the hearing and shall give the petitioner written notice thereof. At the hearing the petitioner shall be given an opportunity to be heard and to show why the notice should be modified or withdrawn. The hearing shall be commenced not later than ten days after the day on which the petition was filed; provided, that upon application of the petitioner, the board of health may postpone the date of the hearing for a reasonable time beyond the ten day period, if in its judgment the petitioner has submitted a good and sufficient reason for the postponement.
After the hearing, the board of health shall sustain, modify or withdraw the notice, depending upon its findings as to whether the provisions of this section and of the rules and regulations adopted pursuant thereto have been complied with. If the board of health sustains or modifies the notice, it shall be deemed to be an order. Any notice served pursuant to this section shall automatically become an order if a written petition for a hearing is not filed in the office of the board of health within ten days after the notice is served.
The proceedings at such hearing, including the findings and decision of the board of health, shall be summarized, reduced to writing and entered as a matter of public record in the office of the board of health. The record shall also include a copy of every notice or order issued in connection with the matter.
Any person aggrieved by the decision of the board of health may seek relief therefrom in any court of competent jurisdiction, as provided by the laws of the State.
Whenever the health officer or his representative finds that an emergency exists which requires immediate action to protect the public health, or safety, he 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 section, the order shall be effective immediately. Any person to whom such an order is directed shall comply therewith immediately, but upon petition to the board of health, shall be afforded a hearing as soon as possible. After such hearing, depending upon its findings as to whether the provisions of this section and of the rules and regulations adopted pursuant thereto have been complied with, the board of health shall continue such order in effect, or modify or revoke it.
The health officer of the township is hereby authorized and empowered to make and adopt such written rules and regulations as he may deem necessary for the proper enforcement of the provisions of this section; provided, however, that such rules and regulations shall not be in conflict with the provisions of this section, nor in anywise alter, amend or supersede any of the provisions thereof. The health officer shall file a certified copy of all rules and regulations which he may adopt in his office and in the office of the clerk of the township.
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.
[1]
Editor's Note: Prior ordinance history includes portions of Ordinance No. 10/14/65.
The following terms, whenever used or referred to in this section. shall have the following respective meanings for the purposes hereof, unless a different meaning clearly appears from the context:
BUILDING
shall mean any building or structure, or part thereof. Whether used for human habitation or otherwise, including any outhouses and appurtenances belonging thereto or usually enjoyed therewith.
DIRECTOR
shall mean the director of rehabilitation appointed hereinafter, who shall be charged with the enforcement of this ordinance.
GOVERNING BODY
shall mean the Township Council of the Township of Roxbury.
OWNER
shall mean the holder or holders of the title in fee simple.
PARTIES IN INTEREST
shall mean all individuals, associations and corporations who have interests of record in a building and any who are in actual possession thereof.
PUBLIC AUTHORITY
shall mean any housing authority or any official who is in charge of any department or branch of the government of the Township of Roxbury, relating to health, fire, building regulations or to other activities concerning buildings in the Township of Roxbury.
Pursuant to N.J.S. 48:2-3 et al., whenever it shall be found that there exists in the Township of Roxbury buildings which are unfit for human habitation or occupancy or use due to dilapidation, disrepair, structural defects increasing the hazards of fire, accidents or other calamities, lack of adequate ventilation, light or sanitary facilities, or due to other conditions rendering such buildings unsafe or unsanitary and dangerous or detrimental to the health or safety or otherwise inimical to the welfare of the residents, the director shall, upon the filing of a petition by a public authority, or by at least five residents of the Township of Roxbury. charging that any building is unfit for human habitation or occupancy or use, or if it shall appear to such director, on his own motion, that any building is unfit for human habitation or occupancy or use, make a preliminary investigation or cause such preliminary investigation to be made concerning the basis for such charges.
a. 
Buildings shall be considered unfit for human habitation or occupancy or use, within the meaning of subsection 9-3.2 hereof, when one or more of the following conditions are found to exist:
1. 
