Section: Stop, lay to by order of officer
2. The Legislature finds and declares that:
a. Abandoned properties, particularly those located within urban areas or in close proximity to occupied residences and businesses, create a wide range of problems for the communities in which they are located, fostering criminal activity, creating public health problems and otherwise diminishing the quality of life for residents and business operators in those areas.
b. Abandoned properties diminish the property values of neighboring properties and have a negative effect on the quality of life of adjacent property owners, increasing the risk of property damage through arson and vandalism and discouraging neighborhood stability and revitalization.
c. For these reasons, abandoned properties are presumptively considered to be nuisances, in view of their negative effects on nearby properties and the residents or users of those properties.
d. The continued presence of abandoned properties in New Jersey's communities acts as a significant barrier to urban revitalization and to the regeneration of the State's urban centers.
e. Abandonment is a local problem that must be addressed locally and the most important role of State government is to provide local governments, local community organizations, citizens, and residents with the tools to address the problem.
f. The responsibility of a property owner to maintain a property in sound condition and prevent it from becoming a nuisance to others extends to properties which are not in use and 'demolition by neglect', leading to the deterioration and loss of the property, or failure by an owner to comply with legitimate orders to demolish, stabilize or otherwise repair his or her property creates a presumption that the owner has abandoned the property.
g. Many abandoned buildings still have potential value for residential and other uses and such buildings should be preserved rather than demolished, wherever feasible, particularly buildings that have historic or architectural value, or contribute to maintaining the character of neighborhoods or streetscapes, or both, as the case may be.
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