Township of Galloway, NJ
Atlantic County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee (now Council) of the Township of Galloway 1-18-1971 by Ord. No. 393 as Ch. 33 of the 1971 Code. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Uniform construction codes — See Ch. 153.
Fire prevention — See Ch. 199.
Land management — See Ch. 233.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 267.
Solid waste — See Ch. 291.
Trailer courts — See Ch. 313.
Public health nuisances — See Ch. 353.
[Amended 6-28-2005 by Ord. No. 1609]
The Construction Official and Fire Chief are hereby designated as the public officers to exercise powers prescribed by this chapter and by N.J.S.A. 40:48-2.3 et seq.
[Amended 6-28-2005 by Ord. No. 1609]
The said public officers may determine that a building is unfit for human habitation, occupancy or use if they find that such conditions exist in such building which are dangerous or injurious to the health or safety of the occupants of such building, the occupants of neighboring buildings or other residents of such municipality; such conditions shall be deemed to include the following (without limiting the generality of the foregoing):
A. 
Defects therein increasing the hazards of fire, accident or other calamities;
B. 
Lack of adequate ventilation, light or sanitary facilities;
C. 
Dilapidation;
D. 
Disrepair, structural defects; and
E. 
Uncleanliness.
F. 
Failure to comply with the requirements of the building code or the certificate of occupancy.
Said public officers may exercise such powers as may be necessary or convenient to carry out and effectuate the purposes and provisions of this chapter, including the following powers in addition to others herein granted:
A. 
To investigate the building conditions in the municipality in order to determine which buildings therein are unfit for human habitation, occupancy or use.
B. 
To administer oaths, affirmations, examine witnesses and receive evidence.
C. 
To enter upon premises for the purpose of making examinations.
Complaints or orders issued by said public officers shall be served upon persons either personally or by registered mail, or if the whereabouts of such person is unknown and the same cannot be ascertained, then the serving of such complaint or order upon such persons may be made by publishing the same once a week for two successive weeks in a newspaper printed and published in the county and circulating in the township. 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 or lodged for record with the County Clerk.
[Amended 6-28-2005 by Ord. No. 1609]
Whenever a petition is filed with the public officers by a public authority or 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 officers (on their own motion) that any building is unfit for human habitation or occupancy or use, the public officers shall, if their 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 hearing will be held before the public officers (or their designated agent) at a place therein fixed not less than seven days nor more than 30 days after the serving of said complaint; that the owner and parties in interest shall be given the right to file an answer to the complaint and to appear in person or otherwise and give testimony at the place and time fixed in the complaint; and that the rules of evidence prevailing in the courts shall not be controlling in hearings before the public officers.
If, after such notice and hearing, the public officers determine that the building under consideration is unfit for human habitation or occupancy or use, they shall state in writing their 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 said 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 said building vacated and closed within the time 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 said building within the time specified in the order, then the owner shall be required to remove or demolish the said building within a reasonable time as specified in the said order of removal.
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 officers may cause such building to be repaired, altered or improved, or to be vacated and closed; the public officers may 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."
If the owner fails to comply with an order to remove or demolish the building, the public officers may cause such building to be removed or demolished or may contract for the removal or demolition thereof after advertisement for and receipt of bids therefor.
A. 
The amount of 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 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.
B. 
If the building is removed or demolished by the public officers, they 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.
C. 
If there are no such credits or if the sum total of such costs exceeds the total of such credits, a detailed statement of the aforesaid costs and the amount so due shall be filed with the Municipal Tax Assessor or other custodian of the records of tax liens, and a copy thereof shall be forthwith forwarded to the owner by registered mail.
D. 
If the total of the credits exceeds such costs, the balance remaining shall be deposited in the Superior Court by the public officers, shall be secured in such manner as may be directed by such Court, and shall be disbursed according to the order or judgment of the Court to the persons found to be entitled thereto by final order or judgment of such Court.
E. 
Nothing in this section shall be construed to impair or limit in any way the power of the municipality to define and declare nuisances and to cause their removal or abatement, by summary proceedings or otherwise.
F. 
Any owner or party in interest may, within 30 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.
[Amended 6-28-2005 by Ord. No. 1609]