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Resident Cited by Housing Office for Stockpiling Wood, Debris, and Unknown Substance on Roof

By William E. Cleary Sr. | CNBNews


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Part of the rain gutter is hanging down from the top roof soffit and is being held in place by a thin rope. There are numerous bags, of an unknown substance stored on the shed roof. The property has been in this condition for months according to neighbors. (CNBNews photo)

(GLOUCESTER CITY, NJ (January 25, 2021)--A Monmouth Street resident living in the 800 unit block contacted us about a home in their neighborhood. They were concerned that the substance in the bags being stored on the roof along with the firewood and debris piled along the side of the home was a fire hazard. They also said the property was unsightly and has looked this way since the fall. 

According to Bill Ackley, the City's Chief Housing Inspector/Zoning Officer, the homeowner was cited for those conditions in  December, a month ago. 

Ackley said,  "Please be advised that this property was cited in December 2020 and the property owners are working with one of the inspectors in this office to clean up and repair the property. The property owners are moving towards compliance, but they have been hampered by life’s events as the couple recently had a baby. Our oversight and enforcement efforts will continue until all violations are abated. The issues that your email addresses are a property maintenance and they are covered by Gloucester City code section 66. "

Code Section 66 was adopted in 1982 and amended by the mayor and council in 1991.  The document states in part, "The purpose of this ordinance is to protect the public health, safety, and welfare by adopting minimum standards governing a supply of utilities and facilities and other physical things and conditions essential to making dwellings safe, sanitary, and fit for human habitation and governing the conditions of dwellings, authorizing the inspection of dwellings and fixing penalties for violations."  


Fire Chief Pat Hagan was asked whether or not the wood logs and bags of an unknown substance stored on the back porch and shed roof would hinder his department if a fire broke out. "If the house ever caught on fire wouldn't those conditions add fuel to the fire?"

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On one side of the house, there are piles of cinder blocks stacked in the front of the property along with paper bags of refuse; stacked against the wall of the house are logs and piles of old wood. A neighbor nearby was concerned that the wood and other items were a fire hazard.(CNBNews photo)

Hagan said, "I would agree that those items would add to the fire load if a fire were to happen; however, you have some of the bravest and well-trained firefighters in the region if not country protecting you and the residents of this fine city."  

"I was at the property in question and unfortunately the NJ Fire Code does not give me the authority to cite any violations because it is a single-family, de-attached, owner-occupied dwelling, which is used for dwelling proposes. As Mr. Ackley previously stated that these questions were addressed through the Gloucester City Housing Department; however, I will follow up with him to assure these issues will be taken care of in the near future."

NJ UFC (Uniform Fire Code) Enforcement authority states, “ The local enforcing agency shall periodically inspect all premises, except owner-occupied one- and two-family or attached single family structures used exclusively for dwelling purposes.”

The NJ IFC (International Fire Code, NJ Edition) states under Applicability,  “All buildings, structures, and premises within this State, with the exception of owner one- and two-family dwellings used exclusively for dwelling purposes”

"I am confident that that the Gloucester City Housing department will have this situation taken care of in the near future," Hagan said. 


Screen Shot 2021-01-25 at 15.16.01More bags of the unknown substance are laying on the porch roof on the Brown Street side of the property. Scattered about the yard are an assortment of cinder blocks, buckets, yard furniture, and bags and bags of discarded matter.  (CNBNews photo)

Some of the violations that are governed by Gloucester City code Section 66 include: 

Screen Shot 2021-01-25 at 17.39.10 Screen Shot 2021-01-25 at 17.41.18 Screen Shot 2021-01-25 at 17.43.31See Ordinance


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Part One: What is Being Done about the Blight and Housing in Gloucester City?