[HISTORY: Adopted by the Council sitting as the Board of Health of the Township of Ewing 2-24-2009 by Ord. No. 09-02. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Unfit dwellings — See Ch. 161.
Noise — See Ch. 240.
Swimming pools — See Ch. 331.
Editor's Note: This ordinance also repealed former Ch. 407, Nuisances, Public Health, adopted 11-24-1998 by Ord. No. 98-13 as Ch. 245 of the 1998 Code.
The purpose of this chapter is to protect and promote the public health through the control, abatement and prevention of nuisances of a public health concern. Alleged infractions of the provisions and standards set forth will be investigated by an enforcing official in each case presented. Wherever there is a question as to the significance of an alleged infraction or the factual existence of an alleged infraction, the prudent judgment of the Health Officer or other enforcing official will prevail in the determination of a violation.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- To desert, ignore, and fail to maintain a property in a safe, habitable condition.
- The gathering together and increasing in amount over a period of time.
- The residue from the burning of wood, coal or other combustible materials.
- ATTRACTIVE NUISANCE
- A potentially harmful object on or condition of the land that, by its features, tends to lure children or others.
- BOARD OF HEALTH
- The Board of Health of the Township of Ewing.
- BOARD OF PUBLIC OFFICERS
- As defined in the General Ordinances of Ewing Township.
- Defined as specified in the New Jersey Uniform Construction Code, N.J.A.C. 5:23-1 et seq.
- BUILDING CODE
- The New Jersey Uniform Construction Code, N.J.A.C. 5:23-1 et seq.
- COMMERCIAL ACTIVITY
- Any activity which is not a residential use or activity.
- COMMERCIAL PREMISES
- As defined in the Township Zoning Ordinances and/or any tract of land on which or on part of which commercial activity of any kind takes place.
- A person engaged in any business or service, including construction, repairing, refurbishing, remodeling or the demolition of buildings or grounds within the Township.
- DEVELOPED PROPERTY
- Any premises on which a structure has been erected or other improvements have been made.
- As specified in the New Jersey Uniform Construction Code, N.J.A.C. 5:23-1 et seq.; Regulations for the Maintenance of Hotels and Multiple Dwellings, N.J.A.C. 5:10-1 et seq.; Regulations Governing Rooming and Boarding Houses, N.J.A.C. 5:27-1 et seq.; New Jersey State Housing Code, N.J.A.C. 5:28-1 et seq., as may be the case.
- ENFORCING OFFICIALS
- Include the Health Officer, Registered Environmental Health Specialist, Animal Control Officer, Zoning Officer, Construction Official, Fire Official or other official authorized by the Township Board of Health to enforce this chapter.
- EXTERIOR PROPERTY
- Any space located between property boundary lines of the tax lot in question or the boundaries of any contiguous tax lots and any structure on the property.
- The control and elimination of insects, mice, rats and other pests by eliminating their harborage places; by removing or making inaccessible materials that serve as their food; by poison spraying, fumigating, and trapping or by any other approved pest elimination methods.
- GOOD REPAIR
- The structure is maintained in such a manner that there is no evidence of deterioration, or damaged or loose elements, and, where appropriate, is capable of preventing the elements (rain, snow, wind) and rodents from entering the interior areas.
- HAZARDOUS MATERIALS
- Wastes presenting a danger to health and safety by reason of their pathological, explosive, radiological or toxic characteristics.
- The presence within, or contiguous to, a structure or premises of insects, mice, rats, vermin or other pests in quantities large enough to constitute a health threat.
- Those insects that have public health significance for disease transmission and property damage, such as cockroaches, ticks, mosquitoes, lice, bedbugs and termites, etc.
- Defined by the Noise Control Act or N.J.S.A. 13:1G, Noise Control Regulation N.J.A.C. 7:29, and the Ewing Township Noise Ordinance and/or any prohibitive activities in this chapter.
- NONRESIDENTIAL USER
- Any type of commercial, industrial or similar activity, whether or not operating for a profit, occupying premises within the Township and creating solid waste in any form.
- NOXIOUS WEEDS
- Any plant designated by a federal, state or county government as injurious to public health, agriculture, recreation, wildlife or property. A noxious weed may be native or nonnative, invasive or noninvasive and may also be commonly defined as a plant that grows out of place and is competitive, persistent, and pernicious. Examples include but are not limited to ragweed, poison ivy or oak, thistle, and multiflora rose.
