Township of Swatara, PA
Dauphin County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Commissioners of the Township of Swatara 9-10-1997 by Ord. No. 1997-4 (Ch. 10, Part 5A, of the 1990 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Municipal claims — See Ch. 125.
Fees — See Ch. 147.
Health and sanitation — See Ch. 169.

§ 279-1 Purpose.

The purposes of this chapter are as follows:
A. 
To prevent the storage of unlicensed and uninspected motor vehicles on private property, except such motor vehicles as are housed in a fully enclosed and secure structure, which vehicles are in such a condition as to create a hazard and danger to the health and welfare of the Township citizens because:
(1) 
Such vehicle creates an attractive nuisance for children, who are not aware of the dangers involved.
(2) 
Such vehicle may provide a breeding ground, home or haven for rodents, rats, vermin, mosquitoes, flies and other undesirable animals, reptiles or insects.
(3) 
Flammable materials stored in any such motor vehicle or motor vehicle parts pose a danger of injury to both the citizens of the Township and the environment of the Township.
(4) 
Such motor vehicle is often utilized to store lumber, garbage, rubbish or other materials that attract vermin, rodents, reptiles and insects.
B. 
To establish a program of regulation by permit over the storage on private property of unlicensed and uninspected motor vehicles so that the Township may be apprised of their location and make appropriate inspections to determine that they do not constitute nuisances as prohibited by this chapter.

§ 279-2 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
LESSEE
An owner for the purpose of this chapter when the lessor holds the lessee responsible for maintenance and repair of the leased premises.
MOTOR VEHICLE
Any type of mechanical device, propelled by a motor, in which a person or persons or property may be transported upon public streets or highways when in operating condition and includes trailers or semitrailers pulled thereby.
NUISANCE
Any condition which shall constitute a threat or potential threat or is prejudicial to the public health, safety or welfare.
OWNER
The actual owner, agent or custodian of the property on which a motor vehicle or vehicles is/are stored, whether individual or partnership, association or corporation.
PERSON
A natural person, firm, partnership, association, corporation or other legal entity.

§ 279-3 Storage of certain motor vehicles prohibited.

It shall be unlawful for any person, owner or lessee to maintain a motor vehicle upon private property within Swatara Township which does not have a current and/or valid state safety inspection (if required) or does not have a valid state registration plate and has any of the following physical defects which individually or jointly constitute a nuisance in fact:
A. 
Broken windshields, mirrors or other glass with sharp edges.
B. 
One or more flat or open tires or tubes which could permit vermin harborage.
C. 
Missing doors, windows, hood, trunk or other body parts which could permit animal harborage or sharp edges.
D. 
Any broken or bent body parts with sharp edges, including holes resulting from rust.
E. 
Missing tires resulting in unsafe suspension of the motor vehicle.
F. 
Upholstery which is torn and open to the outside which could permit animal and/or vermin harborage.
G. 
Broken headlights or tail lamps with sharp edges.
H. 
Disassembled chassis apart from the motor vehicle stored in a disorderly fashion or loose in or on the vehicle.
I. 
Protruding sharp objects from the chassis.
J. 
Broken vehicle frame suspended from the ground in an unstable manner.
K. 
Leaking or damaged oil pan or gas tank which could cause fire, explosion or environmental hazard.
L. 
Exposed battery containing acid.
M. 
Inoperable locking mechanism for doors or trunks.
N. 
Open or damaged floor boards, including trunk and firewall.
O. 
Damaged bumpers pulled away from the perimeter of the vehicle constituting a protruding sharp edge or cutting surface.
P. 
Broken grill with protruding edges.
Q. 
Loose or damaged metal trim and clips constituting a potential cutting surface.
R. 
Suspended or unstable supports.
S. 
Broken or bent antennas constituting a protruding sharp edge or cutting surface.
T. 
Such other defects that could threaten the health, safety and welfare of the public.

§ 279-4 Permit for storage of motor vehicles.