Condition of structure. The condition of the structure is such as to make it unsafe or unsanitary through the presence of serious safety hazards resulting from the need for major repairs to roof, walls, ceiling, floors or stairs, or through the presence of serious health hazards resulting from continuous dampness or exposure brought about by neglect or dilapidation.
2. 
Water supply. Lack of potable running water within each dwelling or lack of hot water facilities available to each dwelling.
3. 
Sewerage system. No connection between plumbing fixtures and adequate sewage disposal system.
4. 
Toilet facilities. No flush toilet, fit for use, in each building.
5. 
Bath facilities. No bathtub or shower, fit for use, in each dwelling.
6. 
Kitchen facilities. Lack of permanent, safe and reasonably efficient kitchen facilities within each dwelling unit, including sink with running water and provisions for a cooking stove.
7. 
Lighting facilities. Building inadequately wired for electricity.
8. 
Heating facilities. Heating facilities inadequate or unsafe.
9. 
Light and ventilation. Living room, bedroom or kitchen with no windows or with windows opening on an airshaft, or toilet or bathroom without adequate ventilation.
b. 
The generality of the condition rendering a building unfit for human habitation or occupancy or use, specified in subsection 9-3.2 hereof, shall not be deemed in anywise limited by the foregoing specifications of conditions.
If a preliminary investigation shall disclose to the said director a basis for the charges filed, he shall issue and cause to be served upon the owner of any parties in interest in such building a complaint stating the charges in that respect. The said complaint shall also contain a notice that a hearing will be held before him at a place therein fixed not less than seven days nor more than 30 days after the serving of said complaint. The complaint shall be served pursuant to subsection 9-3.12 of this section.
The owner and parties in interest shall have the right to file an answer to the complaint and to appear in person, by counsel, or otherwise, and give testimony at the time and place fixed in the complaint.
The rules of evidence prevailing in courts of law or equity shall not be controlling in a hearing before the director.
The director may determine that a building is unfit for human habitation or occupancy or use if he finds that conditions exist in such building which are dangerous or injurious to the health or safety of the occupants of such building, the occupants of neighboring buildings or other residents of the Township of Roxbury. Such conditions may include, without limiting the generality of the foregoing, defects increasing the hazards of fire, accidents or other calamities; lack of adequate ventilation, light or sanitary facilities; dilapidation; disrepair; structural defects: uncleanliness; and the conditions set forth in subsection 9-3.2 and 9-3.3 of this section.
When, after such notice and hearing, the director determines that the building under consideration is 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 the parties in interest, an order, as follows:
a. 
Requiring the repair, alteration or improvement of the building to be made by the owner, within a reasonable time, which shall in no event exceed 90 days from the order, 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.
b. 
If the building is in such condition as to make it dangerous to the health and safety of the persons on or near the premises and the owner fails to repair, alter or improve the said building within the time specified in the order, then the owner shall be required to remove or demolish the said building within a reasonable time to be specified in the said order.
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 director may cause such building to be repaired, altered or improved, or to be vacated and closed. The director shall 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."
If the owner fails to comply with an order to remove or demolish the building, the director may cause such building to be removed or demolished or may contract for the removal or demolition thereof after advertisement and after receipt of bids therefor.
The amount of the cost of such repairs. alterations or improvements, or vacating and closing, or removal of demolition, when done by the director, shall be a municipal lien against the real property upon which such cost was incurred. In addition, the costs of filing legal papers, expert witnesses' fees, search fees and advertising charges, incurred in the course of any proceeding taken under this ordinance determined in favor of the Township of Roxbury shall be a lien against the real property upon which such cost(s) was incurred. If the building is removed or demolished by the director he shall sell the materials of such building and shall credit the proceeds of such sale against the cost of the removal or demolition, and any balance remaining shall be deposited in the Superior Court of New Jersey, Chancery Division, by the director, shall be secured in such manner as may be directed by such court and shall be disbursed by such court to the persons found to be entitled thereto by final order or decree 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 proceeding or otherwise.
