[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Borough of Brooklawn 9-12-1983 as Ord. No. 7-83. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter shall be known as the “Commercial Maintenance Code of the Borough of Brooklawn” and is referred to in this chapter in the short form as “this code.”
The purpose of this code is to protect the public health, safety and welfare by establishing minimum standards for the maintenance of commercial premises hereinafter defined; to fix responsibilities and duties upon owners, operators and occupants; to authorize and establish procedures for the inspection of such premises; to fix penalties for the violations of this code; and to provide for the right of access to permit repairs when necessary. This code is hereby declared to be remedial and essential for the public interest and it is intended that this code be liberally construed to effectuate the purposes as stated herein.
The following terms, wherever used herein, shall have the following meanings, unless a different meaning clearly appears from the context:
- COMMERCIAL PREMISES
- A lot or tract of land on which or on any part of which commercial activity of any kind takes place. Commercial activity shall include but is not limited to gasoline stations, parking lots, retail sales, professional activities, including but not limited to medical, dental, legal, architectural and accounting; personal services, including real estate, insurance, barbershops, hairdressers; repair shops of all kinds; and amusements, including but not limited to movies, skating rinks and bowling alleys, whether part of a shopping area or not.
- EXTERIOR OF PREMISES
- Those portions of a building which are exposed to public view and the open space of any premises outside of any building erected thereon.
- Any condition, man-made or natural, which affords a breeding place or hiding place for rodents, insects or other pests.
- A. Any common-law nuisance or as provided by the laws of the State of New Jersey or the ordinances of the Borough of Brooklawn.
- B. Any attractive nuisance which may prove detrimental to the health or safety of minor children, whether In a s building or upon a lot. This includes but is not limited to any structurally unsound fences or structures, lumber, trash, fences, debris or vegetation such as poison ivy, poison oak or poison sumac, which may prove a hazard to minor children.
- C. Physical condition dangerous to human life or detrimental to the health of persons on or near the premises where the conditions exist.
- D. Unsanitary conditions or anything offensive to the senses or dangerous to health in violation of the laws of the State of New Jersey or ordinances of the Borough of Brooklawn.
- E. Whatever renders air, food or drink unwholesome or detrimental to the health of human beings.
- F. Fire hazards.
- Any person having actual possession of the premises or any part thereof.
- Any person who has charge, care or control of the commercial premises or any part thereof, whether with or without the consent of the owner.
- Any person who, alone or jointly or severally with others, shall have legal or equitable title to any commercial premises with or without accompanying actual possession thereof or shall have charge, care or control of any commercial premises as owner or agent of the owner, or as fiduciary, including but not limited to executor, executrix, administrator, administratrix, trustee, receiver or guardian of the estate, or as a mortgagee in possession, regardless of how such possession was obtained. Any person who is a lessee subletting or reassigning any part or all of any commercial premises shall be deemed to be a co-owner with the lessor and shall have joint responsibility over the portion of the premises sublet or assigned by said lessee.
- SHOPPING AREA
- One or more buildings or parts thereof designed as a unit, to be occupied by one or more businesses for the conduct of business and conducted as an integrated planned area development.
Every commercial premises and any building situated thereon in the Borough of Brooklawn used or intended to be used for commercial occupancy shall comply with the provisions of this code, whether or not such building shall have been constructed, altered or repaired before or after the enactment of this code. This code establishes minimum standards for the initial and continued occupancy and use of all such commercial buildings and does not replace or modify standards otherwise established for the construction, repair, alteration or use of such commercial buildings or premises contained there-in. Where there is mixed occupancy with commercial and other uses on the same premises, all such uses shall be nevertheless regulated by and subject to the provisions of this code.
In any case where the provisions of this code impose a higher standard than is set forth in any other ordinances of the Borough of Brooklawn or under the laws of the State of New Jersey, then the standards as set forth herein shall prevail, but if the provisions of this code impose a lower standard than any other ordinances of the Borough of Brooklawn or the laws of the State of New Jersey, then the higher standard contained therein shall prevail.
