Borough of Sussex, NJ
Sussex County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Ord. 12/19/66, S12-101]
Two published building codes regulating the design, construction, alteration and demolition and moving of all buildings and structures, one being known as the "BOCA Abridged Building Code", Third Edition 1960 and the other known as the "BOCA Basic Building Code," Fourth Edition, 1965, together with the accumulative supplement to the BOCA Abridged Building Code Third Edition, 1960, all of which are as published by Building Officials Conference of America, Inc., are hereby adopted by reference to regulate such activities in the borough. A copy of each of the codes is annexed hereto and made part hereof without inclusion of the text thereof herein. The copies of the codes have been placed on file for the use and examination of the public.
[Ord. 12/19/66, S12-102]
This section and the codes referred to herein shall be known as and may be cited as the "Building Code of the Borough of Sussex". The "BOCA Abridged Building Code" shall be known and may be cited as the ABC Code and the "BOCA Basic Building Code" shall be known and cited as the basic code.
[Ord. 12/19/66, S12-103]
All buildings and structures hereafter erected, altered, repaired, moved or demolished that are used or designed to be used for the purposes herein defined shall comply in full with the requirements of the ABC, including: one and two family and multi-family dwellings which are not more than three stories nor more than 40 feet in height; private garages and other buildings accessory to dwellings not more than one and one-half stories nor more than 15 feet in height; and business assembly, institutional and municipal buildings which are not more than three stories nor more than 40 feet in height, other than buildings for high hazard uses unless specifically provided for in this code.
[Ord. 12/19/66, S12-104]
All buildings and structures which involve the use of structural steel and reinforced concrete framing; heavy timber construction; roof trusses with spans more than 25 feet not including trussed roof rafters; and all other buildings and structures not specified in subsection 12-1.3 shall conform to all applicable requirements of the basic code; except that the incidental use of steel beams, girders, columns and hangers and reinforced concrete slabs and wall shall be permitted under the provisions of the ABC.
[Ord. 12/19/66, S12-105]
Building permits shall be obtained as provided in the ABC code and the basic code. If any building or structure is not structurally complete within one year from the date of the issuance of the permit, the permit is automatically revoked, provided that the building inspector may, in his discretion, extend the date for completion for a period not to exceed 60 days, provided a good and sufficient reason for the extension is advanced in writing. After a permit for such extension thereof has expired, by lapse of time, a new permit shall be obtained and a condition of the new permit shall be the filing of a performance bond in sufficient amount to cover completion of the building or structure involved. If any structure or part thereof remains uncompleted after a permit expires and in such a condition that it increases fire, safety or health hazards, such condition of the structure shall constitute a violation thereof. If any such building is vacant with unguarded openings, it shall be deemed to constitute a fire hazard and to be unsafe within the provisions of the ABC code and the basic code.
[Ord. 03-2001, SII]
No fence shall be erected within the borough without a permit. Applications for fence permits shall be made in writing to the building inspector of the Borough of Sussex and shall include the following information:
a. 
Name and address of owner, and address of premises where the fence is to be erected (if different).
b. 
A description and specification of the fence, including size, height, dimensions, materials, gate detail (including locking or latching mechanisms) and percentage of opening in fence.
c. 
A survey with a sketch or plan of the fence including setback lines and location of gate(s).
d. 
Fences constructed within two feet of a property line shall be placed in accordance with stakes set by a surveyor, unless this provision is waived by the building inspector.
e. 
Fee for such permit shall be in accordance with the current Fee Schedule of the Borough of Sussex, as set forth in subsection 24-1.2a.
[Ord. 12/19/66, S12-106; Ord. 7/19/74; Ord. 02-92; Ord. 18-92, SSI, II; Ord. 016-94, SI; Ord. 022-94, SI; Ord. 2003-01, S1; Ord. 2010-12, SI; Ord. No. 2015-12]
a. 
The provisions of the basic code relating to certificates of use and occupancy (section 121.0) shall apply to all buildings or structures covered by either of the codes. No building, structure or improvements thereof shall be used or occupied until a certificate of occupancy is issued therefor. Such certificate shall be issued only after a final inspection by the board of health and the zoning officer and with the approval of both. Final inspections shall be made only upon the request of the owner or his agent.
b. 
In addition, a certificate of occupancy shall be obtained prior to the occupancy of any existing residential or nonresidential land or building or part thereof by a new owner or tenant, even if there is no change in the use of the land or the building or part thereof. Such certificates of occupancy shall be granted or denied within 15 days from the date written application therefor has been received by the zoning officer. Unless a certificate is granted within such a period, it shall be deemed to be denied.
c. 
1. 
In addition, a certificate of occupancy shall be obtained on an annual basis for each and every rental unit in any residential rental property, even if there is no change in occupancy of such unit of dwelling space. There shall be an annual registration fee of $50 per year for each rental unit of dwelling space, which fee shall be a prerequisite to the issuance of a certificate of occupancy for each rental unit of dwelling space. In the event there are discrepancies found in the original inspections that require the zoning officer to return to the property for a third or subsequent time, there will be an additional fee of $35 for each such occurrence. The provisions of this section do not apply to owner-occupied units. Upon payment of the registration fee, the zoning officer shall conduct periodic inspections, not more than once a year, of the rental unit(s) for compliance with the current code provisions. A certificate of occupancy shall be granted or denied within fifteen days from the date of the annual inspection by the zoning officer. Unless a certificate of occupancy is granted within the stated time period, it shall be deemed a denial.
2. 