- Defined as specified in the New Jersey Uniform Construction Code, N.J.A.C. 5:23-1 et seq.; Regulations for the Maintenance of Hotels and Multiple Dwellings, N.J.A.C. 5:10-1 et seq.; Regulations Governing Rooming and Boarding Houses, N.J.A.C. 5:27-1 et seq.; New Jersey State Housing Code, N.J.A.C. 5:28-1 et seq., as may be the case.
- Defined as specified in the New Jersey Uniform Construction Code, N.J.A.C. 5:23-1 et seq.; Regulations for the Maintenance of Hotels and Multiple Dwellings, N.J.A.C. 5:10-1 et seq.; Regulations Governing Rooming and Boarding Houses, N.J.A.C. 5:27-1 et seq.; New Jersey State Housing Code, N.J.A.C. 5:28-1 et seq.; New Jersey Uniform Fire Code, N.J.A.C. 5:70 et seq., as may be the case.
- Includes an individual, firm, corporation, association, society, partnership, and their agents or employees.
- A house or building, together with its land and outbuildings.
- PUBLIC HEALTH CONCERN
- Any matters, conditions or things that cause worry, solicitude, or anxiety for the health, safety and welfare of the public due to their dangerous or unsanitary nature.
- PUBLIC RESTROOM
- A room equipped with toilet facilities intended for public use in all public facilities and in establishments where commercial activity takes place.
- Any person occupying or maintaining a place of residence within the Township.
- RESIDENTIAL USE
- A dwelling unit, such as a home, condominium, trailer or a multifamily dwelling of two or more units.
- Those rodents that have public health significance for disease transmission and property damage, such as mice, rats, bats and other burrowing rodents, etc.
- SOLID WASTE
- Any trash, garbage, junk, rubbish, refuse, litter, debris and other materials that, when dumped, deposited, accumulated or abandoned, create conditions of public health concern. This term shall include any animal or vegetable waste solids resulting from the handling, preparation, cooking or consumption of foods; discarded material such as glass, wood, yard debris, grass/brush clippings, stone, concrete, plastic, ashes, cloth, rags, paper, metal, tires, street cleanings, dead animals, manure, appliances, furniture, equipment, automobiles, solid market wastes, construction materials, industrial wastes, chemical wastes, recyclable materials and containers, and all discarded appliances.
- The Township of Ewing, County of Mercer, and State of New Jersey.
- USABLE MATERIALS
- Properly stored, are nonperishable materials stored for new construction or other items intended to be used within 30 days and are stored off the ground and maintained in such a matter that they do not provide habitat for insects or rodents.
- WATER DRAINAGE AND ACCUMULATION
- The runoff, discharge or drainage of water from any premises or building which results in the accumulation of stagnant water. This definition shall not apply to water retention or detention areas and/or reservoirs approved by the Township Engineer.
- The growth, existence or presence of any noxious weeds of any height, or the growth, existence or presence of any other weeds or plant growth in excess of 10 inches. "Weeds" shall be defined as all grasses, annual plants and vegetation, other than trees or shrubs; provided, however, this term shall not include cultivated flowers, landscaped areas and gardens.
Any matter, thing, condition or act which, after investigation by the Health Officer or other enforcing official, is deemed to be injurious, detrimental or a menace to the public health or environment or is deemed to be an annoyance or to interfere with the comfort or wellbeing of the inhabitants of the Township is hereby declared to be a nuisance and shall include but not be limited to the following:
Pollution or the existence of a condition or discharge or release which causes or threatens pollution of any surface water or subsurface water of the Township.
The escape or entrance into open air/outdoor environment from any stack, vent, chimney, process or from any fire such quantities and duration of smoke, fly ash, dust, fumes, vapors, mists, or gases that tend to be injurious to human health or welfare, animal or plant life or property, or would unreasonably interfere with the enjoyment of life or property throughout the Township.
The growth, existence or presence of ragweed of 10 inches in height or greater, or in such a quantity so as to cause damage or injury to adjacent properties or be a public health concern, on any plot of land, lot, highway, street, sidewalk, right-of-way or any other public or private place within 200 feet of an occupied dwelling.
The growth, existence or presence of poison ivy, of 10 inches in height or greater, or in such a quantity so as to cause damage or injury to adjacent properties or, or be a public health concern, within 20 feet of an adjoining property line of an occupied residential or commercial property, sidewalk or right-of-way.
The growth, existence or presence of any weeds or noxious weeds, of 10 inches in height or greater, or in such a quantity so as to cause damage or injury to adjacent properties or be a public health concern, on any residential or commercial property, with the exception of state, county or local designated conservation areas or other restricted use areas.
