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Township of Hope, NJ
Warren County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
Editor's Note: Prior ordinance history includes portions of 1978 Code §§ 4-101 — 4-110, 4-201 — 4-211, 4-301 — 4-304 and Ordinance Nos. 90-13, 92-05 and 92-09. The Township of Hope entered into an agreement with the County of Warren for plumbing subcode services. See Ordinance No. 2000-10 on file in the Office of the Township Clerk.
[Ord. #98-09]
It is the intent and purpose of this Chapter to establish in the Township of Hope a New Jersey Uniform Construction Code enforcing agency in accordance with the provisions of the State Uniform Construction Code Act, N.J.S.A. 52:27D-119 et seq. and the implementing regulations of the Department of Community Affairs as set forth in N.J.A.C. 5:23 and N.J.A.C. 5:23A, as such statutes and regulations may be amended from time to time.
[1]
Editor's Note: Former Section 8-2 Definitions containing Ordinance No. 98-09 was deleted by Ord. No. 2017-02.
[Ord. No. 2017-02 § 1]
The Township of Hope, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 51:27D et seq. and N.J.A.C. 5:23-4.3, hereby relinquishes its jurisdiction of the administration and enforcement of the Uniform Construction Code and hereby transfers jurisdiction for the administration and enforcement of the Uniform Construction Code to the Department of Community Affairs of the State of New Jersey. The transfer of jurisdiction pursuant to this section shall not take effect until the expiration of 120 calendar days from the date a certified copy of this section is forwarded to the Department of Community Affairs or until the Department of Community Affairs shall exercise its jurisdiction to enforce the Uniform Construction Code, whichever is sooner.
[Ord. No. 2017-02 § 1]
The Township of Hope shall deliver or make available to the Department of Community Affairs any and all records and files of the municipality necessary for the Department to carry out its function, and the Department is hereby authorized to transfer such records and files to a location designated by the Department.
[Ord. No. 98-09; Ord. No. 2017-02 § 2]
All appeals from any action taken by the Department of Community Affairs or any agent including, but not limited to, decisions relating to the issuance of construction permit, a certificate of occupancy, a certificate of approval, and/or the establishment of any fee shall be made to the Warren County Construction Board of Appeals pursuant to applicable rules and regulations pertaining to such appeals.
[1978 Code § 4-201; Ord. #99-08, § I]
The Township Committee has heretofore found that there exist buildings that are so old, dilapidated or have become so out of repair to become dangerous, unsafe, unsanitary, or otherwise unfit for human habitation, or occupancy, or use, so as to be inimical to the welfare, dangerous and injurious to the health and safety of the citizens of the Township of Hope.
Therefore be it ordained by the Township Committee of the Township of Hope, pursuant to the provisions of N.J.S.A. 40:48-2,3 and 40:48-2.13, as follows.
[1978 Code § 4-202; Ord. #99-08, § I; Ord. No. 2017-02 § 3]
As used in this section:
a. 
BUILDING – Shall mean any building, or structure, or part thereof, whether used for human habitation or otherwise, and includes any outhouses, and appurtenances, belonging thereto or usually enjoyed therewith.
b. 
OWNER – Shall mean the holder or holders of the title in fee simple.
c. 
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.
d. 
PUBLIC OFFICER – Shall mean the Department of Community Affairs or its agent.
[1978 Code § 4-203; Ord. #99-08, § I]
The Public Officer, as hereinabove defined, is hereby designated to exercise the powers hereinafter prescribed by this section.
[1978 Code § 4-204; Ord. #99-08, § I]
Whenever a petition is filed with the Public Officer 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 that any building is unfit for human habitation or occupancy or use, 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 building a complaint stating the charges in that respect and containing a notice that:
a. 
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 the complaint.
b. 
The owner and parties in interest shall be given the right to file an answer to the complaint and to appear in person, through their attorney, or otherwise, and give testimony and present evidence at the place and time fixed in the complaint.
c. 
The rules of evidence prevailing in the courts shall not be controlling in hearings before the Public Officer.
[1978 Code § 4-205; Ord. #99-08, § I]
If, after such notice and hearing, the Public Officer 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 parties in interest an order:
a. 
Requiring the repair, alteration or improvement of the building 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 building vacated and closed within the times set forth in the order; and
b. 
If the building is 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 building within the time specified in the order, then the owner shall be required to remove or demolish the building within a reasonable time as specified in the order of removal.