Complaint or orders issued by the director, pursuant to this section, shall be served upon persons either personally or by registered mail, but if the whereabouts of such persons is unknown and the same cannot be ascertained by the director in the exercise of reasonable diligence, and the director shall make an affidavit to that effect, then the serving of such complaint or order upon such persons may be made by publishing same once in newspaper printed and published in the Township of Roxbury or circulating in said township. 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 Moms County.
Any person affected by an order issued by the director may petition the Chancery Division. Superior Court, for relief in accordance with Chapter 112, P.L. 1942, R.S. Cum Supp. 40:48-2.3 et seq.
The remedies herein provided shall be exclusive remedies, and no person affected by an order of the director shall be entitled to recover any damage for action taken pursuant to any order of the director or because of noncompliance by such person with any order of the director.
In addition to the powers herein granted to the director, he shall also have the following powers:
a. 
To investigate the building conditions in the Township of Roxbury in order to determine which buildings therein are fit for human habitation or occupancy or use.
b. 
To administer oaths, affirmations, examine witnesses and receive evidence.
c. 
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 possible inconvenience to the persons in possession.
Nothing in this section shall be construed to abrogate or impair the powers of the court, or of any department to enforce any provisions of its charter or its Ordinances or regulations, nor to prevent or punish violations thereof; and the powers conferred by this section shall be in addition and supplemental to the powers conferred by any other law or Ordinance.
For the enforcement of provisions of this section, the office of rehabilitation director is hereby created, and appointment to the office shall be by the mayor and council for such term or terms and with such compensation as it may fix. The construction official may also serve as the rehabilitation director.
Every building which shall have been damaged by fire or other cause so as to be dangerous by reason of the bad condition of walls, floors, construction or otherwise shall be held to be unsafe, and the director, besides proceeding as hereinabove provided, shall also fix a notice of the dangerous character of the structure to a conspicuous place on the exterior of the building.
Any person convicted of a violation of any of the provisions hereof or who unlawfully removes any notice affixed to any building, or refuses to vacate any building, structure or premises or part thereof when lawfully ordered to vacate the same, shall, upon conviction, be subject to a fine of not more than one thousand ($1,000.00) dollars or imprisonment for not more than 90 days or a period of community service not to exceed 90 days. or any combination thereof.
The imposition of the fine or imprisonment for a violation of this section shall not be construed as in any manner affecting the enforcement of the other provisions hereof.
If any provision of this section or the application thereof to any person or circumstances is held invalid, the remainder of this section shall not be affected thereby and shall remain in full force and effect.
[1]
Editor's Note: Prior ordinances codified herein include portions of Ordinance No. 10/14/65.
The owners or occupants of each dwelling, store or other building within the township shall, at their own expense, cause the same to be properly numbered in accordance with this section. Nothing contained in this section shall be construed as an intention by the township to accept any street, or to assume any responsibility for the maintenance of any street.
The numbers shall be in figures, a minimum of three inches, mounted in a secure fashion to the front wall of the building or to the porch or other fixed appurtenance in front of the building, in the general vicinity of the main entry way or main path of travel which leads to the main entrance from the public street, or otherwise separately mounted upon the face of a wall or upon a post in the front yard of the premises. The numbers shall be placed so that trees, shrubs and other obstructions do not block the line of sight of the number from the center of the street or main traveled way to any appreciable degree. The numbers shall be of material and color so as to provide the greatest contrast with the background to which they are affixed. The numbers shall not be located on any doors which may be obscured for part of the year by a storm door nor on any door which may, from time to time, stand open. The numbers shall not be figured in a style the elements of which might tend to confuse their interpretation.
For nonresidential units located within lots where more than one unit requires numbering, where there is public or private access to the unit other than from the main entrance, each additional access to the unit shall bear the identification number of the unit as well as the name of the business that occupies the unit. All numbering shall be three inches in height and located consistent with this section. Lettering for the name of the business shall be no less than one inch in height and shall be located upon the access door or in its immediate vicinity so as to identify the access door as belonging to that particular unit.