Furthermore, a certificate of occupancy shall be obtained on an annual basis for each and every unit of dwelling space in any "hotel," "motel," "board house," and/or "rooming house", which fee shall be a prerequisite to the issuance of a certificate of occupancy for each such unit of dwelling space. Upon payment of the registration fee, periodic inspections, not more than once a year, shall be conducted by the zoning officer for compliance with the current code provisions. A certificate of occupancy shall be granted or denied within 15 days from the date of the annual inspection by the zoning officer. Unless a certificate of occupancy is granted within the stated time period, it shall be deemed a denial.
d. 
The use or occupancy of any building, structure or improvement thereof before the issuance of a certificate of occupancy shall be a violation of this section.
e. 
Violations and Penalties. Any person, entity, firm, partnership, or corporation who shall violate any of the provisions of this subsection or shall fail to comply with the provisions of this subsection shall, upon conviction in a court of competent jurisdiction, be subject to a fine of not more than $500 or to imprisonment of not more than 30 days, or both. Each day that a violation of this subsection exists and continues shall be deemed a separate and distinct violation of the subsection.
f. 
Pressure Relief Valve Compliance as Condition for Issuance of Certificate of Occupancy. Compliance with the requirements of subsection 13-2.1 is and shall be a condition for the issuance of a certificate of occupancy.
[Ord. 12/19/66, S12-107]
Sections 104.31, 104.5, 105.61 through 105.68 of the ABC are deleted. Sections 123.3, 128.1 through 128.6 of the basic code are hereby deleted.
[Ord. 12/19/66, S12-108]
Before receiving a building permit or other permit provided for in the codes, the owner or his agent shall pay the fees specified in Table I. In applying the provisions hereof, the physical value of the work shall be determined by the building inspector on the basis of current costs and as provided in section 106.5 of the ABC.
[Ord. 87-15; Ord. 013-94]
a. 
Permit Fees. Fees shall be as set forth in subsection 24-1.2.
b. 
Surcharge Fee:
1. 
Collection and payment. The construction enforcement department shall collect, in addition to the fees specified, a surcharge fee of $0.0006 per cubic foot of volume of new construction, as determined in accordance with paragraph c hereof. All such surcharge fees shall be remitted to the bureau of housing inspection, department of community affairs.
c. 
Definitions. For purpose of determining permit fees, the following definitions and computation rules shall apply:
1. 
Volume computation shall be determined as follows:
(a) 
Structures with basements. The volume of the structure shall include all enclosed dormers, porches, penthouses and other enclosed portions of the structure, including attached garages or garages constructed underneath such structure, extending from the basement or cellar floor to the mean height of a pitched roof, or the average height to the top of the roof beams of a flat roof.
(b) 
Structures without basements. For structures without basements or cellar, the volume shall be based on the height measured to a level located one-fifth the distance from the first floor level to the bottom of the footings, but not to exceed two and one-half feet below the first floor level.
(c) 
Open sheds. For open sheds and other structures of a similar character, whether attached or detached, the volume shall be measured within the perimeter of the roof for a height from the grade line to the mean roof level.
(d) 
Swimming pools. The fee shall be $10 per $1,000 of the cost of the swimming pool and installation thereof. Minimum fee shall be $20. Building fee for in-ground pools shall be $50; for above-ground pools $25.
2. 
Estimated costs shall be based upon, if available, cost data to be provided by the architect or engineer of record, a recognized estimating firm, or by the constructor whose cost data shall be submitted to the construction enforcement department, with the permit application, whose determination of estimated costs shall be final.
d. 
General. All fees paid under the above fee schedule shall be nonrefundable.
e. 
Reports. The construction officer shall, with the advice of the subcode officers, prepare and submit to the mayor and council, biannually, a report recommending alterations of and changes to the above fee schedule, based on the operating expenses of the construction enforcement department and any other expenses of the Borough of Sussex fairly attributable to the enforcement of the uniform construction code.
It shall be unlawful for any person to erect, use, occupy, demolish or move any building or structure in violation of any provision of this section or the codes referred to herein or to cause or permit any such violation to be committed.
[Ord. 002-94, SSI-III]
a. 
Temporary Certificate of Occupancy for Nonresidential and Residential Uses for 90 Days. In the event an applicant for any nonresidential or residential use is unable to fully comply with all of the requirements for a permanent certificate of occupancy as outlined in Sussex Borough subsection 12-1.6 due to weather conditions or other forces beyond his/her control, he may apply for a temporary certificate of occupancy. For the purpose of administering this subsection, a nonresidential use is defined as the use of any equipment or machinery (other than construction machinery not considered part of the building), or the storage of product, merchandise, raw material or other personal property; or the use of a structure other than by those engaged in its construction.
1. 
Applications for a temporary certificate of occupancy shall be made on a form provided by the construction official. Applications shall be made 14 days prior to the desired issuance date of the certificate. Each application shall be accompanied by a fee as stated in subsection 24-1.2g.
2. 
After receipt of an application of a temporary certificate of occupancy, the construction official shall make an inspection of the building and site in question. If the construction official finds that the applicant is unable to comply with all the requirements for a permanent certificate of occupancy for reasons as outlined in subsection 12-1.6, he may issue a temporary certificate of occupancy for a period of 90 days provided all of the following requirements are met:
(a) 
The building is substantially completed, fully enclosed to all natural elements, and in all respects ready to accommodate the proposed use.
(b) 
As required by the season, heating or ventilating systems are in working order.
(c) 
The building shall have sanitary facilities installed and usable and approved by the health officer.
(d) 
All combustion equipment and fire protection systems shall have preliminary approval of the board of fire commissioners.
