[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Committee of the Township of Carneys Point as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Solid waste — See Ch. 256.
Article I General Provisions
Article II Registration and Maintenance of Vacant/Abandoned Properties
[Adopted 7-7-1954 by Ord. No. 101]
It shall be unlawful for any owner or owners, occupant or occupants of any lands lying within the Township of Carneys Point to allow, permit or maintain any brush, weeds, dead or dying trees, stumps, roots, obnoxious growths, poisonous and noxious plants detrimental to health, filth, garbage, trash and debris or any accumulation of dead weeds, grass or brush upon said occupied or unoccupied lot or land or on or along the sidewalk, street or alley adjacent to the same.
[Amended 5-20-1985 by Ord. No. 393; 8-12-1991 by Ord. No. 514]
Any owner or owners, occupant or occupants of any premises who shall neglect to remove any brush, weeds, dead or dying trees, stumps, roots, obnoxious growths, poisonous and noxious plants detrimental to health, filth, garbage, trash and debris or any accumulation of dead weeds, grass or brush from said lands and premises in the Township of Carneys Point within 10 days after being notified to remove the same by or through the Health Reporting Officer, Chief of Police and/or Fire Chief shall, upon conviction in the Carneys Point Municipal Court, be subject to a fine not exceeding the sum of $500 for each offense.
Upon the failure of any owner or owners, occupant or occupants of any premises to remove any brush, weeds, dead or dying trees, stumps, roots, obnoxious growths, poisonous or noxious plants, filth, garbage, trash and debris within 10 days after notice to remove the same, said action shall immediately thereafter be reported by the Health Reporting Officer or Chief of Police or Fire Chief to the Township Committee of Carneys Point Township, who shall cause the same to be removed, and the cost thereof shall be certified to the governing body, which shall examine the certificate and, if found correct, shall cause the cost as shown thereon to be charged against said lands. The amount so charged shall forthwith become a lien upon such lands and shall be added to and become and form part of the taxes next to be assessed and levied upon such lands, the same to bear interest at the same rate as taxes and shall be collected and enforced by the same officer or officers and in the same manner as taxes.
The imposition and collection of the fine imposed by this chapter shall not bar the right of the Township of Carneys Point to collect the cost of removal in the manner as required in this chapter, and the remedy shall be cumulative.
[Added 9-18-2013 by Ord. No. 880]
Owner as referenced and set forth in §§ 56-1 through 56-4 inclusive shall include the holder of any legal or equitable title to the premises, with or without possession; the person or entity who has charge, care or control of the premises as owner or occupant or agent of the owner or occupant or a fiduciary, including the executor or administrator of the record owner's estate, testamentary heirs of the record owner, intestate heirs of the record owner, fiduciaries, trustees, receivers, legal guardians of record owner or occupant, any foreclosing entity or any other person or entity entitled to act with respect to said premises.
[Adopted 9-18-2013 by Ord. No. 880]
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- The holder of any legal or equitable title to the premises, with or without possession; the person or entity who has charge, care or control of the premises as owner or occupant or agent of the owner or occupant or a fiduciary, including the executor or administrator of the record owner's estate, testamentary heirs of the record owner, intestate heirs of the record owner, fiduciaries, trustees, receivers, legal guardians of record owner or occupant, any foreclosing entity or any other person or entity entitled to act with respect to said premises.
- VACANT PROPERTY
- Any building used or to be used for residential, commercial or industrial purpose which is not legally occupied or in which substantially all lawful construction operations or residential occupancy has ceased and which is in such a condition that it cannot be legally reoccupied without repair or rehabilitation, including but not limited to any property meeting the definition of "abandoned property" pursuant to N.J.S.A. 55:19-80; provided, however, that any property where all building systems are in working order, where the building and grounds are maintained in good order or where the building is in habitable condition and where such property is being actively marketed by its owner for sale or rental shall not be deemed a vacant property for purposes of this ordinance.
[Amended 3-16-2016 by Ord. No. 914]
The owner of any vacant property as defined herein shall, within 30 days after the building becomes vacant or within 10 days after receiving notice from the Township or assuming ownership or serving a summons and complaint in an action to foreclose on a mortgage, in the case of a foreclosing entity register a notice with the Housing Officer of the municipality of the name, street address, block and lot number of the premises, telephone number and e-mail address (if applicable) of the owner and contact person, designated by the owner or owners as the authorized agent for receiving notices of code violations and for receiving notice of process in this state of any legal proceeding on behalf of such owner in connection with the enforcement of code or ordinances and the name, address and telephone number of the individual responsible, if different for maintaining the property.