Owners and operators shall have all the duties and responsibilities prescribed in this code, and no owner or operator shall be relieved from any such duty and responsibility, nor be entitled to defend against any charge of violation thereof, by reason of the fact that the occupant is also responsible therefor and in violation thereof.
Occupants shall have all the duties and responsibilities as pre-scribed in §§ 68-18 through 68-18 of this code, and the occupant shall not be relieved from any such duty and responsibility, nor be entitled to defend against any charge of violation thereof, by reason of the fact that the owner or operator is also responsible therefor and in violation thereof.
The exterior of the premises and all structures thereon shall be kept free of all nuisances and any hazards to the safety of occupants, pedestrians and other persons utilizing the premises and free of un-sanitary conditions, and any of the foregoing shall be promptly re- moved and abated by the owner or operator. It shall be the duty of the owner or operator to keep the premises free of hazards, which include but are not limited to the following:
Refuse, which includes broken glass, filth, garbage, trash, litter and debris.
Natural growth, which includes brush, weeds, ragweeds, stumps, roots and obnoxious growths, dead and dying trees and limbs or other natural growth which, by reason of rotting or deteriorating conditions or storm damage, constitute a hazard to persons in the vicinity thereof. Trees shall be kept pruned and trimmed to prevent such conditions.
Overhangings, which include loose 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.
Ground surface hazards or unsanitary conditions; holes, broken or missing pavement; loose stone excavations, breaks, projections, obstructions, ice, uncleared snow and excretion of pets and other animals on paths, walks, driveways, parking lots and 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 repaired and other conditions removed where necessary to eliminate hazards or unsanitary conditions with reasonable dispatch upon their discovery. It shall be the responsibility of owners and operators to take reasonable steps to discover any such hazards or unsanitary conditions which may exist on their premises.
Recurring accumulations of stormwater. Adequate runoff drains shall be provided and maintained to eliminate any recurrent or excessive accumulations of stormwater.
Sources of infestation.
Equipment. Disassembled trucks, trailers or automobiles and parts thereof.
[Added 5-13-1985 by Ord. No. 6-85; amended 2-24-1986 by Ord. No. 2-86]
Premises shall be kept landscaped, and lawns, hedges and bushes shall be kept trimmed and kept from becoming overgrown. Plantings required by site plan approval shall be replaced when the same have died.
All signs, pavement markings and printed matter and pictures or illustrations contained thereon, permitted by reason of other regulations or as a lawful nonconforming use, shall be maintained in good repair.
In order to preserve property values and eliminate safety hazards and protect adjacent properties and the neighborhood from blighting influences, 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 whitewashed, where necessary for purposes of preservation and appearance, free of broken glass, loose shingles, crumbling stone or brick or excessive peeling paint.
Unsafe exterior facilities. Unsafe exterior facilities include exterior porches, landings, balconies, stairs and fire escapes, all of which shall be kept structurally sound and in good repair and shall be provided with banisters or railings properly designed and maintained.
Signs and billboards. All permanent signs and billboards exposed to public view, permitted by the Zoning Ordinance and regulated by the Building Code or other regulations or as a lawful nonconforming use, shall be maintained in good repair. Any sign or billboard which has weathered excessively or faded or the paint on which has excessively peeled or cracked shall, with its supporting members, be removed forthwith or put into a state of good repair. All non-operative or broken electrical signs shall be repaired or shall, with their supporting members, be removed forthwith.
Windows exposed to public view. All windows exposed to public view shall be kept clean and free of marks and foreign substances and be unbroken. Except when necessary in the course of changing displays, no storage of materials, stocks or inventory shall be permitted in window display areas ordinarily exposed to public view unless such areas are first screened from view by draperies, venetian blinds or other means. All screening of interiors shall be maintained in a clean and attractive manner and in a good state of repair.
Awning or marquee. Any awning or marquee and its accompanying structural members which extend over any street, sidewalk or other portion of the premises shall be so maintained as to not constitute a nuisance or safety hazard. In the event that any such awning or marquee is not properly maintained in accordance with the foregoing, it shall, together with its supporting members, be removed forthwith. In the event that any such awning or marquee is made of cloth, plastic or of similar materials, said materials, where exposed to public view, shall be maintained in good condition and shall not show evidence of excessive weathering, discoloration, ripping, tearing or other deterioration. Nothing herein shall be construed to authorize any encroachment of an awning, marquee or its accompanying structural members on streets, sidewalks or other parts of the public domain.
