Borough of Caldwell, NJ
Essex County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Caldwell as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Uniform construction codes — See Ch. 81.
Registration of contractors — See Ch. 83.
Uniform Fire Safety Code — See Ch. 109.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 175.
Nuisances — See Ch. 261.
[Adopted 11-26-1974 by Ord. No. 569-74]
The Borough Administrator is hereby designated as the public officer to exercise the powers prescribed by this article.
[Amended 7-13-1999 by Ord. No. 1073-99]
Whenever a petition is filed with the public officer by a public authority or by at least five residents of the Borough charging that any building is unfit for human habitation or occupancy or use or whenever it appears to the public officer (on his own motion) that any building is unfit for human habitation or occupancy or use, the public officer shall, if his preliminary investigation discloses a basis for such charges, issue and cause to be served upon the owner of the 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 officer (or his designated agent) at a place therein fixed not less than 7 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 officer.
If, after such notice and hearing, the public officer determines that the building under consideration is unfit for human habitation or occupancy or use, he shall state, in writing, his 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 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 said building vacated and closed within the times 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 said building within the time specified in the order, then the owner shall be required to remove or demolish said building within a reasonable time as specified in 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 officer may cause such building to be repaired, altered or improved or to be vacated and closed. The public officer 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 officer 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.
The amount of:
A. 
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 article determined in favor of the Borough; and
B. 
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. If the building is removed or demolished by the public officer, he 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. 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. If the total of the credits exceed such costs, the balance remaining shall be deposited in the Superior Court by the public officer, 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.
[Amended 7-13-1999 by Ord. No. 1073-99]
C. 
If an actual and immediate danger to life is posed by the threatened collapse of any fire-damaged or other structurally unsafe building, the Borough Administrator may, after taking such measures as may be necessary to make such building temporarily safe, seek a judgment in summary proceedings for the demolition thereof. Nothing in this article 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, nor is anything in this article intended to limit the authority of the enforcing agency or Construction Official under the State Uniform Construction Code Act, P.L. 1975, c. 217 (N.J.S.A. 52:27D-119 et seq.) or any rules or regulations adopted thereunder.
[Amended 7-13-1999 by Ord. No. 1073-99]
[1]
Editor's Note: For additional information regarding remedies available to aggrieved persons and recovery of debt through the Superior Court, see N.J.S.A. 40:48-2.8 and 40:48-1.1, respectively.
[Amended 7-13-1999 by Ord. No. 1073-99]
The public officer may determine that a building is unfit for human habitation or occupancy or use if he finds that 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 the Borough. Such conditions may include the following (without limiting the generality of the foregoing): defects therein increasing the hazards of fire, accident or other calamities; lack of adequate ventilation, light or sanitary facilities; dilapidation; disrepair, structural defects; uncleanliness. Prior to making a determination under this section, the public officer shall consider reports from the Chief and the Building Inspector with respect to any hazardous conditions present at the building site.
[Amended 7-13-1999 by Ord. No. 1073-99]
Complaints or orders issued by the public officer pursuant to this article shall be served upon persons either personally or by registered mail, but if the whereabouts of such persons is unknown and the same cannot be ascertained by the public officer in the exercise of reasonable diligence, and the public officer shall make an affidavit to that effect, then the serving of such complaint or order upon such persons may be made by publishing the same once in an official newspaper of the Borough. A copy of such complaint or order shall be posted in a conspicuous place on the premises affected by the complaint or order. A copy of such complaint or order shall be duly recorded with the Essex County Register of Deeds.
The public officer shall exercise such powers as may be necessary or convenient to carry out and effectuate the purposes and provisions of this article and of N.J.S.A. 40:48-2.3 et seq., including the following powers in addition to others herein granted:
A. 
To investigate the building conditions in the Borough in order to determine which buildings therein are unfit for human habitation or occupancy or use;
B. 
To administer oaths, affirmations, examine witnesses and receive evidence;
C. 
To enter upon premises for the purpose of making examinations, provided that such entries shall be made in such manner as to cause the least possible inconvenience to the persons in possession;
D. 
To appoint and fix the duties of such officers, agents and employees as he deems necessary to carry out the purposes of this article; and
E. 
To delegate any of his functions and powers under this article to such officers and agents as he may designate; provided, however, that no additional personnel shall be hired without the express approval of the Mayor and Borough Council.
As soon as possible after the adoption of this article, the Borough Administrator is directed to prepare an estimate of the annual expenses or costs to provide the equipment, personnel and supplies necessary for periodic examinations and investigations of the buildings in the Borough for the purpose of determining the fitness of such buildings for human habitation or occupancy or use and for the enforcement and administration of this article.
Nothing in this article shall be construed to abrogate or impair any ordinances or regulations of the Borough; and the powers conferred by this article shall be in addition and supplemental to the powers conferred by any other law.