Numbers shall be in accordance with the numbers assigned to the properties by the tax assessor of the Township of Roxbury and as appear on the records of the tax assessor's office. The final authority for determination of numbers to be used upon any particular property shall be the township tax assessor.
The provisions of this section shall be enforced by the Roxbury Township Police Department, the construction code official, the zoning officer and any other enforcement agency or individual designated by the township manager.
Any person who violates any provisions of this section shall be liable to a fine not to exceed one thousand ($1,000.00) dollars or imprisonment for not longer than 90 days or community service for not longer than 90 days or any combination of the above: provided, however, that the total term of community service and imprisonment shall not exceed 90 days. Failure to comply with the provisions of this section respecting any separate property within the township shall constitute a separate offense.
[Ord. No. 14-2016]
As used in this Section, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ABANDONED PROPERTY
As defined in accordance with the Abandoned Properties Rehabilitation Act, N.J.S.A. 55:19-78, et seq., shall mean the following:
a. 
Except as provided in section 6 of P.L. 2003, c. 210 (N.J.S.A. 55:19-83), any property that has not been legally occupied for a period of six months and which meets any one of the following additional criteria may be deemed to be abandoned property upon a determination by the Zoning Officer that:
1. 
The property is in need of rehabilitation in the reasonable judgment of the zoning officer, and no rehabilitation has taken place during that six-month period;
2. 
Construction was initiated on the property and was discontinued prior to completion, leaving the building unsuitable for occupancy, and no construction has taken place for at least six months as of the date of a determination by the Zoning Officer pursuant to this section;
3. 
At least one installment of property tax remains unpaid and delinquent on that property in accordance with Chapter 4 of Title 54 of the Revised Statutes as of the date of a determination by the Zoning Officer pursuant to this section; or
4. 
The property has been determined to be a nuisance by the Zoning Officer in accordance with Section 5 of P.L. 2003, c. 210 (N.J.S.A. 55:19-82).
b. 
A property which contains both residential and nonresidential space may be considered abandoned pursuant to P.L. 2003, c. 210 (N.J.S.A. 55:19-78 et al.) so long as two-thirds or more of the total net square footage of the building was previously legally occupied as residential space and none of the residential space has been legally occupied for at least six months at the time of the determination of abandonment by the Zoning Officer and the property meets the criteria of either paragraphs a1 or a4 above.
EVIDENCE OF VACANCY
Any condition that on its own, or combined with other conditions present would lead a reasonable person to believe that the property is or has been vacant for three (3) or more months. Such evidence would include but is not limited to, evidence of the existence of two or more of the following conditions at a property: overgrown or dead vegetation; accumulation of newspapers, circulars, flyers or mail; past due utility notices or disconnected utilities; accumulation of trash, junk or debris; the absence of window coverings such as curtains, blinds or shutters; the absence of furnishings or personal items consistent with residential habitation; statements by neighbors, delivery agents, or government employees that the property is vacant or abandoned; infestation by insects, vermin, rats or other pests; windows or entrances that are boarded up or closed off; multiple window panes that are damaged, broken or unrepaired; doors that are smashed, broken, unhinged or continuously unlocked; a risk to the health, safety or welfare of the public, or any adjoining or adjacent property owners, exists due to acts of vandalism, loitering, criminal conduct, or the physical destruction or deterioration of the property; or any uncorrected violation of a municipal building, housing or similar code during the preceding year. Property determined to be "abandoned property" in accordance with the meaning of such term in the Abandoned Properties Rehabilitation Act, N.J.S.A. 55:19-78, et seq, shall also be deemed to be vacant property for the purposes of this ordinance.
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 C. 46:10B-51 (P.L. 2008, c. 127, Sec. 17), or any other entity determined by the Township of Roxbury to have authority to act with respect to the property.