Temporary scaffolding or equipment. No temporary painting scaffold or other temporary equipment used for construction, repair or maintenance shall be permitted to remain in place beyond a period necessary to reasonably complete the purpose for which such equipment was intended to be used without permission of the public officer.
Storefronts. All storefronts shall be maintained in good repair, and all surfaces thereof shall be kept painted, when necessary, for purposes of preservation and appearance. In the event that repairs to a portion of a storefront are made, such repairs shall be performed with materials identical or compatible with the materials used in the area not undergoing repair, to the end that the appearance of the storefront shall be uniform and attractive and shall not constitute a blighting factor depreciating adjoining properties.
Unoccupied buildings. All unoccupied buildings, including those areas visible by the public from the public street or sidewalk, must be maintained in broom-clean condition and free of litter.
[Amended 5-13-1985 by Ord. No. 6-85; 2-24-1986 by Ord. No. 2-86]
Outside storage or display of merchandise or commercial or industrial material or equipment, motor vehicles, trailers, disassembled trucks, trailers or automobiles and parts thereof shall be forbidden. This subsection also applies but is not limited to the storage of merchandise or equipment in trailers, motor vehicles, shacks, sheds or other containers.
Tractors and tractor trailers shall not be parked on any commercial or industrial lot in excess of four hours. This does not mean that any tractor or trailer may be moved from one area to another on the same lot or lots.
Waiver of this provision may be applied for in writing to the Mayor and Borough Council and granted based on the size, amount and kinds of merchandise or equipment, the duration and location of the outside storage and the purpose of this code.
Other than the aforementioned, the provisions of the ordinance to which this ordinance is an amendment shall remain in full force and effect.
[Amended 4-9-1984 by Ord. No. 2-84]
Parking lots or parking areas, including the entrances and exits thereto, shall be paved with asphalt or concrete and shall be kept in a good state of repair and maintained so as to comply with § 68-7 hereof. Signing of ownership and use restrictions shall be maintained in good repair, clearly visible to potential parkers. Striping, where appropriate, shall indicate spaces, direction of flow and entrances and exits and be maintained so as to assure visibility.
The owner, operator and occupant shall have the duty and responsibility of removing refuse and garbage at least twice per week, but if twice weekly pickup is not sufficient to remove all garbage that accumulates, removal more often shall be required.
Every day that the premises is open for business, the occupant shall be responsible for removing litter from the sidewalk or other pedestrian areas, if any, in front of the occupant's commercial premises. The area shall be swept as often as necessary to maintain it free of litter, spillage and other debris.
Upon discovery by an occupant of any condition of the premises which constitutes a violation of this chapter by the owner or operator, the occupant shall report same to the Police Department, Construction Code Official or Health Officer, who shall be responsible for enforcement of the provisions of this chapter.
All parts of the premises under the control of the occupant shall be kept in a clean and sanitary condition, and the occupant shall refrain from performing any acts which would render other parts of the premises unclean or unsanitary or which would obstruct the owner or operator from performing any duty required hereunder or maintaining the premises in a clean and sanitary condition.
Every operator and occupant shall be responsible for the elimination of infestation in and on the premises subject to his control.
No person shall deposit any litter on the ground in any commercial premises.
The owner and operator of every shopping area shall be responsible for providing, maintaining and policing the following:
Means of ingress and egress shall be clearly marked by signs.
Parking spaces shall be clearly indicated by painted lines.
Lanes for the movement of traffic in each direction shall be indicated by arrows indicating one-way traffic, which shall be painted in these lanes at both ends.
A trash basket with at least a twenty-gallon capacity shall be provided for each one hundred fifty (150) feet of storage frontage in the shopping area. These baskets shall be placed in the walking or pedestrian area and shall be provided with tight-fitting covers fitted with hinged doors and shall not be allowed to overflow.
Fire zones shall be kept clear of all vehicular traffic and parking, as designated by the Fire Marshal of the Borough of Brooklawn.
