[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Somerville 12-21-87 as Ord. No. 1036. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The purposes of this chapter shall be to require the clear display of buildings numbers to public streets for all properties that contain principal buildings within the Borough of Somerville in order to assist the general public and the authorities in identifying any property in case of an emergency, as well as for the welfare of the general public in conducting their normal affairs.
There is hereby established a uniform system for numbering buildings along all streets, avenues and public and private ways in the Borough of Somerville. The Borough Engineer shall prepare a Building Number Map by superimposing upon the Assessment Map of the Borough of Somerville numbers for every lot in the Borough of Somerville pursuant to the following standards:
Existing numbers. Notwithstanding any other provision of this chapter, the Borough Engineer shall attempt, to the extent possible consistent with the maintenance of the orderly progression of street numbers, to assign to lots on which there are existing structures the numbers which they are now using.
New numbers. All building numbers for new subdivisions and lots created by redivisions shall be consistent and uniform with existing numbers in the immediate area, as determined by the Borough Engineer. Building numbers shall progress from the corner of Main Street and Bridge Street as follows:
East from Bridge Street for all streets running east-west, with all odd numbers on the north side and even numbers on the south side.
West from Bridge Street for all streets running east-west, with odd numbers on the south side and even numbers on the north side.
North from Main Street for all streets running north and south, with odd numbers on the west side and even numbers on the east side.
South from Main Street for all streets running north and south, with even numbers on the west side and odd numbers on the east side.
After the Building Number Map has been prepared by the Borough Engineer pursuant to § 115-2 above and approved by resolution of the Mayor and Council, it shall be maintained in the office of the Construction Official. Upon any subdivision or resubdivision of land in the Borough of Somerville resulting in a lot or lots other than those delineated on said map, the Borough Engineer shall assign a building number to each lot resulting from said subdivision or resubdivision, which shall be in proper numerical sequence in relation to the numbers assigned to other lots fronting on the same street, and he shall record it on the Building Number Map. Copies of the map and any changes thereto shall be filed with the Police Chief, Fire Chief, Assessor, Tax Collector and the Borough Engineer of the Borough of Somerville.
Whenever any house, building or structure shall be erected or located in the Borough of Somerville after the passage of this chapter and in order to preserve the continuity and uniformity of numbers of the houses, buildings or structures, it shall be the duty of the owner to ascertain the correct number or numbers, as designated by the Building Number Map, from the Construction Official for said property and to immediately fasten said number or numbers so assigned upon said building as provided by this chapter.
No permit shall be issued for any house, building or structure until the owner has ascertained the official number of the proposed or existing building from the Construction Official.
Final approval of any structure erected, repaired, altered or modified after the effective date of this chapter shall be withheld by the Construction Official until permanent and proper numbers have been fixed to said structure.
Any person having a number different from that officially assigned shall be deemed to be in violation of this chapter.
After approval of the Building Number Map, the Construction Official shall notify by certified mail, all owners of buildings which do not display a number or which display an incorrect number that they must bring their buildings into conformity with this chapter within six (6) months of the date of the notice unless relief is granted pursuant to § 115-8 of this chapter.
The owner, occupant or agent of an owner or occupant shall place or cause to be displayed upon each house or building controlled by him the number or numbers assigned to the lot upon which it is located by the Building Number Map provided for in $ 115-2 of this chapter.
The numbers used shall be Arabic, not less than three (3) inches in height and should be made of durable and clearly visible material; the numbers shall be legible and maintained in good order at all times. Numbers written in script may supplement this requirement but shall not be a substitute for compliance.
The numbers shall be conspicuously placed on the building facade parallel to the street, immediately above or within ten (10) feet of either side of the main entrance to the building or over the garage door or a lawn sign so that the number can be plainly read from the center line of the street in daylight by a person possessing at least 20/20 vision.
If the number would not be visible due to the orientation, setback or other features of the building or site if it were displayed as provided above, then the number shall be placed near the walk, driveway or entrance to such building and upon a gatepost or fence, as to be easily discernible from the center line of the street. Such a display shall be at least within fifteen (15) feet of the curbline. The bottom of such a display shall be no less than thirty (30) inches above the level of the ground, nor shall the top of such display be more than six (6) feet above the ground.