(e) 
The electrical installation has been inspected and approved by the appropriate agency.
3. 
The construction official shall have the authority to extend the temporary certificate of occupancy for a period of 30 days upon the receipt of an application for renewal and payment of an additional fee as stated in subsection 24-1.2g. This application and the action taken shall be as permitted and regulated in paragraphs a1 and 2 above.
4. 
In no case shall the construction official issue a temporary certificate of occupancy for a period to exceed 90 days nor shall a temporary certificate of occupancy be extended for a period longer than nine months from the date of original issuance.
b. 
Posting of Completion Bond or All Cash Bond as a Condition of Granting a Temporary Certificate of Occupancy for Longer than 90 Days.
1. 
In such event that a temporary certificate of occupancy may be required for a period of 90 days or more as regulated in paragraph a, in addition to the requirements of paragraphs a1 and 2, the construction official will estimate the cost of completing all conditions of site plan approval. The applicants shall post a completion bond for the amount determined by the construction official with the municipal clerk. If the bond is other than all cash, a $500 cash escrow will be deposited with the municipal clerk which shall be forfeited and used to defray the cost of collecting the completion bond if the applicant fails to comply with all of the site plan requirements within the time limits set forth on the temporary certificate of occupancy issued under this section. A certificate of occupancy requiring the posting of a bond as set forth in this section shall not be issued without the approval of the construction official and confirmation with the municipal clerk that the posting requirements are met.
2. 
The requirements of posting a completion bond or all cash bond may be waived for residential use applications upon a reasonable determination by the construction code official, following a site inspection and review and consideration of all factors and circumstances.
c. 
Records and Fees. It shall be the duty of the construction official to keep a record of all applications for temporary certificates of occupancy and of all such permits and certificates issued, with a notation of all special conditions involved. He shall file and safely keep copies of all plans and specifications submitted with the applications, and the same shall form a part of the records of this office and shall be available to all officials of the borough. Copies of the temporary certificates of occupancy shall be furnished upon request to any person having a proprietary or leasehold interest in the structure of land effected. A fee of $5 shall be charged for each original certificate and $1 for each copy thereof.
[1]
Editor's Note: Prior ordinances codified herein include portions of Ordinance No. 5/18/70.
[Ord. 10-91, S1]
The Property Maintenance Board of the Borough of Sussex, its agents, designees, inspectors, and retained professionals be and they are hereby designated as the officials, acting singularly or in concert with others, to exercise the powers prescribed by the within section.
[Ord. 10-91, S2]
Pursuant to the provisions of Chapter 21, P.L. 1946 (N.J.S.A. 40:49-5.1 et seq.) the "New Jersey State Housing Code (1980 Revision)" as approved by the Department of Community Affairs and filed in the Secretary of State's Office is hereby accepted, adopted and established as amended and supplemented, 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 (1980 Revision)", is annexed to this section and three copies of the same have been placed on file in the office of the borough clerk and are available to all persons desiring to use and examine the same.
[Ord. 10-91, S3; amended 7-16-2019 by Ord. No. 2019-06]
a. 
The Property Maintenance Board of the Borough of Sussex, its agents, designees, inspectors, and retained professionals, acting singularly or in concert with others, are hereby authorized and directed to make inspections to determine the condition of dwellings, dwelling units, rooming units, and premises located within the Borough of Sussex in order that they may perform their duty of safe-guarding the health and safety of the occupants of dwellings and of the general public.
b. 
Whenever necessary 1. to make an inspection to enforce any of the provisions of this Code; or 2. for the purpose of making such repairs or alterations as are necessary to effect compliance with the provisions of this Code or with any lawful rule or regulation adopted or any lawful order issued pursuant to the provisions of this Code, the Property Maintenance Board of the Borough of Sussex, its agents, designees, inspectors, and retained professionals, may enter such dwellings, dwelling units, rooming units, and premises located within the Borough of Sussex, at all reasonable times to inspect the same or to perform any duty imposed upon the Property Maintenance Board by this Code, provided that if such premises be occupied, the authorized representative of the Property Maintenance Board shall first present proper credentials and demand entry; and if such premises be unoccupied, he or she shall first make a reasonable effort to locate the owner or other persons having charge or control of the premises and demand entry.
c. 
No owner or occupant or any other persons having charge, care or control of any premises shall fail or neglect, after proper request is made as herein provided, to promptly permit entry therein by the authorized representative of the Property Maintenance Board 1. for the purpose of inspection and examination pursuant to this Code; or 2. for the purpose of making such repairs or alterations as are necessary to effect compliance with the provisions of this Code or with any lawful rule or regulation adopted or any lawful order issued pursuant to the provisions of this Code. If the owner or occupant denies entry, the authorized representative of the Property Maintenance Board shall obtain a proper warrant or other remedy provided by law to secure entry.
