Township of Bridgewater, NJ
Somerset County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Council of the Township of Bridgewater 11-3-2006 by Ord. No. 06-43. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Leaf collection — See Ch. 82.
Dumpster and recycling center — See Ch. 106.
Mandatory recycling — See Ch. 107.
Solid waste — See Ch. 108.
Land use — See Ch. 126.
Littering and handbills — See Ch. 132.
Public health nuisances — See Ch. 145.
Abandoned vehicles — See Ch. 204.

§ 105-1 Definitions and purpose.

A. 
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
BLIGHT
An area characterized by deteriorating and/or abandoned buildings and/or land which exhibit a lack of continued maintenance and upkeep; land with debris, litter, accumulation of trash or junk, etc., all, or any one of which, may tend to depress the aesthetic value of a neighborhood.
EXTERIOR PREMISES
Those portions of land which are exposed to public view or are visible from adjoining or adjacent lots, including all outside surfaces and appurtenances thereto and the open yard space of any property outside and around any building or structure erected there on.
(1) 
Any condition that would constitute a nuisance according to the statutes, laws and regulations of the State of New Jersey, its governmental agencies or the ordinances of the Township of Bridgewater.
(2) 
Any condition which is detrimental to the enjoyment of lands owned by others, constitutes a blighted condition or is detrimental to the health or safety of all persons whether on or inside a building, on the lands and premises containing a building or on, in or upon an unoccupied lot.
OUTDOOR STORAGE/CARGO CONTAINER (a/k/a "SHIPPING CONTAINERS")
An industrial, standardized reusable outdoor storage/shipping container:
[Added 10-15-2007 by Ord. No. 07-12]
(1) 
Originally, specifically or formally designed for or used in the packing, shipping, movement or transportation of freight, articles, goods or commodities and presently utilized for those purposes or for storage of household items; and/or
(2) 
Designed for or capable of being mounted or moved on a rail car; and/or
(3) 
Designed for or capable of being mounted on a chassis or bogie for movement by truck or trailer or loaded on a ship; and/or
(4) 
Intended to or necessary, for purposes of safety, to be placed upon a foundation and, therefore, constituting an accessory structure; and/or
(5) 
Having a length greater than 10 feet; and/or
(6) 
Being of heavy-gauge-steel construction, aluminum or a composite material.
PCPSF
A portable containerized property storage facility or unit, not exceeding 10 feet in length, intended to be utilized upon the exterior of residential premises for the purpose of storing all types of items of personal and household property either for pure storage or to facilitate the moving of persons from household unit to household unit, with the understanding that such unit, after a reasonable period of time for loading, will be moved to commercial storage facilities. Such unit shall be removed in the time frame as provided in § 105-5A(2). A PCPSF is commonly referred to as a "POD®."
[Added 10-15-2007 by Ord. No. 07-12]
STORAGE
The act of storing goods or the state of being stored; a space for storing goods.
VEGETATIVE WASTE
Decomposable materials generated by yard and lawn care or land clearing activities and includes, but is not limited to, leaves, grass trimmings, woody wastes, such as shrub and tree prunings, bark limbs, roots and stumps.
B. 
Purpose for including "outdoor storage/cargo containers" within the definitions. The purpose of this Ordinance 2007-12 is to define an "outdoor storage/cargo container" and to prohibit the use of such cargo containers in residential zoning districts. Cargo containers are not constructed or intended to be located in residential neighborhoods and, if placed in these neighborhoods, are not compatible with surrounding land uses and community character. The Township Council of the Township of Bridgewater further finds and determines that these amendments are reasonable and necessary for the public health, safety, convenience and welfare and are consistent with the Township Master Plan and purposes of the Municipal Land Use Law (N.J.S.A. 40:55D-1 et seq.).
[Added 10-15-2007 by Ord. No. 07-12]

§ 105-2 Storage of certain items prohibited on residential property.

In areas zoned residential, it shall be unlawful to store on the exterior of premises:
A. 
Any bulky household items such as appliances or non-outdoor furniture, except in a fully enclosed structure as permitted by the Zoning Ordinance.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 126, Land Use.
B. 
Construction material and equipment including, but not limited to, ladders, scaffolding, cement, concrete, building blocks, sheetrock, plywood, studs or beams, plywood, sand and aggregate piles, fuel storage devices, pipes, cement mixers, excavating equipment, etc., for more than 120 days except in a fully enclosed, screened or landscaped manner.
C. 
Landscaping equipment and supplies, including, but not limited to, mowers, chippers, shredders, pavers, mulch in bags or piles for more than 120 days except in a fully enclosed screened or landscape manner.
D. 
Tires and other motor vehicle equipment and parts, except in a fully enclosed structure.