Any person, owner or lessee who has one or more motor vehicle(s) as defined in § 279-3 above may be granted a temporary vehicle storage permit to temporarily store such vehicle(s) in the Township of Swatara for the purpose of repairing such vehicles. Such permits are not automatically granted and may be denied if the Health Officer determines that there is too great a risk to public health and safety. Such permits are only granted in strict compliance with the regulations provided herein. Such person, owner or lessee must first apply, in writing, to the Health Officer of Swatara Township for a temporary motor vehicle storage permit. Such application must set forth the location and description of the land on which said motor vehicle(s) are to be placed, the manner of storage, the length and purpose of storage and a complete description of the vehicle, including make, model, license plate number and/or vehicle identification number (VIN). A separate application is required for each vehicle for which a temporary permit is requested along with a fee paid to the Township of Swatara such as may be provided, from time to time, by resolution of the Board of Commissioners. If said application is approved by the Township Health Officer, a temporary vehicle storage permit will be issued for each approved vehicle.

§ 279-5 Validity and renewal of temporary storage permit(s).

Each temporary motor vehicle storage permit will be valid for three consecutive months from the date of issue. The expiration date of the permit will be written on the permit by the Township Health Officer; a permit, upon approval of the Health Officer, may be renewed.

§ 279-6 Placement of storage permit on vehicle.

The vehicle storage permit shall be placed on the inside surface of the front windshield of the motor vehicle for which the permit is issued. The permit will be placed on the driver's side area of the windshield above or near the area where the state safety inspection sticker is normally placed and shall be completely visible from the outside of the vehicle. A temporary vehicle storage permit(s) may not be transferred from one vehicle to another.

§ 279-7 Removal of flammable liquids.

Before a temporary motor vehicle storage permit is issued, the person, owner or lessee applying for the permit must sign a statement certifying that all gas, oil and/or other flammable liquids have been removed/drained from the vehicle(s).

§ 279-8 Storage of materials in motor vehicles.

It shall be unlawful to store any type of flammable material (liquid, solid or gas) in any motor vehicle or to store engine parts, lumber, garbage, rubbish or any other material that may pose a hazard to the health, welfare or safety of the residents of Swatara Township or that may attract vermin or present a rodent harborage.

§ 279-9 Refusal of motor vehicle storage permit; hearing.

A. 
Any person aggrieved by a refusal of the Health Officer to issue a permit may request and shall be granted a hearing by the Board of Commissioners of Swatara Township; provided, he/she shall file with said Board a written petition requesting such hearing and setting forth a brief statement of the grounds therefor within 10 days after notice that a permit has been refused. The hearing shall commence not later than 30 days after the date on which the petition was filed unless postponed for sufficient cause. The hearing shall be conducted by the Board or the Board may appoint any member or group of members to act as hearing officer or officers and to conduct the hearing.
B. 
After such hearing, the decision, or, where no decision is called for, the findings shall be made by the Board, but the parties may waive decision or findings by the Board and accept the decision or findings of the hearing officer or officers as final.
C. 
The Board of Commissioners shall initially establish, by ordinance, reasonable fees with respect to hearings before the Board or its appointed hearing officer or officers. Fees for said hearings may include compensation for the secretary, notice and advertising costs and necessary administrative overhead connected with the hearing. The costs, however, shall not include legal expenses, engineering expenses, architectural or expert witness costs or other technical consultants. The Board of Commissioners may, from time to time, change such fees by resolution.

§ 279-10 Removal of motor vehicle stored without permit.

Any motor vehicle that is classified a nuisance stored on private grounds without a permit issued by the Health Officer, as herein required, shall be removed by the owner or occupier of said grounds after notice to do so and, in default thereof, the Township may cause the same to be done and collect the costs thereof, together with a penalty of 10% of such costs in the manner provided by law for the collection of municipal claims or by action of assumpsit or may seek relief by bill in equity. Attorney fees shall be added to the amount collected above pursuant to Chapter 125, Article I, of the Swatara Township Code of Ordinances.

§ 279-11 Inspection.

The Health Officer and/or his/her authorized representative is hereby empowered to inspect grounds on which motor vehicles are stored to determine if there is compliance with the provisions of this chapter.

§ 279-12 Violations and penalties.

Any person who shall violate any provision of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than $30 nor more than $600 and costs of prosecution, or, in default of payment of such fines and costs, to undergo imprisonment for not more than 30 days, provided each day's continued violation of any provision of this chapter, after notice thereof, shall constitute a separate violation and shall be punishable as such.