[Ord. 10-91, S4]
Whenever the Property Maintenance Board of the Borough of Sussex, its agents, designees, inspectors, and retainer professionals, acting singularly or in concert with others, determines that there are reasonable grounds to believe that there has been a violation of any provisions of this section, or of any rule or regulation adopted pursuant thereto, he shall give notice of such alleged violation to the person or persons responsible therefor 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; and (d) be served upon the owner or his agent or the occupant, as the case may require; provided that such notice shall be deemed to be properly served upon such owner or agent, or upon such occupant, if a copy thereof is served upon him personally; or if a copy thereof is sent by certified mail to his last known address; or if a copy thereof is posted in a conspicuous place in or about the dwelling affected by the notice; or if he is served with such notice by any other method authorized or required under the laws of this state. Such 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 property maintenance board provided such person shall file in the office of the secretary of the property maintenance board or in the office of the borough clerk a written petition requesting such hearing and setting forth a brief statement of the grounds therefor within ten days after the day the notice was served. Upon receipt of such petition the property maintenance board shall set a time and place for such hearing and shall give the petitioner written notice thereof. At such hearing the petitioner shall be given an opportunity to be heard and to show why such 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 property maintenance board may postpone the date of the hearing for a reasonable time beyond such ten day period, if in his judgment the petitioner has submitted a good and sufficient reason for such postponement. After such hearing the property maintenance board 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 property maintenance board sustains or modifies such 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 property maintenance board within ten days after such notice is served. The proceedings at such hearing, including the findings and decision of the property maintenance board, shall be summarized, reduced to writing, and entered as a matter of public record in the office of the property maintenance board. Such 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 property maintenance board may seek relief therefrom in any court of competent jurisdiction, as provided by the laws of this state. Whenever the property maintenance board, its agents, designees, inspectors, or retained professionals, acting singularly or in concert with each other, finds that an emergency exists which requires immediate action to protect the public health, or safety, he may, without notice of 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 ordinance, such order shall be effective immediately. Any person to whom such order is directed shall comply therewith immediately, but upon petition to the property maintenance board shall be afforded a hearing as soon as possible. After such hearing, depending upon his findings as to whether the provisions of this section and of the rules and regulations adopted pursuant thereto have been complied with, the property maintenance board shall continue such order in effect, or modify it, or revoke it.
[Ord. 10-91, S5]
The property maintenance board is hereby authorized and empowered to make and adopt such written rules and regulations as it 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 property maintenance board shall file a certified copy of all rules and regulations which it may adopt in its office and in the office of the Clerk of the Borough of Sussex.
[Ord. 10-91, S6]
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 (1980 Revision)", established hereby as the standard to be used in determining whether a dwelling is safe, sanitary and fit for human habitation.
[Ord. 10-91, S7; Ord. 2004-10, S1]
a. 
For any and every violation of the provisions of this chapter, the borough shall serve a notice of abatement upon the owner, contractor or other person or entity interested as general agent, architect, building contractor, owner, tenant or any other person or entity who commits, takes part in or assists in any violation of this chapter, or who maintains any structure or premises in which any violation of this chapter still exists. The notice of abatement shall be served by certified mail, return receipt requested or personal service. Any and every such violation shall be abated within five days after receipt of the written notice. Any person or entity violating any provision of this chapter shall, upon conviction before a court of competent jurisdiction, be subject to a fine of not more than $1,250, or imprisonment in the county jail for a period not to exceed 90 days, or both at the discretion of the court or judicial officer.
b. 
Each and every day that such violation continues after receipt of the notice of abatement shall be considered a separate and specific violation of this chapter.
c. 
In addition to the costs, fines and penalties authorized herein, any person or entity who violates a provision of this chapter shall reimburse the Borough of Sussex for all costs incurred for investigation, inspections and prosecution of violations of this chapter, including the costs of litigation and reasonable attorney's fees. All cost and fees awarded pursuant to this section to the Borough of Sussex shall constitute an assessment and lien against the subject real property and shall accrue interest as provided by law.
[Ord. 12-92, S1]
The members of the Property Maintenance Board of the Borough of Sussex, its agents, designees, inspectors, and retained professionals be and they are hereby designated as the officials, acting singularly or in concert with others, to issue summonses to the person, persons, corporations, partnerships, and/or other entities responsible for any alleged violation of the Property Maintenance Code of the Borough of Sussex, which is "The BOCA National Property Maintenance Code, Third Edition, 1990", as published by the Building Officials and Code Administrators International, Inc., and any subsequent amendments to the BOCA National Property Maintenance Code, and, furthermore, to issue summonses to any person, persons, corporations, partnerships, and/or other entities with respect to the abandonment of vehicles left on properties within the Borough of Sussex, which summonses shall be heard before a court of competent jurisdiction.
[Ord. 12/20/76; Ord. 4/4/77]
There is hereby established in the Borough of Sussex a State Uniform Construction Code enforcing agency to be known as the Borough of Sussex Construction Code 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.
[Ord. 12/20/76; Ord. 4/4/77]
Each official position created in subsection 12-3.1 hereof 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.
[Ord. 12/20/76; Ord. 4/4/77]
The public shall have the right to do business with the Borough of Sussex Construction Code Agency at the borough hall or at such offices regularly maintained by the construction official or on site inspection agencies as contracted by the borough.
[Ord. 12/20/76; Ord. 4/4/77]
All appeals from decisions of the construction code officials or subcode officials shall be to the Sussex County Construction Board of Appeals, and shall be made pursuant to the rules of said board and the applicable state statutes.
[Ord. 12/20/76; Ord. 4/4/77]
The mayor and common council shall contract with any approved, on-site inspection agencies as are necessary to serve the needs of the borough and comply with the intent and spirit of the State Uniform Construction Code Law.
[Ord. 12/20/76; Ord. 4/4/77]
All on site inspection agencies shall be appointed annually by resolution of the mayor and common council on or before January 31 of each year.
[Ord. 12/20/76; Ord. 4/4/77]
Until further amendment the fees for construction permits shall be as presently constituted in subsections 12-1.8 and 12-1.9 of the Revised Ordinances of the Borough of Sussex.
[Ord. 12/20/76; Ord. 4/4/77; Ord. 013-94]
The building subcode fee for new construction shall be as set forth in subsection 24-1.2.