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 for a period of at least three months, and any nonresidential property that has not been legally occupied or at which substantially all lawful construction operations have ceased for a period of at least three months, and which exhibits evidence of vacancy such that a reasonable person would believe that the property is vacant. Any property that contains all building systems in working order, is being maintained on a regular basis, has not been cited by the Township for any violation of municipal ordinance within such time and is being actively marketed by its owner for sale or rental shall not be deemed vacant.
[Ord. No. 14-2016]
a. 
The owner of any vacant property, as defined herein, shall within 30 days after the building becomes vacant property or within 30 days after assuming ownership of the vacant property, whichever is later, file a registration statement for each such vacant property with the Township of Roxbury Clerk on forms provided by the Clerk for such purposes, as well as any additional information that the Clerk may reasonably request. The registration shall remain valid until the end of the calendar year. The owner shall be required to renew the registration annually, no later than January 31 as long as the building remains vacant property and shall pay a registration or renewal fee as set forth in subsection 14-1.4 of this section.
b. 
Any owner of any building that meets the definition of vacant property prior to the date of adoption of this ordinance shall file a registration statement for that property within sixty (60) days of the adoption of this ordinance (adopted by Ord. No. 14-2016 on October 4, 2016). The registration statement shall include the information required under subsection 14-1.3 as well as any additional information that the Township may reasonably require.
c. 
The owner shall notify the Clerk within 30 days of any change in the registration information by filing an amended registration statement on a form provided by the Clerk for such purpose.
d. 
The registration statement shall be deemed prima facie proof of the information therein contained in any administrative enforcement proceeding or court proceeding instituted by the Township of Roxbury against the owner or owners of the property.
[Ord. No. 14-2016]
a. 
After filing a registration statement or a renewal of a registration statement, the owner of any vacant property shall provide the Township of Roxbury Zoning Officer with access to the property, following reasonable notice, during the period covered by the initial registration or any subsequent renewal.
b. 
The registration statement shall include the name, street address, and telephone number of a natural person 21 years of age 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. The designated agent must have a contact number that will be available 24 hours per day on an emergency basis. The statement shall also include the name of the person responsible for maintaining and securing the property, if different from the designated agent.
c. 
An owner who is a natural person and who meets the requirements of this section as to availability of a contact number on a 24-hour emergency basis may designate him or herself as agent.
d. 
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 purpose of this section until the owner notifies the Township of Roxbury of a change of the authorized agent or until the owner files a new annual registration statement. The designation of an authorized agent in no way releases the owner from any requirement of this chapter.
[Ord. No. 14-2016]
The registration fee for each building that has become vacant or abandoned shall be as follows: $250.00 for the first year the property is vacant, $500.00 the second year, and $1,000.00 each year thereafter.
[Ord. No. 14-2016]
a. 
The owner of any building that has become vacant or abandoned property, and any person maintaining, operating or collecting rent for any such building that has become vacant, shall immediately post a sign affixed to the inside of the building indicating the name, address and telephone number of the owner, the owner's authorized agent for the purpose of service of process (if designated pursuant to subsection 9-5.3), 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, to the extent possible, from the nearest public street or sidewalk, whichever is nearer, but shall be no smaller than 15" x 17".
b. 
Basic Equipment and Facilities. Every abandoned or vacant residential or nonresidential property must comply with the following minimum standards for basic equipment and facilities:
1. 
Plumbing. All plumbing fixtures shall be properly installed and be in sound condition and good repair. The property shall be winterized, by the cessation of water service to the property, and the draining of water lines.
2. 
Electricity. Every existing outlet and fixture shall be properly connected. Wiring and service lines shall be maintained in good and safe working condition.
3. 
Heating plant. The heating plant shall be maintained in a safe condition.
4. 
Cooking equipment. All cooking equipment shall be maintained in a safe condition.
5. 
Electrical and gas utility services shall be discontinued until the property is again legally occupied or demolished, or until repair or rehabilitation of the property is complete.
c. 