All residential and commercial lawn areas are to be maintained and mowed and may not to exceed 6 inches in height. Areas allowed to return to natural conditions must be approved by the Health Department as provided herein.
[Amended 7-14-2015 by Ord. No. 15-20]
The existence or presence of dead and dying trees or limbs on any land within 50 feet of an adjoining dwelling or within 20 feet of an adjoining residential property line.
Any dead or dying tree that harbors insects or rodents.
The presence on any plot of land, highway, street, right-of-way or any other public or private place of any solid waste, but excluding usable materials properly stored. The practice of composting shall not fall within the meaning of this subsection, provided that such compost pile, mound or area is maintained on one's own private property and is properly maintained so as not to present offensive odors, the breeding or harborage of flies or other insects, rodents, vermin or any other public health nuisance.
Depositing, dumping, accumulating, maintaining or otherwise allowing any matter or thing which serves as food for insects or rodents and to which they may have access or which serves or constitutes a breeding place or harborage for insects, rodents or pigeons of a public health significance in or on any land, premises, building or other place.
The existence or presence of any accumulation of solid waste which may attract insects, rodents or other vermin and to which insects, rodents or other vermin may have access, or in which they may breed or dwell.
The existence or presence of any water or other liquid in which mosquito eggs, larvae or pupae exist or of any condition which allows water to lie, pond, stand or otherwise accumulate so as to provide a breeding environment for mosquitoes. The meaning of this subsection shall not apply to ponds where fish are adequately maintained so as to preclude the breeding of mosquitoes. This section shall not apply to fountains or swimming pools which maintain adequate circulation to preclude the breeding of mosquitoes.
The keeping of any animal or animals in such a manner as to cause or present a source of foulness, odors or breeding of insects, rodents or other vermin.
The existence or maintenance of any condition which may reasonably constitute a safety hazard, an attractive nuisance or otherwise present a threat to the safety and well-being of the inhabitants of the Township or of the public at large, including but not limited to the following:
Any vacant building which is not adequately sealed, boarded up or otherwise secured so as to preclude the entry of inquisitive minors or others.
Any excavation, depression, hole, shaft, abandoned or unused well which is of such depth or dimension so as to present a hazard in terms of one falling into or being entrapped therein and which has not been adequately fenced or sealed so as to prevent injury or harm.
Any discarded refrigerator, cabinet, automobile or other piece of equipment, machinery, device or material which may offer or present an enclosure and a hazardous attraction to children or others which has not been properly sealed or discarded.
Any dead or dying trees or limbs in such proximity to a dwelling, building, street, sidewalk, pathway, right-of-way, thoroughfare, driveway, park, playground or other frequented area where the falling of the tree or part thereof would endanger life or threaten injury or damage property.
The willful abandonment of any domestic animal within the boundaries of the Township.
Accumulation and storage of solid waste on any private or commercial property, unless properly contained or stacked for disposal, for 10 days or more.
Placement of solid wastes at curb for more than one day prior to the scheduled pick-up date. All items must be removed after the day of collection if not collected for any reason.
Any sidewalk, walkway, driveway, parking spaces or similar area containing cracks, potholes, or other defect which creates a hazardous condition or which is obstructed by plant growth or other natural or artificial barrier.
The runoff, sump pump discharge or drainage of water from any premises or building which results in the accumulation of ice, stagnant water or discharges on public roadways or onto an adjoining property in an uncontrolled (via pipe or swale) manner without permission of adjoining property owner or Township if a public roadway. This subsection shall not apply to water detention/retention areas approved by the Township when properly maintained and cleaned of silt and debris.
Public restrooms shall be kept in good repair; all surfaces of fixtures, walls and floors are to be cleaned on a regular schedule and must be provided with running hot and cold water of adequate pressure per the Plumbing Code. A supply of toilet paper, soap and hand drying supplies or equipment shall be provided at all times. Hand washing signs shall be posted.
It shall be unlawful for any person or persons to commit, maintain or allow any nuisance, as declared and described in this section.
Whenever cultivated farm land is no longer actively farmed, said lands are to be stabilized with appropriate vegetation, pre-emergent weed control or mowed to prevent wildlife harborage and nuisance weed problems for both adjoining residential lot owners and farmers, resulting in a public health nuisance.