[Ord. 12/20/76; Ord. 4/4/77]
The fee for renovation, alteration and repair shall be as presently constituted in subsection 12-1.9 of the Revised Ordinances of the Borough of Sussex.
[Ord. 12/20/76; Ord. 4/4/77]
In order to provide for the training, certification, and technical support programs required by the Uniform Construction Code Act and The Regulations, the enforcing agency shall collect in addition to the fees specified above, a surcharge fee of $.0006 per cubic foot of volume of new construction. Said surcharge fee shall be remitted to the Bureau of Housing Inspection, Department of Community Affairs, on a quarterly basis for the fiscal quarters ending September 30, December 31, March 31, and June 30, and not later than one month next succeeding the end of the quarter for which it is due. In the fiscal year in which The Regulations first become effective, said fee shall be collected and remitted for the third and fourth quarters only.
The enforcing agency shall report annually at the end of each fiscal year to the Bureau of Housing Inspection, and not later than July 31, the total amount of the surcharge fee collected in the fiscal year. In the fiscal year in which The Regulations first become effective, said report shall be for the third and fourth quarters only.
[Ord. 12/20/76; Ord. 4/4/77]
The construction code official shall prepare and submit to the Department of Community Affairs, or other body, all reports as required by law.
The construction code official shall, with the advice of subcode officials, prepare and submit, to the mayor and common council, an annual report recommending a fee schedule based on the expenses of the agency. Said report shall be submitted prior to January 1 of each year.
[Ord. 12/20/76; Ord. 4/4/77]
This ordinance shall be construed liberally to comply with and effectuate the intent of the State Uniform Construction Code.
Prior ordinance history includes portions of ordinances 4/3/78, 90-08, 07-91, 12-92, 19-92, 008-94, 99-01, 06-2002, 2004-8 and 2008-27.
[Ord. 2011-14]
It is hereby found and determined that there exists in the Borough of Sussex structures used for residential and nonresidential use which are or may become in the future substandard with respect to structure, equipment or maintenance. It is further found that conditions of the above-described property, including but not limited to structural deterioration, lack of maintenance and appearance of the exterior of premises, infestation, lack of essential heating, plumbing, storage or refrigeration equipment, lack of maintenance or upkeep of essential utilities and facilities, existence of fire hazards, inadequate provisions for light and air, unsanitary conditions, constitute a menace to health, safety, welfare and reasonable comfort of the citizens and inhabitants of the Borough of Sussex. The borough council of the Borough of Sussex further finds and declares that, by reason of lack of maintenance and the existence of progressive deterioration, certain properties have the further effect and/or the further potential effect of creating blighted conditions that, if the same are not curtailed and removed, the aforesaid conditions will grow and spread and will necessitate, in time, the expenditure of public funds to correct and eliminate the same and that, by reason of timely regulation and restrictions as herein contained, the growth of depressed areas, slums and blight may be prevented. It is further found that such prevention will maintain neighborhood and property values, as well as the desirability and amenities of residential and nonresidential uses; and it is further found that such prevention will protect and foster the public health, safety and welfare.
[Ord. 2011-14]
The purposes of this property maintenance code are as follows:
a. 
To protect the public health, safety and welfare of the citizens of Sussex by establishing minimum standards governing the maintenance, appearance, conditions and occupancy of property.
b. 
To authorize and establish procedures for the enforcement of this Code.
c. 
To fix certain responsibilities and duties upon owners and operators and establish distinct and separate responsibilities and duties upon occupants; to authorize and establish procedures for the inspection of residential and nonresidential premises.
d. 
To fix penalties for the violations of this Code.
[Ord. 2011-14]
Nothing in this section shall be construed to abrogate or impair the powers of the Borough of Sussex to enforce any provisions of its ordinances or regulations or prevent or punish violations thereof, and the power conferred by this section shall be in addition to and supplemental to the powers conferred by any other law or ordinance.
[Ord. No. 2011-14]
a. 
All structures and premises in the Borough of Sussex shall be kept free of all the following conditions:
1. 
Broken glass, excessive brush, weeds, stumps and roots, obnoxious growth, filth, garbage, trash, refuse, rubbish and debris.
2. 
Dead and dying trees, limbs or other natural growths which by reason of rotting, deteriorating conditions, storm damage or weathering constitute a hazard to persons or utility in the vicinity thereof. Trees shall be kept pruned and trimmed to prevent such conditions. Naturally wooded areas are exempt from this section which pertains to the vicinity of a residence.
3. 
Loose and overhanging objects and accumulations of ice and snow which, by reason of location above ground level, constitute a danger of falling on persons in the vicinity thereof.
4. 
Holes, excavations, breaks, projections, obstructions, icy conditions, and other safety hazards related to walks, driveways, parking lots, parking areas and other parts of the premises which are accessible to and used by persons on the premises. All such holes and excavations shall be filled and repaired, walks and steps replaced and other conditions removed where necessary to eliminate safety hazards or unsanitary conditions.
5. 
Sources of infestation or potential infestation by rodents, mosquitoes, flies and other harmful vermin.
6. 
Runoff drains shall be maintained to eliminate any recurrent or excessive accumulations of storm water.
7. 
Retaining walls shall comply with all applicable codes and maintained to be free of rotting or deteriorated wood and/or broken or crumbling masonry or stone.
b. 