§ 105-3 Maintenance of exterior premises.

The exterior premises shall be maintained so that the appearance thereof shall reflect a level of maintenance in general keeping with the standards of the neighborhood and such that the appearance thereof shall not promote or contribute to a blighting effect upon neighboring properties. The exterior of the premises shall not contribute to the progressive deterioration and downgrading of neighboring properties. To this end, the following requirements shall apply:
A. 
Ladders and scaffolding. No temporary painting scaffold or other temporary equipment used for construction, repair or maintenance shall be permitted to remain in place beyond eight weeks after the erection and placement of such equipment, without obtaining permission in writing from the Township Zoning Officer.
B. 
Lawn and landscaping. Where exposed to public view, the landscaping of premises shall be maintained in keeping with the neighborhood and in an orderly state with lawns mowed and bushes trimmed and free from becoming overgrown, littered and unsightly where such lawn and landscaping condition would constitute or contribute to a blighting effect.
C. 
Exterior areas. Exterior areas shall not be used for the storage of accumulated refuse and rubbish for more than a two-week period and such shall be stored in appropriate sanitary receptacles or other containers.
D. 
Motor vehicles and related equipment. It shall be unlawful for any owner, possessor or occupant of lands to store, keep or accumulate, upon such lands, any motorized vehicles, automobiles or machines in need of repair so as not to be readily operated under their own power or requiring substantial repairs or not currently licensed. However, nothing herein shall be construed to limit the storage or the repairing of vehicles which are kept in an enclosed place or garage.

§ 105-4 Dumpsters in single-family residential zones.

A. 
Location of construction dumpsters. Except for emergency situations, no commercial or construction dumpster shall be located within the setback area as reflected in Chapter 126 (Land Use) of the Township Municipal Code. An emergency situation is deemed to exist when the side and rear yards are insufficient in size to maneuver and locate a dumpster there. In that event, the dumpster may be located in the front yard or, if insufficient there, in the roadway, provided notification by the property owner utilizing the dumpster is provided in writing and delivered to the Bridgewater Police Department and Zoning Officer. The area around the dumpster shall be prominently marked with reflective safety cones, lighting or reflective tape to give adequate visual warning to oncoming traffic.
B. 
Time limit. With respect to an existing dwelling, a dumpster, and any replacement dumpster, shall be located on specific premises for a total of not more than 90 days. With respect to a dwelling being constructed, a dumpster, and any replacement dumpster, shall be located on specific premises for a total of not more than 180 days. These periods may be extended, in writing, by the Township Zoning Officer upon an appropriate showing of need, identification of a date certain by which the dumpster shall be removed and, in the case of a dwelling beginning construction, the posting of a bond in an amount equal to the cost of removing the full dumpster as provided in a certification from the vendor supplying the dumpster.
C. 
Sanitation requirements. The following requirements shall be maintained while the dumpster is on or at the site:
(1) 
The area around the dumpster shall be kept free of debris and litter.
(2) 
Any dumpster into which animal or vegetative waste or material has been dumped or deposited shall be removed or emptied within 24 hours.
(3) 
Any dumpster producing or causing noxious, foul or offensive odors shall be immediately removed or cleaned to eliminate the odor.
(4) 
A full dumpster shall be removed from the property within two days.
D. 
Identification. The name and telephone number of the owner of the dumpster and/or the company that is responsible for the dumpster shall be displayed in a weatherproof manner on the dumpster.
E. 
Failure to comply. Failure to comply shall constitute a nuisance which may be abated by the Township pursuant to its statutory authorization under N.J.S.A. 40:48-2.12.

§ 105-5 Storage containers in residential zones.

[Amended 10-15-2007 by Ord. No. 7-12]
A. 
PCPSFs in Single-family residential zones.
(1) 
Location. No PCPSF shall be located within the setback area of an abutting dwelling as reflected in Chapter 126 (Land Use) of the Township Municipal Code.
(2) 
Time limit. No PCPSF or series of PCPSFs shall be located on specific residential premises for a total of more than 180 days. If more than one PCPSF is utilized, the one-hundred-eighty-day period shall commence at the time the first PCPSF is physically situated on the real property.
(3) 
Other requirements. The following requirements shall be met by the owner or occupier of the residential premises with respect to a PCPSF:
(a) 
The PCPSF situated on residential property shall only be used for the storage of personal property, furniture and household items normally located on or in a residential dwelling or premises and shall upon written notification of the Township be subject to inspection.
(b) 
All such PCPSFs shall not have a height in excess of 7 feet nor a length of more than 10 feet nor a width of more than 8 feet.
(c) 
All access doors shall be secured with locks.
B. 
Outdoor storage/cargo containers in residential zoning districts. Outdoor storage/cargo containers are prohibited in all residential zoning districts.
C. 
Failure to comply. Failure to comply shall constitute a nuisance which may be abated by the Township pursuant to its statutory authorization under N.J.S.A. 40:48-2.12. This shall be in addition to any penalty to be imposed under this chapter of the Municipal Code.