[Adopted 9-9-2003 by Ord. No. 1134-03]
A. 
Whenever it shall be decided by the Director of Health or his/her designee that any building or part thereof occupied as a residence or business is unfit for human habitation by reason of its unsanitary condition, the Director or his/her designee shall cause a notice of such decision, together with the reasons therefor, to be served in the following manner:
(1) 
The notice shall be served upon the owner of the property and its occupants by certified mail or personal service.
(2) 
If the owner or occupants cannot be served in accordance with Subsection A(1), the notice shall be posted in a conspicuous place on the building.
B. 
The notice shall state that the building or a designated part thereof shall be vacated within the time as is specified in the notice and/or to abate the violations within the time as is specified in the notice.
A. 
Every house, apartment or dwelling and every yard, court, passage area and alley connected therewith or belonging thereto shall be kept clean.
B. 
The owner, agent, lessee and occupant of any tenement house, apartment, house or dwelling or part thereof shall maintain the interior and exterior premises free of garbage, filth, decaying organic matter, organic waste, stagnant water, or any condition that may become a detriment or menace to the health of the inhabitants of this municipality.
C. 
The use of any paint or any pigmented, liquid substance applied to surfaces by brush, roller or spray, in which the total nonvolatile ingredients contain more that 0.5% of lead by weight or 5,000 parts per million (PPM) by atomic absorption analysis or one milligram per square centimeter (mg/cm2) on the interior or exterior surfaces of any dwelling unit shall be prohibited.
D. 
When it is determined that a lead-based hazard exists, the Director of Health or his/her designee may order the removal or abatement of such hazard. Such removal or abatement must be conducted in such a manner as not to constitute a threat to the health or safety of residents, occupants or workers and shall be conducted by properly trained workers under the direction of qualified supervisors and utilize currently acceptable industry standards and work practices.
E. 
For any building or structure built prior to 1978, unconfined power sanding is prohibited. A sander with a dust-catching cover equipped with a HEPA vacuum is required. For all methods of paint removal, ground cover must be used to catch fallen chips and must be rolled up and discarded after use. Chips and dust that falls to the ground must be cleaned.
A. 
Every premises that is to be occupied as residential or commercial shall be provided with a safe supply of potable water meeting the standards as set forth in potable water standards as published by the New Jersey State Department of Health. All premises shall be provided with a supply of hot water with a minimum temperature of 120° F.
B. 
The minimum rate of flow of hot or cold water issuing from a faucet or fixture shall be not less than two gallons per minute.
In each dwelling, a minimum of one toilet in good and serviceable condition shall be provided for each family living separately. All premises that is to be occupied as commercial or business shall be provided with a minimum of one toilet in good and serviceable condition or as otherwise prescribed by the Uniform Construction Code.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 81, Construction Codes, Uniform.
No chimney, smoke pipe, smokestack, flue or any part thereof or any connection therewith shall be or remain defective or out of repair as to allow any noxious fumes or odors to escape from the building.
A. 
Before any building, dwelling, or structure in the Township shall be demolished, razed or moved, the owner thereof or the person responsible for such demolition, razing or movement shall, before such razing or demolition, fumigate, exterminate and treat said premises in an approved manner so as to destroy any rats, rodents or other vermin then in the structure, and provide written proof therefor to the Director of Health or his/her designee within 30 days of the completion of said treatment.
(1) 
The owner thereof or the person responsible for such demolition shall ensure that the building, dwelling or structure subject to demolition, razing, or moving shall remain free of rats, rodents or other vermin for the duration of the demolition, razing, or moving process by hiring a pest control company duly licensed in the State of New Jersey to monitor the site by performing site visits at least once every two weeks, and submit written assessments of the site to the Director of Health or his/her designee at least once a month until completion of the project.
(2) 
If the presence of rats, rodents or other vermin is detected, the owner or person responsible for such demolition shall, within two weeks of detection, fumigate, exterminate and treat said premises in an approved manner so as to destroy any rats, rodents or other vermin then in the structure, and provide written proof thereof to the Director of Health or his/her designee within 30 days of completion of said treatment.
B. 
For the duration of the demolition, razing or moving process, the owner thereof or person responsible for such demolition shall provide for a method of containing migrant dusts at the site by hydrating at intervals reasonably necessary to contain the spread of migrant dusts on the construction site.
[Amended 10-14-2008 by Ord. No. 1187-08]
Any person, firm or corporation who shall violate any of the provisions of this article shall, upon conviction, be punished by a fine not exceeding $2,000 or imprisonment for a term not exceeding 90 days or a period of community service not exceeding 90 days, or a combination thereof, and each violation of the provisions of this article and each day the same is violated shall be deemed and taken to be a separate and distinct offense.