It shall be the duty of owners and operators, where parking spaces and lanes are provided for their customers, to see that all parking is done in conformity with the spaces provided and that the flow of traffic conforms to the directional arrows painted in the lanes between the parking spaces.
All buildings and premises governed by this code are subject to inspection from time to time by the Construction Code Official, Health Officer, Police Department or any other official charged with the duty of enforcing regulations governing any aspect or conduct of the activity housed in the said premises. At the time of such inspections, all parts of the premises must be available and accessible for such inspections, and the owner, operator and occupant are required to provide the necessary arrangements to facilitate such inspections. Such inspections shall be made during open hours of the business occupying the said premises unless there is reason to believe a violation exists of a character which is an immediate threat to health or safety requiring inspection and abatement without delay.
Where the violation or condition existing on the premises is of such a nature as to constitute an immediate threat to life and limb unless abated without delay, the Police Department, Construction Code Official or Health Officer may order the owner, operator or occupant to correct the violation or condition within the period of time consistent with the hazard involved and with the measures necessary to remove the hazard; and upon the failure of the operator, owner or occupant to correct said condition, the Police Department, Construction Code Official or Health Officer shall abate said condition immediately thereafter.
Where abatement of any nuisance as defined herein or correction of a defect on the premises or the maintenance of the premises in a proper condition to conform to applicable ordinances of the Borough of Brooklawn or the laws of the State of New Jersey requires expenditure of the Borough of Brooklawn's moneys therefor, the Police Department, Construction Code Official or Health Officer shall present a report of the work accomplished to the governing body of the Borough of Brooklawn, along with a summary of the proceedings undertaken to secure compliance, including notice served upon owners, operators, occupants or their agents, as the case may be, by telephone, telegram or as otherwise provided by law. The governing body shall then approve the expenditures made and assess the same against the premises, collectible as provided by law. A copy of the resolution approving the said expenses shall be certified by the Borough Clerk and filed with the Tax Collector of the Borough of Brooklawn, who shall be responsible for the collection thereof, and a copy of the report and resolution shall be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, to the owner.
Except as provided in § 68-22 hereof, where violations of this code or the regulations hereunder are found to exist, a written notice from the Construction Code Official shall be served on the person or persons responsible for the correction thereof.
Notice shall be served personally or by certified mail, return receipt requested, addressed to the last known address of the person to be served. In the case of an occupant, notice may be posted upon the main entrance door of the building, and in case of an owner who does not reside within the Borough of Brooklawn, the last known address shall be the address of the owner as shown in the office of the Tax Collector.
The notice shall specify the violation or violations committed; what must be done to correct the same; a reasonable period of time, not to exceed 30 days, to abate the violation; the right of the person served to request a hearing; and that the notice shall become an order of the Construction Code Official 10 days after service unless a hearing is requested pursuant to these provisions.
Within 10 days of the date of service of a notice, the notice shall constitute a final order unless any person affected by the notice requests a hearing thereon by serving a written request within the ten-day period in person or by certified mail on the Construction Code Official. Such request for a hearing shall set forth briefly the reasons for which the request for a hearing is made and the factual matters contained in the notice of violation for which the hearing is requested. The Construction Code Official, upon receipt of the request for hearing, shall, within 30 days therefrom and upon five days' notice to the parties so requesting, conduct a hearing.
At the hearing provided hereunder, the Construction Code Official shall hear all parties, and determination shall be made within 10 days from the completion of the hearing. He shall then issue an order incorporating the determinations and directions contained in the notice, modifying the said notice if he so deems necessary. The Construction Code Official may extend the time for correction of the violations where he deems necessary.
In the event the violation is not abated, removed, cured or otherwise fully remedied within the time period prescribed in the initial notice or extended time period as permitted by the Construction Code Official, a summons shall then issue against such person or persons charged with the violation.
Any person who shall violate any of the provisions of this chapter or any order promulgated hereunder shall, upon conviction, be punished by a fine not to exceed $500 or by imprisonment in the county jail for a period not to exceed 90 days, or by both such fine and imprisonment, and each violation of any of the provisions of this chapter and each day that such violation shall continue shall be deemed to be a separate and distinct offense.