§ 105-6 Notice of violation.

A. 
Such removal or compliance, as outlined above, shall be accomplished by the property owner or tenant, as the case may be, within 10 days after notice to remove or comply or within such extended time period as may be granted by the investigating Township official. Such extended time period shall be granted based on the substantive and exigent circumstances present in each case. However, in no case, shall the extended time period exceed 30 calendar days beyond the date of the initial notice. In addition, no such extension shall be granted except upon the written request of the affected property owner or tenant stating, with specificity, the reasons why such an extension is sought, the remedial steps proposed by the property owner or tenant to eliminate the conditions identified in the notice and a date certain by which such remediation shall take place.
B. 
In the event such removal or compliance, as outlined above, is not accomplished by the property owner or tenant to the satisfaction of the investigating Township Zoning Officer within the ten-day period or any extended time period granted, that township Zoning Officer, in his discretion, shall issue a summons to such property owner or tenant returnable before the Township Municipal Court for a violation of this chapter. The matter shall be prosecuted by the Township municipal prosecutor and the investigating Township official.

§ 105-7 Violations and penalties.

Any person who violates any provision of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof in the Municipal Court, be punished by a fine not exceeding $1,000 or by imprisonment for a term not exceeding 30 days for a first offense and not more than 90 days for a second offense, or both. A separate offense may be deemed committed for each day during or on which a violation occurs or continues.

§ 105-8 Failure to remove.

If such removal or compliance does not occur because the owner or tenant has refused or neglected or otherwise determined not to remove or comply, despite the notice of violation warning set forth in § 105-6A and the summons and Municipal Court procedure set forth in § 105-6B, the Township, itself, as an additional remedy, may see to removal or compliance by utilizing the procedures set forth in §§ 105-9 and 105-10 hereinbelow.

§ 105-9 Municipal civil remedy; service of notice; public hearing.

A. 
The Township may proceed to remediate the condition itself after due process, as hereafter defined. It may authorize the investigating Township official to effect removal or compliance subject to the due process procedure delineated herein.
B. 
The property owner or tenant shall be entitled to a hearing before the Township Council. Service, duly noticed, of this hearing shall be made upon such owner, lessor or its agent by the Township. This service of notice, provided to the owner, lessor, and adjacent property owners/tenants or their authorized agent, shall state the remediation action which may be taken by the Township Council at that meeting.
C. 
In the event of an inability to serve the owner, lessor or agent, after reasonable effort, pursuant to N.J.S.A. 40:48-2.12, sufficient notice shall be deemed to have been given if such notice is posted on the premises in a conspicuous place.
D. 
Within 14 days of receipt of this service of notice or any extension of time granted thereto by the Township Council, a public hearing shall be held by the Township Council, at which time, after the presentation of evidence by the appropriate Township official and the property owner/tenant, it may, if the evidence warrants it, adopt a resolution authorizing the remediation of the condition in accordance with § 105-10 hereinbelow.

§ 105-10 Removal by Township: certification of costs: costs as lien.

A. 
Pursuant to resolution, the appropriate Township official shall oversee and direct the removal and compliance with the chapter. Such Township official shall then certify the cost thereof to the Township Council, which shall examine the certificate and, if found correct, shall cause the cost as shown thereon to be charged against said dwelling or lands.
B. 
The amount so charged shall forthwith become a lien upon such dwelling or lands and shall be added to and become and form part of the taxes next to be assessed and levied upon such dwelling or lands, the same to bear interest at the same rate as taxes, and shall be collected and enforced by the same officers and in the same manner as taxes.

§ 105-11 Investigating/enforcement officer.

The investigating/enforcement Township officer for this chapter may be the Township Construction Official, Township Engineer, Township Health Officer, Township Fire Official, Township Environmental Officer or Township Zoning Officer, or their designated agent, as these officials may determine in their collective judgment, with the collaboration and approval of the Township Administrator.