The exterior of every structure or accessory structure, including fences, shall be maintained in good repair, and all surfaces thereof shall be kept painted and finished where necessary for purposes of preservation and appearance. The same shall be maintained free of broken glass, loose shingles, crumbling stone or brick, excessive peeling of paint or other conditions reflecting weathering, deterioration or inadequate maintenance, to the end that the property itself may be preserved, safety and fire hazards eliminated and adjoining properties in the neighborhood protected from blighting influences. All accessory structures must have functional doors and windows where necessary.
c. 
Natural vegetation, landscaping, lawns, hedges and bushes shall not be allowed to become overgrown and unsightly where exposed to public view. The length of lawn grass shall not exceed nine inches at any time.
d. 
There shall not be stored or used at a location visible from the sidewalks, streets or other public areas equipment and materials relating to commercial or industrial uses unless permitted under the zoning ordinance for the premises. All tarps used to cover such firewood or stored trailers, boats, etc., shall be blue, dark green, brown, black or camouflage tarpaulin or canvas.
e. 
All parts of the premises shall be kept in a clean and sanitary condition, free of nuisances and free from health, safety and fire hazards.
[Ord. No. 2011-14]
a. 
Where a violation of this section or the regulations hereunder is found to exist, a written notice from the code enforcement officer or county health officer shall be served upon the owner responsible for correcting such condition. The notice shall contain the following:
1. 
A description of the property sufficient for identification;
2. 
An identification of the conditions constituting the violation;
3. 
The necessary corrective action;
4. 
A time period not to exceed ten days after service of the notice upon the owner to correct or abate the violation;
5. 
A statement that the notice shall become an order of the code enforcement officer in ten days after service; and
6. 
A statement of the penalty for violation of the notice.
b. 
The notice may be served personally or by certified mail at the last known address of the owner alleged to be in violation. Where it is ascertained that the owner does not reside on the premises and the last known address cannot be ascertained, the notice may be posted on the outside front entrance of the affected building. Service upon any owner may also be achieved by service of any notice upon a member of the family of the owner, provided that such family member is 16 years of age or older and resides with such owner.
c. 
After ten days from the date of service of the notice, the notice shall constitute a final order. If the violation is not corrected or abated at the time the notice constitutes a final order, the code enforcement officer shall issue a summons to the owner to appear in municipal court for violation of the final order, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 2B:12-17a.
d. 
The code enforcement officer or health inspector may extend the time for correction and abatement of any violation of this section for an additional period of time not to exceed 30 days, except where major capital improvements or renovations are involved, in which case, the time for completion may be extended for such period of time as the code enforcement officer may deem reasonably adequate.
e. 
In the event that the owner of the property does not respond to violation notices, fails to abate the subject of the violation notice, or can not be located after diligent inquiry and effort, the borough may take reasonable steps up to and including demolition of real property to abate or minimize the violations for the health, safety and welfare of the surrounding properties. In the case of failing to maintain a lawn constituting a violation, the Borough may, at its sole discretion, cut the grass or hire a contractor to cut the grass. The owner shall be charged $100 per hour for grass cutting and the Borough shall record the charges as a lien against the property. The borough may from time to time by resolution adopt a fee schedule to establish the cost charged to the owner for other measures of abatement. The borough is also enabled to hire contractors to accomplish abatement or demolition and lien the cost for the charges against the property.
[Ord. No. 2011-14]
A violation of this section by failure to comply with an order entered by the code enforcement officer pursuant to the Property Maintenance Ordinance shall be punishable by a fine not to exceed $250 for the initial violation, not to exceed $500 for the second violation and not to exceed $1,000 for the third violation committed hereunder. Each violation of a different section of this code shall constitute a separate and distinct violation independent of any other section. Each day of noncompliance with any provision of this code, and any subsequent violation, shall constitute a separate violation and shall be subject to a summons without further notification. An owner shall be considered "notified" of the violation for a period of two years after the initial notification.
[Ord. No. 2016-11]
There is hereby established a Property Maintenance Advisory Committee which shall consist of five members as follows:
a. 
One member appointed by the Sussex Borough Board of Health,
b. 
One member appointed by the Sussex Planning/Zoning Board,
c. 
One member of the Borough Council appointed by the Mayor with the advice and consent of the Council,
d. 
Two members of the public appointed by the Mayor with the advice and consent of the Council,
The term of membership of the Property Maintenance Advisory Committee shall be annual.
[Ord. No. 2016-11]
The Property Maintenance Advisory Committee shall serve as an advisory committee. Its purpose is to promote the quality of life in the Borough through a more aesthetic appearance in the community, to offer ideas and suggestions for the physical improvement of areas and buildings in the Borough and to review specific concerns about property maintenance. The Property Maintenance Advisory Committee shall hear complaints and concerns from members of the public regarding property maintenance issues; investigate such complaints and concerns and make inquiries as the Board deems appropriate; gather information pertaining to conditions of properties in the Borough; report problems and concerns to and request action from the Code Enforcement Officer and/or County Health Officer as the Board deems appropriate; and report its findings and recommendations to the Governing Body.
[Ord. No. 2016-26]
As used in this section, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
ABANDONED PROPERTY
Is defined in accordance with the Abandoned Properties Rehabilitation Act, N.J.S.A. 55:19-78, et seq., and means 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 on a determination by the Public Officer that:
1. 
The property is in need of rehabilitation in the reasonable judgment of the Public 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 Public 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 (see N.J.S.A. 54:4-1 et seq.) as of the date of a determination by the Public Officer pursuant to this section; or
4. 