Storage and Boarding Up of Building.
1. 
No room within any vacant or abandoned property shall be used for storage of junk, rubbish or wastes, furniture or building materials not intended to be used in the existing property.
2. 
The boarding up of doors and windows shall not be permitted except with the permission of the zoning officer in emergency situations. When doors and windows are boarded up, they shall be covered with no less than one-half-inch exterior plywood or equivalent.
3. 
Buildings on vacant properties shall be secured against unauthorized entry until the building is again legally occupied or demolished, or until repair or rehabilitation of the property is complete.
d. 
Safe and Sanitary Maintenance. All abandoned or vacant properties shall comply with the following minimum standards for safe and sanitary maintenance:
1. 
Every foundation, exterior wall or exterior roof shall be weathertight, watertight and rodent-proof, shall be kept in sound condition and good repair and shall be safe to use and capable of supporting the load which normal use may cause to be placed thereon.
2. 
Every floor, interior wall and ceiling shall be substantially rodent-proof, shall be kept in sound condition and good repair and shall be safe to use and capable of supporting the load which normal use may cause to be placed thereon.
3. 
Every window, exterior door and basement or cellar door and hatchway shall be weathertight, watertight, rodent-proof and locked and shall be kept in sound condition and good repair.
4. 
Every inside and outside stair, porch and any appurtenance thereto shall be safe to use and capable of supporting the load that normal use may cause to be placed thereon and shall be kept in sound condition and good repair.
5. 
Every yard shall be properly graded so as to prevent the accumulation of stagnant water.
6. 
There shall be a controlled method of disposing of water from roofs by use of gutters and downspouts, which shall be installed and maintained in sound condition, free of leaks and obstructions.
7. 
Every dwelling's cellar, basement and crawl space shall be maintained from excessive dampness and leakage.
8. 
The exterior of every structure or accessory structure shall be maintained free of broken windows, loose shingles, crumbling stone or brick or excess peeling paint.
9. 
The exterior of the premises and the condition of accessory structures shall be maintained so that the appearance of the premises and all buildings thereof shall reflect a level of maintenance in keeping with the standards of the neighborhood and such that the appearance of the premises and structures shall not constitute a blighting factor for adjoining property owners nor an element leading to the progressive deterioration and downgrading of the neighborhood with the accompanying diminution of property values.
e. 
Further Responsibilities of Owners. All owners of abandoned or vacant buildings shall be required to comply with the following standards:
1. 
Any yard area (front, side and rear) adjacent to an abandoned or vacant building shall be cleared and maintained free of trash, solid debris or any other materials that cause litter to accumulate to unhealthy and blighting proportions. The storage of abandoned cars, trailers, boats, materials, or equipment, is prohibited.
2. 
Grass and weeds shall not be permitted to grow or remain on the side, front and/or rear yards of any abandoned or vacant building so as to exceed a height of 10 inches.
3. 
Abandoned or vacant buildings shall not be utilized for storage of any hazardous materials, whether solid or liquid, including the yard portion of that building.
4. 
When a vacant dwelling is found to be infested with rats, termites, roaches and/or any other insects and vermin, the owner shall undertake an expedient means of extermination of such nuisances.
5. 
All doors and/or lids on appliances, on furniture utilized for storage or on heating furnaces shall be locked in order to deny entry to an individual where the potential for physical harm or death may result should said door or lid close and prevent the individual's escape.
6. 
Provision shall be made for the cessation of the delivery of mail, newspapers and circulars to the property.
f. 
The standards and requirements of this subsection shall apply as long as any dwelling remains vacant or abandoned. Upon occupancy, the other appropriate subsections of this section shall prevail.
[Ord. No. 14-2016]
a. 
The Township Council may issue rules and regulations for the administration of the provisions of this section.
b. 
The provisions of this section shall be enforced by the Zoning Officer or such officials designated by the Township Manager.
[Ord. No. 14-2016]
a. 