[1978 Code § 4-206; Ord. #99-08, § I]
a. 
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, subject to Township Committee authorization, or to be vacated and closed and 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 occupation of this building is prohibited and unlawful."
b. 
If the owner fails to comply with an order to remove or demolish the building, the public officer may cause such building to be removed or demolished subject to authorization by the Township Committee.
[1978 Code § 4-207; Ord. #99-08, § I]
The amount of:
a. 
The cost of the filing of legal papers, expert witnesses' fees, search fees and advertising charges, incurred in the course of any proceeding taken under this act determined in favor of the municipality, and
b. 
Such cost of such repairs, alterations or improvements, or vacating and closing, or removal or demolition, if any, or the amount of the 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 cost 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, a detailed statement of the aforesaid costs and the amount so due shall be filed with the Tax Collector and a copy thereof shall be forthwith forwarded to the owner by certified mail. If the total of the 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 to such court, and shall be disbursed according to the order of 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 Township of Hope 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 the accuracy of the costs set forth in the municipal lien certificate.
[1978 Code § 4-208; Ord. #99-08, § I]
The Public Officer may determine that a building is unfit for human habitation or occupancy or use if he finds that conditions exist in such a building which are dangerous or injurious to the health or safety of the occupants of such buildings, the occupants of neighboring buildings or other residents of the Township of Hope. Such conditions may include, but shall not necessarily be limited to, 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.
[1978 Code § 4-209; Ord. #99-08, § I]
Complaints or orders issued by the Public Officer pursuant to this section shall be served upon persons either personally or by certified mail, but if the whereabouts of such persons 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 complaint or order upon such persons may be made by publishing the same once each week for two successive weeks in a newspaper printed and published in Warren County and circulated in the Township of Hope. A copy of such complaint or order shall be posted in a conspicuous place on premises affected by the complaint or order. A copy of such complaint or order shall be duly recorded with the Clerk of Warren County.
[1978 Code § 4-210; Ord. #99-08, § I]
Any person aggrieved by an order issued by the Public Officer under this section may, within 60 days after the posting and service of such order, bring an action for injunctive relief to restrain the Public Officer from carrying out the provisions of the order and for any other appropriate relief. The Court may proceed in the action in a summary manner or otherwise. The remedy herein provided shall be exclusive, and no person affected by an order of the Public Officer shall be entitled to recover any damages for action taken pursuant thereto, or because of noncompliance by any person with any order of the Public Officer.
[1978 Code § 4-211; Ord. #99-08, § I]
In addition to those powers hereinabove granted, the Public Officer may exercise such powers as may be necessary or convenient to carry out and effectuate the purposes and provisions of this section, including the following powers:
a. 
To investigate the building conditions in the Township of Hope in order to determine which buildings therein are unfit 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 examination; provided, that such entries shall be made in such manner as to cause the least possible inconvenience to the persons in possession;
d. 
To appoint and fix the duties of such officers, agents and employees as he deems necessary to carry out the purposes of this section; and
e. 
To delegate any of his functions and powers under this section to such officers and agents as he may designate.
[1]
Editor's Note: Prior ordinances codified herein include portions of 1978 Code §§ 4-301 - 4-304.
[Ord. #92-09, § 1; Ord. #99-08, § II]
This section shall be known as the "Hope Township Driveway Ordinance."
[Ord. #92-09, § 1; Ord. # 99-08, § II]
The purpose of this section is to control the access to lots and parcels of land lying in the Township of Hope and to assure that any access provided to such lots or parcels of land meets the minimum requirements hereinafter set forth to assure safe ingress and egress.
[Ord. #92-09, § 1; Ord. #99-08, § II]
The following definitions shall apply in the interpretation and enforcement of this section.
a. 
DRIVEWAY – Shall mean any point of access on a lot or parcel of land adjacent to any public road used for other than purely pedestrian access. The term "public road" is any road set forth in N.J.S.A. 40:55D-35.
b. 
ALTERED – Shall mean an existing point of access where present site distances are reduced more than 10% by changing the grade of the access within the first twenty-five (25') feet from the intersecting road.
c. 
DITCHES AND DRAINAGE WAYS – Shall mean any stream, watercourse, pond, swale, swamp, depression, ditch that shall be crossed during the construction of a driveway.
d. 