All numbers posted pursuant to this chapter shall be of reflective material or of sufficient visual contrast to the background material to be easily discernible at night with the aid of an emergency vehicle spotlight.
Where any building has more than one (1) entrance serving separate occupants, a separate number shall be assigned to each entrance serving a separate occupant.
Where only one (1) number can be assigned to any one (1) house or building, the suffix (a), (b), (c), et cetera, as may be required, shall be used to designate each separate entrance serving a separate occupant.
Where any building or complex of buildings is so constructed that all separate entrances serving separate occupants and the numbers assigned to them are not clearly visible from the center line of the street, then the number for each separate entrance shall be placed near the walk or driveway from the street to such separate entrance and upon a gate, post, fence or other appropriate place so as to be easily visible from the center line of the street. The height limitations on such a display shall be the same as those provided in § 115-6D above.
The owner, occupant or agent of an owner or occupant may, within twenty (20) days of the assignment of a number as hereinabove provided in § 115-3 and § 115-5 of this chapter, object to the number assigned to his property by filing a written notice of objection with the Construction Official. Such notice shall specify the reasons for the objection and the number which is desired for the property in question.
The Construction Official shall convene within twenty (20) days of the receipt of the written notice of objection pursuant to Subsection A above a meeting of the Appeal Board, created herein, consisting of the Borough Engineer, the Fire Chief, the Police Chief, the Borough Administrator or their designated representatives and the Construction Official and shall notify the person who has filed the notice of objection at least five (5) days in advance of the time and place of the meeting of the Appeal Board.
The objector shall be permitted to be present at the Appeal Board to present his position, but such attendance is not mandatory. The Appeal Board shall permit an appellant to continue to use an existing number as long as the appellant shall continue to own, occupy to own or occupy the premises in question and provided that the existing number shall not duplicate the number assigned by the Building Number Map to another premises and actually used at the location.
An electronic record of the Appeal Board's deliberations shall be maintained by the Construction Official, and the decision on the objection shall be set forth in written form, approved by a majority of those voting, which decision shall set forth findings of fact made by the officials and the reasons for the decision. Three (3) members shall constitute a quorum for said Board. A copy of said decision shall be mailed certified, return receipt, to the person filing the notice of objection within ten (10) days of the decision.
The person filing the objection may request a review of the decision by the Mayor and Council. Said request shall be in writing and shall be presented to the Borough Clerk, with a copy to the Construction Official, within five (5) days of the receipt by the person filing the notice of objection of a copy of the decision setting forth the decision made pursuant to Subsection D above. Said notice of appeal shall state the reasons why the objector believes the decision of the Appeal Board to be in error. The review by the Mayor and Council shall be based solely upon the record before said Board. No additional testimony or oral argument shall be permitted at the time of this review by the Mayor and Council. The decision of the Mayor and Council shall be in the form of a resolution passed at a public meeting within forty (40) days of the filing of the appeal.
This chapter shall be enforced by the Construction Official of the Borough of Somerville, who is empowered to order, in writing, the remedying of any condition found to exist in violation of any provision of this chapter. The owner or agent of a building or premises, if a violation of any provisions of this chapter shall have been committed or shall exist, or the lessee or tenant of any part of the buildings or premises in which such violations shall have been committed or shall exist or the agent, architect, builder, contractor or any other person who shall commit, take part or assist in any violation or who shall maintain any building or premises in which any violation of this chapter shall exist or the persons so violating the same who refuse to correct said violations within one (1) month after written notice has been mailed to them shall, for each and every violation of the provisions of this chapter, be subject to a maximum fine of not more than five hundred dollars ($500) and a minimum fine of zero dollars ($0) for each day of violation, plus costs. Each and every day that such violation continues after said notice as hereinabove prescribed shall be considered a separate and specific violation of this chapter. This chapter shall be enforced by the Board Engineer, Borough Police Department, Borough Fire Inspector, Zoning Officer and/or the Construction Code Official.
It is hereby directed that house numbers as provided for by this chapter shall be installed and such numbers shall be used within six (6) months of the date of final approval of the Building Number Map.