Any owner who is not in full compliance with subsections 9-5.2 through 9-5.5 or who otherwise violates any provision of these subsections or of the rules and regulations issued hereunder shall be subject to a fine of not less than $100.00 dollars and not more than $2,000.00 for each offense. Every day that a violation continues shall constitute a separate and distinct offense. Fines assessed under this section shall be recoverable from the owner and shall be a lien on the property.
b. 
For purposes of this section, failure to file a registration statement in time, failure to provide correct information on the registration statement, failure to comply with the provisions of subsection 9-5.3, or such other matters as may be established by the rules and regulations of the Township Council of the Township of Roxbury shall be deemed to be a violation of this section.
[Ord. No. 14-2016]
Nothing in this section is intended to nor shall be read to conflict or prevent the Township of Roxbury from taking action against buildings found to be unfit for human habitation or unsafe structures as provided in applicable provisions of the Township's Revised General Ordinances and/or the Uniform Construction Code. Further, any action taken under any such Code provision other than the demolition of a structure shall not relieve an owner from its obligations under this section.
[Ord. No. 14-2016]
The intent of subsections 9-5.10 through 9-5.15 is to provide for the enforcement of Township property maintenance standards and the State Housing Code against vacant properties pending foreclosure, and to provide for responsibility on the part of foreclosing creditors for the care, maintenance, security and upkeep of residential properties.
[Ord. No. 14-2016]
a. 
A creditor serving a summons and complaint in an action to foreclose on a mortgage on property located with the Township of Roxbury shall serve the Township Clerk with a notice indicating that a summons and complaint in an action to foreclose on a mortgage has been filed against the subject property. The notice may contain information about more than one property and shall be provided by mail or electronic communication at the discretion of the Township Clerk.
b. 
The notice shall be served within 10 days of service of a summons and complaint in an action to foreclose on a mortgage against the subject property.
c. 
Any creditor that has initiated a foreclosure proceeding on any residential property which is pending in Superior Court, and has not previously provided notice to the Township Clerk, shall provide to the Township Clerk with a notice as described below for all residential properties in the Township for which the creditor has pending foreclosure actions within 60 days of the adoption of this ordinance (adopted by Ord. No. 14-2016 on October 4, 2016).
d. 
The notice shall contain:
1. 
The name and contact information for the representative of the creditor who is responsible for receiving complaints of property maintenance and code violations;
2. 
Whether the property being foreclosed on is an affordable unit pursuant to the "Fair Housing Act";
3. 
The street address, lot and block number of the property; and
4. 
The full name and contact information of an individual located within the State authorized to accept service on behalf of the creditor.
5. 
In the event the creditor that has served a summons and complaint in an action to foreclose on a residential property is located out-of-state, the notice shall also contain the full name and contact information of an in-state representative or agent who shall be responsible for the care, maintenance, security, and upkeep of the exterior of the property if it becomes vacant and abandoned.
[Ord. No. 14-2016]
a. 
Pursuant to the provisions of N.J.S.A. 40:48-2.12s and N.J.S.A. 46:10B-51, a creditor filing a summons and complaint to foreclose a lien on a residential property that is vacant and abandoned, whether the filing of the summons and complaint is made before or after the determination that the property is vacant and abandoned, shall be responsible for the care, maintenance, security, and upkeep of the exterior of the residential property. This obligation applies whether the determination that the property is vacant and abandoned is made by a Zoning Officer pursuant to the provisions of this Section or other applicable law.
[Ord. No. 14-2016]
a. 
The local zoning officer or other official designated by the Township Manager shall notify the creditor if:
1. 
The owner of a property vacates or abandons any property on which a foreclosure proceeding has been initiated or if a property is otherwise vacated subsequent to the filing of the summons and complaint, but prior to the vesting of title in any third party; and
2. 
If the property is found to be a nuisance or in violation of any applicable State or local code.
b. 
The creditor shall have the responsibility to abate the nuisance or correct the violation in the same manner and to the same extent as the title owner of the property, to such standard or specification as may be required by State law or by ordinance.