DRIVEWAY INSPECTION OFFICIAL – Shall mean an individual, qualified and duly appointed by the Township Committee on an annual basis to handle such duties as herein set forth.
[Ord. #92-09, § 1; Ord. # 99-08, § II]
No new driveway shall be constructed or existing driveway altered by any person, firm, partnership or corporation without obtaining a permit from the Township Driveway Inspecting Official. Field openings for access by farm vehicles only are exempt from this section.
[Ord. #92-09, § 1; Ord. #99-08, § II]
Any person wishing to construct a new driveway, or alter an existing driveway, shall file an application and plan with the Driveway Inspection Official. The submitted plan must be prepared by a licensed professional engineer or be approved in form by the Driveway Inspection Official and contain the following information:
a. 
The number of driveway openings requested.
b. 
The land use of the lot to which access is sought.
c. 
A plot plan delineating the following:
1. 
North arrow and scale of the plot.
2. 
Name of abutting road or street.
3. 
Location and distance from proposed access of the closest intersecting road.
4. 
Location of the proposed driveway with respect to nearest sideline of the subject lot.
5. 
The lot width of the subject lot.
6. 
The edge of the abutting road and type of road surface.
7. 
The edge of the right-of-way of the abutting road and culverts, utility poles, storm drain, swales and/or ditches within the right-of-way in front of the subject lot.
8. 
The location of any existing or proposed dwelling, garage or other accessory structure on the subject lot, and of any existing or proposed septic system or well if within fifty (50') feet of the proposed driveway.
9. 
The proposed surfacing material of the driveway.
10. 
Proposed storm drainage improvements, if any, in accordance with normal design standards. If grades are involved, topographical data must be included to support the required design criteria in subsection 8-5.6.
11. 
Sight distances and sight profiles in both directions.
12. 
The slope or grade of the proposed driveway from the edge of the road pavement for its entire length with profile of the road to a point at least forty (40') feet from the existing edge of pavement (scale no greater than 1" = 30').
[Ord. #92-09, § 1; Ord. #99-08, § II; Ord. #04-02]
All driveways shall be constructed or altered in accordance with the following minimum requirements:
Driveway dimensions shall be designed to adequately accommodate the volume and character of vehicles anticipated. The following criteria shall be utilized in determining curb return radii locations and site distances, subject to particular requirements as to circulation design:
a. 
Driveway Curve Return Radius:
Single Family Residential
05 feet min.
10 feet max.
Multiple Family
Single lane
10 feet min.
20 feet max.
Double lane
15 feet min.
25 feet max.
Commercial, Industrial, Office
15 feet min.
25 feet max.
b. 
Minimum Sight Distances. Any driveway providing access to a public or private street shall be so designed in profile and grading and shall be so located to permit the following minimum sight distances, measured in each direction, along the intersecting street. Measurement shall be made from the driver's seat of a vehicle setting on the exit driveway with the front of the vehicle a minimum of ten (10') feet behind the edge of the paved right-of-way, and with the height of the eye at three and seventy-five hundredths (3.75') feet to a top of the object four and five-tenths (4.5') feet above the pavement.
Maximum Allowable Speed on Street
Required Sight Distance (feet)
35 and under
250
40
300
45
350
50
400
c. 
Minimum distances between driveways — in all cases, a minimum clear distance of fifty (50') feet measured along the right-of-way line shall separate the closest of any two driveways.
d. 
Only one driveway access will be permitted on lots with widths of two hundred fifty (250') feet or less.
e. 
The beginning of the driveway shall have a grade of not more than 6% for a distance of twenty-five (25') feet from the edge of pavement (beginning of the driveway) and not more than 15% for any other portion of the driveway.
f. 
Where curbs exist, a full section of curb shall be entirely removed and depressed curb constructed in accordance with the New Jersey Department of Transportation, "Standards for Roads and Bridge Construction," 1983, as amended. Curb radii of existing curb shall not be broken or depressed. No driveway shall be located closer than fifty (50') feet from the end of the radius of an intersection.
g. 
Where concrete sidewalks exist or are proposed to be constructed as part of the project, a concrete ramp not less than six (6") inches in thickness shall be built connecting the inner edge of the depressed curb with the outer edge of the sidewalk.
h. 
In cases where drainage exists along the Township road, a reinforced concrete pipe of a size determined by the Rational method of runoff calculation shall be installed beneath the drive by the owner and inspected by the Township Engineer. If more than one driveway is constructed, a continuous storm drain pipe shall be installed between the driveways or connected to an intervening storm drainage system. If the proposed drainage pipe connects with an existing storm drainage system, a catch basin shall be constructed.
i. 