The registration statement shall include the name, street address, telephone number, and e-mail address (if applicable) of a person 21 years of age or older, designated by the owner or owners as the authorized agent for receiving notices of code violations and for receiving process in any court proceeding or administrative enforcement proceeding on behalf of such owner or owners in connection with the enforcement of any applicable code; and the name, street address, telephone number and e-mail address (if applicable) of the firm and the actual name(s) of the firm's individual principal(s) responsible for maintaining the property. The individual or representative of the firm responsible for maintaining the property shall be available by telephone or in person on a twenty-four-hour-per-day seven-day-per-week basis. The two entities may be the same or different persons. Both entities shown on the statement must maintain offices in the state of New Jersey or reside within the state of New Jersey.
The Housing Officer may prescribe a registration form for filing, and the information contained in the filing shall be deemed prima facie proof of the statements contained in any enforcement proceeding instituted by the Township against the owner, or owners of the buildings. The owner shall notify the Housing Officer of any changes in the information provided in the registration statement within 10 days of the change.
The registration shall remain valid for one year from the date of registration, except that the initial registration shall expire on December 31 of the year of the initial registration and be renewed annually on January 1 of each subsequent year as long as the property remains vacant.
Any owner of vacant property who submits plans to the Municipal Officer that completely rehabilitate or restore the property to productive use and occupancy within the twelve-month period following the date of the initial property registration shall be exempt from payment of the registration fee if the Municipal Officer deems the rehabilitation or restoration project may be complete in that twelve-month period, but shall comply with all other provisions of this section. In the event that the property has not been restored to productive use and occupancy at the end of the twelve-month period, the owner shall be liable for any fee waived. The Municipal Officer may extend the waiver of the registration fee for not more than one additional year in response to a written request by the owner where the Municipal Officer finds that compelling conditions outside the owner's control made it impossible for the owner to restore the property within the initial twelve-month period.
Where the owner is an entity experienced in rehabilitation or redevelopment of vacant properties, and where the property subject to this section is being held for a project or rehabilitation or redevelopment consistent with municipal plans and ordinances, and where by virtue of financing, marketing or other conditions that project may require more than one year for realization, the Municipal Officer may extend the waiver of the registration fee on an annual basis, without limitation, upon written request by the owner, as long as the Municipal Officer finds that the owner is making reasonable progress toward completion of the project. The owner shall provide the Municipal Officer with such documentation, which may include plans, financing applications, applications for land use approval or other evidence of progress.
The registration and renewal fee for each building or structure shall be as follows:
No less than 20% of all fee income resulting from the application of this section shall be deposited in a trust fund that shall be used for the sole purpose of carrying out municipal activities with respect to vacant and distressed properties, including but not limited to code enforcement, abatement of nuisance conditions, stabilization, rehabilitation, and other activities designed to minimize blight and/or promote further productive reuse of properties.
The Municipal Officer may establish for purposes of efficient administration that all registrations shall be renewed by a single date in each year, which date shall be established by the Municipal Officer, in which case the initial registration fee shall be prorated for registration statements received less than 10 months prior to that date.
The owner of any vacant property shall acquire or otherwise maintain liability insurance, in an amount of not less than $300,000 for buildings designed primarily for one- to four-unit residential use and not less than $1,000,000 for any other building, including, but not limited to, buildings designed for multifamily, manufacturing, storage or commercial uses, covering any damage to any person or any property caused by any physical condition of or in the building.
Any insurance policy acquired or renewed after the building has become vacant shall provide for written notice to the Municipal Officer within 30 days of any lapse, cancellation or change in coverage. The owner shall attach evidence of the insurance to the owner's registration statement. Any registration statement submitted that does not include such evidence shall not be deemed to be a valid registration.
Information procedure. The Township of Carneys Point shall establish a procedure by which citizens can provide the Municipal Officer with information on unkempt or unregistered properties that may be subject to this section.
The owner of any building that has become vacant property, and any person maintaining, operating or collecting rent for any such building that has become vacant, shall, within 30 days thereof:
Enclose and secure the building against unauthorized entry as provided in the applicable provisions of the ordinances of the Township of Carneys Point and statutes governing trespassers; and
Ensure that the exterior grounds of the structure, including yards, fences, sidewalks, walkways, rights-of-way, alleys, retaining walls, attached or unattached accessory structures and driveways, are well-maintained and free from trash, debris, loose litter and grass and weed growth in compliance with the applicable codes and Township ordinances.
The owner of any vacant property registered under this article shall provide access to the Township to conduct exterior and interior inspections of the building to determine compliance with this article and municipal codes during the Housing Officer's business hours.
Any person who violates any provision of this article shall be fined not less than $100 and not more than $1,000 for each offense. Every day that a violation continues shall constitute a separate and distinct offense. For purposes of this section, failure to file a registration notice within the prescribed time period or submission of false or misleading information on the notice shall be deemed to be violations of this article. Nothing herein shall limit the Township's right to establish a lien to offset the cost undertaken by the Township to secure or maintain the same.