In residential lots of two acres or greater, the owner, tenant or occupant of lands may make an application to the Health Department to allow land to revert back to its natural condition, but in such a manner that will not allow for the establishment of noxious weeds or rodent harborage. Reforesting with one-point-five- to two-inch diameter or larger assorted pines and hardwood trees is recommended. Wildflower areas are to be maintained and mowed annually.
The application will require submission of a survey of the subject land.
The plan must be consistent with recommendations of the Horticulturist from Rutgers Cooperative Research and Extension of Mercer County.
It shall be unlawful for the owner of any building to allow occupancy as a residence which is not in compliance the New Jersey Uniform Construction Code, N.J.A.C. 5:23-1 et seq.; Regulations for the Maintenance of Hotels and Multiple Dwellings, N.J.A.C. 5:10-1 et seq.; Regulations Governing Rooming and Boarding Houses, N.J.A.C. 5:27-1 et seq.; New Jersey State Housing Code, N.J.A.C. 5:28-1 et seq., as may be the case.
It shall be unlawful for the owner of any building to allow occupancy as a business, commercial or industrial establishment which is not in compliance with the New Jersey Uniform Construction Code, N.J.A.C. 5:23-1 et seq. and/or where the New Jersey Department of Labor and Industry or the United States Occupational Safety and Health Act provides otherwise.
All places and premises in this Township shall be subject to inspection by the Health Officer or other enforcing official if that official has reason to believe that any section of this chapter is being violated.
It shall be unlawful for any person to hinder, obstruct, delay, resist or prevent the Health Officer or other enforcing official, upon presentation of identification, from having full access to any place or premises upon which a violation of this code is believed to exist. In the event that entry to any place or premises is denied by any owner or tenant, the enforcing official shall obtain the appropriate warrant for entry through the Municipal Court.
Whenever a nuisance pursuant to § 407-3 is found, a violation notice shall be given to the owner and tenant/occupant, if applicable, in writing, by personal delivery or by certified and regular mail, to remove or abate the same within such time as shall be specified therein but not less than five days from the date of service thereof. Notwithstanding the foregoing, whenever a nuisance is declared pursuant to § 407-3A(6) for failure to maintain a commercial or residential lawn, the Township may require removal or abatement within five days from the date of receipt of service thereof. Notice to the owner and tenant/occupant of the violation and the time to abate shall be deemed complete as of the date of the violation notice if served personally on the property owner. Notice to the owner of the violation and the time to abate shall be deemed complete three days after the date on the violation notice, if served by certified and regular first-class mail.
[Amended 7-14-2015 by Ord. No. 15-20]
Whenever a nuisance as declared pursuant to § 407-3 is found on any public property or on any highway or any other public premises or place, notice in writing shall be given to the person in charge to remove or abate the same within such time as shall be specified therein.
The cost of abatement shall be borne by the property owner.
If such person fails to comply with such notice within the time specified therein, the Health Officer or other enforcing official may remove, abate or cause the clean up of the nuisance in the manner as hereinafter provided.
Whenever the owner, tenant or occupant notified has not complied with the notice as specified and the nuisance has not been abated or removed under the direction of the Health Officer or other enforcing official, any cost or expense incurred for abating or removing, or causing to be abated or removed the nuisance or condition, may be recovered in the following manner:
Such costs and expenses shall be certified to the Tax Assessor and shall become part of the taxes next assessed against the premises upon which the nuisance or condition was located.
Where it is not possible or practical to proceed under Subsection A the cost or expense shall be recovered in an action at law in any court of competent jurisdiction.
Regardless of how costs are actually recovered, they shall be in addition to and shall not affect the imposition of any penalties for the violation of this chapter.
The provisions of this chapter shall be enforced by the Health Officer or other enforcing officials as defined herein. Enforcement shall be in the Municipal Court having jurisdiction over proceedings to enforce and collect any penalty imposed because of a violation of any provision of this chapter. The proceedings shall be summary and in accordance with the Penalty Enforcement Law (N.J.S.A. 2A:58-10 et seq.). Process shall be in the nature of a summons or warrant and shall be issued by those authorized by the local Board of Health.
Any person who shall violate any provision of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, be punishable by one or more of the following: a fine not exceeding $2,000 or imprisonment for a period not exceeding 90 days or a period of community service not exceeding 90 days at the discretion of the Judge of the Municipal Court.
Except as otherwise provided, every day in which a violation of any provision of this chapter exists shall constitute a separate violation.
All fees and penalties collected under any provision of any chapter adopted by the Board of Health shall be payable to the Treasurer of Ewing Township.