All construction within the Township right-of-way shall be in accordance with the New Jersey Department of Transportation "Standard Specifications for Road and Bridge Construction," 1983, amended.
j. 
The owner shall properly safeguard all work during construction and shall maintain sufficient warning lights or other such devices during the hours of darkness.
k. 
The work shall be so conducted that there will be no interference with the drainage or cross-section of the Township road, nor any structures over or under the road except as indicated in the approved plans.
l. 
The applicant shall make certain that all appropriate erosion control measures are adhered to during and after construction of the driveway.
m. 
That portion of any drive or driveway for a single-family dwelling within the first twenty-five (25') feet from the edge of pavement of the road shall be constructed of not less than six (6") inches when compacted, of gravel, Type II, Class B, and a wearing surface of bituminous concrete two (2") inches thick FABC-1 constructed on the gravel base.
n. 
Driveway construction details for other than single-family dwellings are as follows:
1. 
Six (6") inches gravel Type II Class B (compacted).
2. 
Four (4") inches stabilized base.
3. 
Two (2") inches top FABC-1.
o. 
Grass areas disturbed shall be restored to a stable condition in preparation for topsoiling and seeding. There shall be no evidence of stones, roots, debris or depressions and the surface shall be clean and even. The subgrade immediately prior to the application of topsoil shall be raked or otherwise loosened. The topsoil shall be applied over the surface in a uniform layer that will produce a thickness after compaction of approximately four (4") inches. Ground limestone fully protected from moisture, and free flowing, shall be evenly spread over the area to be seeded, at the rate of 40 pounds per thousand (1,000) square feet. This shall then be raked, diced or otherwise worked to incorporate the limestone into a minimum of three (3") inches soil depth. All foreign and unsuitable material shall be removed and the surface shall present an even appearance. For small seeded areas, asphaltic oil will not be required. The mulch shall be held in place by the use of netting, twine, lath or as directed by the Township Engineer. Where a stand of grass practically weed free is not established during this operation, the deficient areas shall be refertilized and reseeded as directed by the Township Engineer until a satisfactory growth of grass is established. All waste material and debris resulting from topsoiling, fertilizing and seeding shall be removed and disposed of in a proper manner.
p. 
The sidelines of proposed driveway shall be no closer than ten (10') feet from the property line.
q. 
All driveways constructed or modified shall have a minimum driving width of ten (10') feet.
r. 
All banks shall not exceed six (6') feet or side slopes exceed a ratio of three to one (3:1) without guide rail.
s. 
Where driveways are at a higher elevation than the street and where the driveway grade exceeds 8% at any point within two hundred fifty (250') feet of the public right-of-way, the following shall be performed:
1. 
The driveway shall be paved in accordance with subsection 8-5.6m.
2. 
The pavement shall extend from the right-of-way line to a point at which the grade is less than eight (8%) percent or for a two hundred fifty (250') foot distance, whichever is less.
3. 
The above payment shall be in addition to the required pavement for the first twenty-five (25') feet.
4. 
Where applicable, the applicant should submit a detail showing the above, including details of storm drainage system to control run-off.
t. 
Where driveways pass over culverts, said culverts shall extend at least five (5') feet beyond the edge of the driveway.
u. 
The Driveway Official or Township Engineer may impose such other construction requirements within the Township road right-of-way as the engineer deems appropriate in order to properly protect the traveling public and the Township road and drainage facilities.
v. 
A driveway must be located on each lot on which a single-family dwelling is constructed.
[Ord. #92-09, § 1; Ord. #99-08, §§ II—IV; Ord. No. 2017-02 § 4]
a. 
Prior to the construction, reconstruction or alteration of an entrance or exit drive into a Township road, the owner of the property or his duly authorized agent shall make application to the Township Driveway Official on forms provided by the Township of Hope, which application shall be accompanied by required fees and bond together with three copies of the plot plan of the property drawn to a scale not greater than one (1") inch equals thirty (30') feet.
b. 
The Driveway Official or the Township Engineer shall review the plans and application submitted pursuant to this section. A copy of the application shall be submitted to the Public Works Foreman/Director. In the event that the driveway does not meet the above standards, the Driveway Official or the Township Engineer shall modify the application to provide compliance with the standards or deny the driveway permit and refer the application to the Township Committee (subsection 8-5.10).
c. 
