Roxbury to Messy Owners: Show Some Pride or Show Up in Court

The lot owned by Michael Bartek on Route 46 in Kenvil was among 18 sites visited by Roxbury officials in a crack-down on code violations last weekend.

ROXBURY, NJ – Roxbury officials are cracking down on property owners that mess up.

A team that included code enforcement, construction, health, fire and police officials conducted an 7-hour-long sweep last weekend along Route 46 in Kenvil and Route 10 in Succasunna, said Roxbury Township Manager Christopher Raths.

The goal was to get automobile service stations and other property owners to comply with local and state codes relating to vehicle storage, health matters, fire hazards and other property upkeep issues, he said.

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“We issued over 50 notices of violation (NOVs)” said Raths, who said the team visited sites between 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. on April 16. “Eighteen properties got NOVs or summonses related to trash debris, high grass, improper storage of vehicles, vehicles in excess of the number allowed, storage of combustible materials and other NOVs and various summonses,” he said

The owners given NOVs have about two weeks to comply. Those that ignore the notices will be slapped with summonses and scheduled to appear in municipal court, said Raths.

Roxbury Municipal Court Judge Ira Cohen agreed to set aside two special court dates – May 26 and June 2 – just to hear cases relating to these summonses, said Raths.

The manager noted that not all of the properties visited by the task force were new to the game. Those that had been warned in the past, with NOVs, were slapped with summonses, said Raths. He said the team issued “about a half-dozen” summonses.

“We also picked up about 10 properties where there were several cars for sale with no (license) plates,” Raths said. “Those have been handed over to the police department for issuance of tickets.”

“Some of the properties (given NOVs) we were well aware of, but there were also a lot of service stations in the area that had many more cars and junk that they need to address,” said Raths. “We’ll be doing this type of enforcement in other areas of town too, as time allows … We’re just trying to push these issues and let the property owners know that they are responsible for their properties and also responsible to operate their businesses in accordance with our codes and state regulations.”

Raths said the task force also collected “a whole bunch of illegal signs” during its tour. He said these are the small signs posted at intersections – sometimes on utility poles – advertising services such as house renovations, basement cleanouts and gutter repair.

“Those are all in violation of our sign ordinance,” said the manager. “They are going to be picked up, collected and disposed of and if you are a repeat offender we will contact you.”

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