[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Paterson 12-18-1979 by Ord. No. 79-111 as Ch. 13, Art. 25, of the 1979 Revised General Ordinances of Paterson. Amendments noted where applicable.]
The Council has determined that:
There exist in this city numerous vacant lots which present a threat to the health, safety and welfare of the residents of the city due to the fact that they serve as dumping grounds for garbage, debris, glass and other harmful substances.
Said lots are a source of danger to juveniles in the area, a constant breeding ground for rodents and filled with objects that endanger the safety of children who might wander onto them.
There is urgent need for immediate action by the appropriate authorized agencies for the elimination and reduction of such danger with respect to said vacant lots whenever the same shall be brought to their attention.
The Director of the Division of Community Improvements or such subordinate officials as may be designated to act in his behalf be and are hereby empowered to enter and to inspect each and every vacant lot in this city.
When any lot has been vacant for a period of thirty (30) or more days or becomes vacant as a result of demolition and the Director or his designee certifies that the same constitutes a danger and a threat to the health, welfare or safety of persons in the area, a complaint shall be served upon the owner or parties in interest.
The complaint shall contain:
A description of the premises.
A notice that a hearing will be held before the Director of Community Improvements or his designated agent at a time fixed not less than ten (10) days after serving the complaint. The notice shall state that the parties in interest may file an answer no less than three (3) days prior to the scheduled hearing and may appear in person.
After notice and hearing, the Director of Community Improvements or his designee shall determine if a vacant lot under consideration constitutes a danger and a threat to the health, welfare or safety of persons in the area.
If such positive determination is made, the Director of Community Improvements or his designee shall, within fifteen (15) days after the hearing, state, in writing, his findings and support for his determination, and he shall within said fifteen (15) days issue and serve on all parties in interest an order effective ten (10) days after receipt, to protect and secure said lot against intrusion, garbage dumping, unlawful entry or unlawful use or use inimical to the public health, safety and/or welfare requiring the following:
The owner or owners shall have removed therefrom all filth, rubbish, refuse, junk, slop, wood, paper or other materials which are or may constitute a hazard to health or cause accidents on said lot.
Specifications for the fence required by § 319-5B are as follows:
The minimum height shall be six (6) feet.
The fencing material must be of galvanized metal.
There shall be a minimum of two-inch outside diameter galvanized pipe for all line posts.
There shall be a minimum of two-and-one-half-inch outside diameter for all terminal posts, gates, ends and corner posts.
All terminal posts must be set in concrete footings at a minimum of thirty (30) inches into the ground.
All line posts must be driven a minimum of thirty (30) inches into the ground.
Fencing material must be of minimum No. 9 gauge galvanized wire with a two-inch mesh.
Coil spring minimum No. 7 gauge wire shall be used to provide proper tension.
In no case should barbed wire, wood or similar materials dangerous to children be used.
It shall be the continuing responsibility of the owner or owners to so maintain the fence and protect the property as hereinabove set forth so long as the same shall remain vacant.
All complaints, notices and orders issued by the Director of Community Improvements shall be served either personally or by registered mail.
Upon failure of the owner or owners to protect said lot within the period specified in § 319-5, immediate notice shall be given by the Director of Community Improvements to the Director of the Department of Public Works; and upon receipt of such notice, the Director of the Department of Public Works shall forthwith protect said property as hereinabove set forth.
The costs thereof shall be certified by the Director of the Department of Public Works to the Council. If, upon examination of the certificate, the Council shall find the same to be correct, such certified cost shall forthwith become a charge against said lands and constitute a lien upon said lands, which shall be added to and become and form a part of the taxes next to be assessed and levied upon said lands. The amount of such charge or lien shall bear interest at the same rate and shall be collected and enforced by the same officers and in the same manner as taxes.
Any person who violates any provision of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, be punished by a fine not exceeding one thousand dollars ($1,000.), by imprisonment for a term not exceeding ninety (90) days or by a period of community service not exceeding ninety (90) days, or any combination thereof. A separate offense shall be deemed committed on each day during or on which a violation occurs or continues.