[Ord. No. 14-2016]
In the event of a violation of State law or a local ordinance, the Township shall serve the creditor with a notice that shall include a description of the condition(s) that gave rise to the violation and the State law or local ordinance that has been violated, and shall provide a period of not less than 30 days from the creditor's receipt of the notice for the creditor to remedy the violation, provided that in the event that the violation presents an imminent threat to public health and safety, the notice may, in the discretion of the Township, provide that the violation shall be remedied within 10 days of the creditor's receipt of the notice.
[Ord. No. 14-2016]
If the Township expends public funds in order to abate a nuisance or correct a violation at a property in which the creditor was given notice pursuant to the provisions of subsection 9-5.13, but failed to abate the nuisance or correct the violation as directed, the Township shall have the same recourse against the creditor as it would have had against the title owner of the property, including but not limited to the recourse provided at N.J.S.A. 55:19-100.
[Ord. No. 14-2016]
a. 
An out-of-State creditor subject to this section found by the municipal court, or by any other court of competent jurisdiction, to be in violation of the requirement to appoint an in-State representative or agent pursuant to this section shall be subject to a fine of $2,500 for each day of the violation. Any fines imposed on a creditor for the failure to appoint an in-State representative or agent shall commence on the day after the 10-day period set forth in paragraph (1) of subsection a. of Section 17 of P.L. 2008, c. 127 (N.J.S.A. 46:10B-51) and subsection 9-5.11 for providing notice to the Township Clerk that a summons and complaint in an action to foreclose on a mortgage has been served.
b. 
A creditor subject to this section found by the municipal court, or by any other court of competent jurisdiction, to be in violation of the requirement to correct a care, maintenance, security, or upkeep violation cited in a notice issued pursuant to this section shall be subject to a fine of $1,500 for each day of the violation. Any fines imposed pursuant to this paragraph shall commence 31 days following receipt of the notice, except if the violation presents an imminent risk to public health and safety, in which case any fines shall commence 11 days following receipt of the notice.
No insurance company authorized to issue fire insurance policies in the State of New Jersey shall pay to a claimant any claim in excess of two thousand five hundred ($2,500.00) dollars for fire damages on any real property located within the Township of Roxbury pursuant to any fire insurance policy issued or renewed after the adoption of this section with the State Commissioner of Insurance, until such time as:
a. 
All demolition costs, taxes, assessments and all other municipal liens or charges due and payable appearing on the official certificate of search for municipal liens pursuant to N.J.S.A. 54:5-12 shall have been paid either by the owner of such real property or by the insurance company; or
b. 
The municipality submits to the insurance company a copy of a resolution adopted pursuant to subsection 9-6.2 of this section; provided, however, that if an appeal is taken on the amount of any lien or charge, other than an appeal on the assessed valuation of real property pursuant to N.J.S.A. 54:3-21, the insurance company shall withhold 75 percent of the full amount of the lien or charge being contested pending termination of all proceedings.
a. 
The Township Council of the Township of Roxbury may by resolution enter into an agreement with the owner of any fire-damaged property situated in the Township of Roxbury to pay in full all delinquent taxes, assessments or other municipal liens by installments pursuant to N.J.S.A. 54:5-19 or for the redemption of a tax sale lien by installment payments pursuant to Article 7 of Chapter 5 of Title 54 of the Revised Statutes of New Jersey, if the township council is satisfied that the claim for fire damages is to be used to restore or improve the fire-damaged property.
b. 
In the event of such a resolution, a certified copy of said resolution shall be sent to the insurance company authorizing the insurance company to make full payment on the claim to the insured.
Notwithstanding the provision of subsection 9-6.1 of this section an insurance company may pay proceeds of a fire insurance policy to a mortgagee of fire-damaged real property where the fire insurance policy at the time of the loss listed the mortgagee as a named insured; provided that said payment may not be in an amount which exceeds that due and payable to the mortgagee under the mortgage contract.