Upon review and approval of the design of the driveway construction plans, including approval by the Public Works Foreman/Director, the Driveway Official will issue a permit. The Driveway Official shall periodically inspect the premises during construction to insure compliance with the terms of the permit and shall endorse the road permit when all construction is completed in accordance with the approved plans. The Driveway Official shall notify the Township Road Supervisor of all driveways and other road openings that have been approved and provide a copy of the application, map and conditions of approval. The applicant shall provide a performance bond or cash in an amount required by this section to ensure that the improvements will be constructed in accordance with the plan approved by the Driveway Official. The cash or bond will be released upon the satisfactory completion of the improvements and after approval and recommendation by the Township Engineer or Driveway Official. No certificate of occupancy shall be issued until the Driveway Official and/or County Engineer's office has notified the Department of Community Affairs in writing that all improvements have been satisfactorily completed.
d. 
Driveways accessing County roads will require Township driveway permits in addition to the required County driveway permit, with the following modifications:
1. 
County standards will apply to that portion of the driveway within the County jurisdiction. Township standards will apply for the balance of the driveway.
2. 
No Township fees or deposits will be required for driveways accessing a County road provided applicable fees and deposits have been deposited with the County.
e. 
Prior to the issuance of the permit the applicant shall present satisfactory proof to the Driveway Official that he or she has notified the utility company of his or her intent to excavate.
f. 
If an applicant for subdivision or site plan approval can clearly demonstrate that, because of peculiar or unusual conditions pertaining to his or her land, the literal enforcement of one or more of these regulations is impracticable or will exact undue hardship, the approving board hearing the application may permit such minor deviation as may be responsible and within the general purpose and intent of these regulations and standards.
g. 
The owner shall save harmless in writing the Township of Hope, its officers and agents from and against any loss, injury or damage resulting from any negligence or fault of the owner or his agents in performance of the work covered by an approved permit.
[Ord. #92-09, § 1; Ord. #99-08, § II; Ord. #04-02]
Driveway permit fees shall be assessed against the applicant for the permit as follows:
a. 
An application fee in the amount of $150 shall accompany each driveway application.
b. 
A deposit in the minimum amount of $1,200 payable to Hope Township shall be posted with the Driveway Official by the applicant at the time the permit is issued. Said deposit shall be kept in an account by the Township and shall be returned to the applicant upon completion of the driveway in accordance with the provisions of this section, however, subject to any appropriate fee deduction by the Township.
[Ord. #92-09, § 1; Ord. #99-08, § II]
Any person or persons, firm or corporation violating any provision of this section, which results in damage to or obstruction of any public road, gutter, storm drain, ditch basin, inlet or culvert, shall be responsible for all expenses incurred by the Township in repairing said damage or removing said obstruction in addition to the penalty herein provided.
[Ord. #92-09, § 1; Ord. #99-08, § II]
Relief from any of the foregoing standards may be granted provided both the Township Engineer and the Township Driveway Inspection Official agree that it is not possible to conform to such standards and the proposed design is the best possible alternative. If neither the Driveway Official or Township Engineer agree, the Township Committee will evaluate the proposed design and render a decision.
[Ord. #92-09, § 1; Ord. #99-08, § II]
Any person, persons, firm or corporation violating any of the provisions of this section shall, upon conviction thereof, be subject to a fine not to exceed $1,000 at the discretion of the magistrate. Each and every day that a violation continues after notification thereof shall constitute an additional, separate and distinct violation.
[Ord. #98-09]
a. 
The general municipal fees, enforcing agency fees, State training fees and all other construction fees authorized to be charged by the Township shall be established from time to time by resolution of the Hope Township Committee and posted in the Hope Township Municipal Building according the New Jersey Uniform Construction Code regulations, N.J.A.C. 5:23, and any amendments thereto. Fees set forth herein shall be calculated to reasonably cover the municipal costs of enforcing the regulations of the New Jersey Uniform Construction Code. Fees other than flat, fixed fees shall be rounded to the nearest dollar.
b. 
Administrative Surcharge. The enforcing agency, when using private on-site inspection fees charged to the Township by a private on-site inspection and plan review agency, shall add to the fees charged to the Township by said agency an administrative surcharge of 15% of the relevant subcode areas for which the Township has a contract with an on-site agency.