The property has been determined to be a nuisance by the Public 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 non-residential space may be considered abandoned pursuant to P.L. 2003, c. 210 (N.J.S.A. 55:19-78 et seq.) so long as two-thirds or more of the total net square footage of the building was previously legally occupied as residential space, none of the residential space has been legally occupied for at least six months at the time of the determination of abandonment by the Public Officer and the property meets the criteria of either paragraph a1 or a4 of the definition of "Abandoned Property" set forth in this subsection 12-5.1.
CREDITOR
Shall mean a creditor who files a summons and complaint in an action to foreclose.
EVIDENCE OF VACANCY
Shall mean 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 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; or any uncorrected violation of a municipal building, housing or similar code during the preceding year.
OWNER
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 N.J.S.A. 46:10B-51 (P.L. 2008, c. 127, § 17, as amended), or any other entity determined by the Borough of Sussex to act with respect to the property.
PUBLIC OFFICER
Shall mean the person appointed as Public Officer in accordance with subsection 12-5.7.
VACANT PROPERTY
Shall mean a building that was or is used or whose purpose is 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/or commercial 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. Alternatively, property which is "abandoned property" as defined in subsection 12-5.1 is vacant property. A property that contains all building systems in working order, is being maintained on a regular basis, has not been cited by the Borough for any violation of municipal ordinance within such time as it is unoccupied and is being actively marketed by its owner for sale or rental shall not be deemed vacant.
[Ord. No. 2016-26]
a. 
General Requirements.
1. 
The owner of vacant property 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 Borough of Sussex on forms provided by the Borough of Sussex for such purposes. The registration shall remain valid until the end of the calendar year. The owner shall be required to renew the registration annually, by no later than January 31st of each year, as long as the building remains vacant property and shall pay a registration or renewal fee as prescribed in subsection 12-5.2c for each vacant property registered. The initial and renewal fees shall be prorated and or credited accordingly upon legal occupancy.
2. 
Any owner of a building meeting the definition of "vacant property" as of the effective date of this section shall file a registration statement for that property on or before the 60th day following the effective date of this section.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: This section was adopted December 6, 2016 by Ordinance No. 2016-26.
3. 
The registration statement shall include the information required under subsection 12-5.2b hereof and any additional information which the Public Officer may reasonably require.
4. 
The owner shall notify the Borough of Sussex within 30 days of any change in the registration information by filing an amended registration statement on a form provided by the Borough of Sussex for such purpose.
5. 
The registration statement shall be deemed prima facie proof of the statements therein for the purpose of any administrative enforcement or court proceeding instituted by the Borough of Sussex against the owner(s) of the vacant property.
b. 
Registration Statement Requirements; Property Inspection.
1. 
After filing a registration statement or a renewal of a registration statement, the owner of vacant property shall provide access to the Public Officer, if requested and following reasonable notice, during the period covered by the initial registration or any subsequent renewal. If an inspection of the interior of the property is deemed by the Public Officer to be necessary due to complaints or other cause, the fee for such inspection shall be the same as that for a continued certificate of occupancy inspection as provided in the applicable provisions of the Code of the Borough of Sussex.
2. 
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 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.
3. 
An owner who is a natural person and who meets the requirements of subsection 12-5.2b2 as to availability of a contact number on a 24-hour emergency basis may designate himself or herself as agent.
4. 
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 or administrative enforcement proceeding brought to enforce code provisions concerning the registered property 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 Borough of Sussex 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 the requirements of subsection 12-5.2.
c. 
Fee Schedule. The fees for registration for each building are as prescribed in Chapter 24, Fees.
[Ord. No. 2016-26]
The owner of a building that has become vacant or abandoned property, and any person maintaining, operating or collecting rent for any such building that has become vacant or abandoned, shall, immediately:
a. 
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 12-5.2b hereof), 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 from the nearest public street or sidewalk, whichever is nearer, but shall be no smaller than 15 inches by 17 inches; and
b. 
Enclose and secure the building against unauthorized entry as provided in the applicable provisions of the Code of the Borough of Sussex and maintain the sign required by subsection 12-5.3a hereof until the building is legally occupied or demolished or until repair or rehabilitation of the building is complete; and
c. 
Make provision for the maintenance of the lawn and yard, including regular grass cutting as required by the applicable provisions of the Code of the Borough of Sussex; and
d. 
Make provision for the cessation of the delivery of mail, newspapers and circulars to the property, including having the property listed on the exclusion list maintained by the Borough of Sussex for the delivery of circulars and advertisements to the property; and
e. 
Make provision for winterizing the property by the cessation of water service to the property and the draining of water lines, other than buildings with a fire sprinkler system, and
f. 
Make provision for the cessation of electric or gas utility services to the property, other than buildings with a fire sprinkler system, and
g. 
Make provision for the regular maintenance of the exterior of the property.
[Ord. No. 2016-26]
Anyone who violates a provision of subsection 12-5.2 or subsection 12-5.3 shall be subject to a fine of not less than $500 and not more than $1,000 for each offense. Every day that a violation continues shall constitute a separate and distinct offense. In addition, each failure to file a registration statement on time or to provide correct information on the registration statement shall constitute a violation. Fines assessed under this subsection 12-5.4 shall be recoverable from the owner and be a lien on the property.
[Ord. No. 2016-26]
a. 
Pursuant to the provisions of N.J.S.A. 40:48-2.12s, a creditor filing a summons and complaint in an action to foreclose shall be responsible for the care, maintenance, security and upkeep of the exterior of the vacant and abandoned residential property. This obligation applies whether the determination that the property is vacant and abandoned is made in accordance with this or any other section of the Code of the Borough of Sussex, with N.J.S.A. 2A:50-73, or with any other applicable law.
b. 
If the creditor is located out-of-state, the creditor shall be responsible for appointing an in-state representative or agent to act for the foreclosing creditor.
c. 
An out-of-state creditor shall include the full name and contact information of the in-state representative or agent in the notice required to be provided to the municipal clerk pursuant to N.J.S.A. 46:10B-51(a)(1).
d. 
An out-of-state creditor found by the Municipal Court or other court of competent jurisdiction to be in violation of subsection 12-5.5b or c shall be subject to a fine of $2,500 for each day of the violation commencing on the day after the 10 day period set forth in N.J.S.A. 46:10B-51(a)(1) for providing notice to the Municipal Clerk that a summons and complaint in an action to foreclose has been served.
e. 
A Public Officer appointed pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:48-2.3 et seq., or the Public Officer appointed per subsection 12-5.7 shall be authorized to issue a notice to the creditor if the Public Officer determines that the creditor has violated subsection 12-5.5 by failing to provide for the care, maintenance, security, and upkeep of the exterior of the property. The notice shall require the person or entity to correct the violation within 30 days of receipt of the notice, or within 10 days of receipt of the notice if the violation presents an imminent threat to public health and safety. The issuance of this notice shall constitute proof that a property is "vacant and abandoned" for purposes of N.J.S.A. 2A:50-73.
f. 
A creditor found by the Municipal Court or other court of competent jurisdiction to be in violation of the requirement to care for, maintain, secure or upkeep a property as cited in a notice issued pursuant to subsection 12-5.5e shall be subject to a fine of $1,500 for each day of the violation commencing 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.
g. 
In accordance with N.J.S.A. 40:48-2.12s(d), no less than 20% of any money collected from creditors under subsection 12-5.5 hereof shall be utilized by the Borough for municipal code enforcement purposes.
[Ord. No. 2016-26]
The Borough of Sussex shall retain the option and authority to exercise such powers granted to municipalities by the State of New Jersey for the rehabilitation of abandoned property. Such powers are set forth, inter alia, in the "Abandoned Properties Rehabilitation Act" (N.J.S.A. 55:19-78, et seq.) and in applicable portions of the "New Jersey Urban Development Corporation Act" (N.J.S.A. 55- 19-1, et seq.). These statutory powers are collectively referred to herein as the "enabling statutes."
[Ord. No. 2016-26]
The Public Officer, as defined in N.J.S.A. 55:19-80, who is responsible for executing the provisions of Section 12-5 hereof and for the rehabilitation of abandoned property, shall be designated by resolution of the Borough Council.
[Ord. No. 2016-26]
The Public Officer shall designate a property as an "abandoned property" if said property meets the criteria set forth in N.J.S.A. 55:19-81 (abandoned property criteria) and/or N.J.S.A. 55:19-82 (nuisance property criteria). The Public Officer's designation is limited by the provisions of N.J.S.A. 55:19-83.
[Ord. No. 2016-26]
The Public Officer shall establish an Abandoned Property List pursuant to N.J.S.A. 55:19-55. An interested party, as that term is defined in N.J.S.A. 55:19-105a, may request that the Public Officer include a property on the Abandoned Property List, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 55:19-105.
[Ord. No. 2016-26]
The owner of a property on the Abandoned Property List has such rights designated to said owner by the enabling statutes. Such powers include but are not limited to: (a) Challenging the inclusion of a property on the Abandoned Property List, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 55:19-55e; (b) Seeking removal from said list, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 55:19-57 and 55:19-103; and (c) Petitioning for reinstatement of control and possession, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 55:19-92, et seq.
[Ord. No. 2016-26]
The Borough of Sussex has and retains such powers and rights regarding abandoned properties as set forth in the enabling statutes. Such powers include but are not limited to: (a) Sale of tax lien, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 55:19-56; (b) Special tax sales, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 55:19-101; (c) Foreclosing the right to redemption, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 55:19-58; (d) Recourse directly against property owner, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 55:19-100; (e) Possession and control of property, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 55:19-84 to 55:19-92, et seq.; (f) Rehabilitation and reuse of property, while in possession and control, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 55:19-90; (g) Borrowing money and making applications for rehabilitation of property, while in possession and control, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 55:19-91; (h) Sale of property, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 55:19-96; (i) Purchase of property, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 55:19-96; (j) Recover rehabilitation costs by lien on property, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 55:19-98; (k) Clearance, development, redevelopment or repair of property through power of eminent domain, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 55:19-56, 55:19-102.
[Ord. No. 2016-26]
Electric and natural gas utilities retain such rights to abandoned properties as set forth in N.J.S.A. 55:19-106 and 107.
[Ord. No. 2016-26]
Nothing in Section 12-5 is intended to nor shall be read to conflict or prevent the Borough of Sussex from taking action regarding buildings found to be unfit for human habitation or unsafe structures as provided in applicable provisions of the Code of the Borough of Sussex and/or the Uniform Construction Code. Further, any action taken under any such code provision shall not relieve an owner from his, her or its obligations under Section 12-5.
[Ord. No. 2016-26]
All references in Section 12-5 to statutes include all amendments thereto. References to particular sections of enabling statutes are for ease of reference but may not be exhaustive and are not meant to be exclusive of other applicable statutory provisions contained in enabling statutes or elsewhere in New Jersey statutes.
Former Section 12-6, Repair, Closing or Demolition of Unfit Buildings, previously codified herein and containing portions of Ordinance Nos. 2002-05 and 2004-09, was repealed in its entirety by Ordinance No. 2011-14.