City of Harrisburg, PA
Dauphin County
By using eCode360 you agree to be legally bound by the Terms of Use. If you do not agree to the Terms of Use, please do not use eCode360.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Harrisburg by Ord. No. 10-1972. Amendments noted where applicable.]
CROSS-REFERENCES
Building and Housing Code Board of Appeals: see Ch. 8-501.
Plumbing Board: see § 8-105.7.
Unsafe buildings: see Chs. 8-101 and 8-107.

§ 8-301.1 Issuance of emergency orders.

Whenever any department, bureau or division of the City, through a representative thereof, deems that an emergency situation, as hereafter defined, exists which necessitates immediate action to protect the public health, safety or welfare of persons in the City or to protect the property of any such persons, he or she shall report such fact to the Codes Administrator or designee, who may, without prior notice, issue a written order which shall contain the following:
A. 
A description of the situation which constitutes the emergency;
B. 
The name of the party responsible to correct the situation in order to eliminate the emergency which exists;
C. 
The time within which the party responsible is required to eliminate the conditions which constitute the emergency;
D. 
The action which must be taken by the party responsible to eliminate the conditions which constitute the emergency;
E. 
The address and description of the premises at which the emergency exists;
F. 
The time within which an appeal from the order must be filed and the identity of the board with which an appeal must be filed, as provided in § 8-301.4.

§ 8-301.2 Determination of emergency situation.

An emergency situation shall be deemed to exist when the continued existence of such situation poses a present threat of damage or harm to the health or safety of persons in the City or to property within the City.

§ 8-301.3 Posting and service of emergency order.

The written order authorized by § 8-301.1 shall be posted at a conspicuous place on the premises involved and shall be served on the party responsible to correct the conditions which constitute the emergency by certified mail, return receipt requested, postage prepaid, directed to the last known address of the party responsible. Service shall be deemed to have occurred on the date on which the order was delivered or attempted to be delivered as set forth on the return receipt. If the identity or last known address of the party responsible to eliminate the conditions which constitute the emergency is not available or unknown, then the order shall be advertised one time in a newspaper of general circulation within the City. If the identity of the party responsible to eliminate the conditions constituting the emergency is unknown, then the advertisement shall be directed to "The owner (or occupant) of the premises at ___________________________________, Harrisburg, Pennsylvania." Service of the order shall be deemed to have been made three days after such advertisement appears.

§ 8-301.4 Time and filing of appeal.

Appeals from an emergency order must be filed in writing with one of the following Boards or the Director of Building and Housing Development within three days after service of any order:
A. 
With the Building and Housing Code Board of Appeals, if the conditions giving rise to the emergency constitute violations of the Property Maintenance Code[1] or deal with the suitability of any dwelling or structure for continued occupancy;
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 8-107.
B. 
With the Building and Housing Code Board of Appeals, if the conditions giving rise to the emergency constitute a violation of the City Building Code[2] or any matters relating to the structure or construction of buildings or structures within the City;
[2]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 8-101.
C. 
With the Board of Plumbing, if the facts giving rise to the emergency constitute a violation of the Plumbing Code[3] or relate to any matters involving plumbing or sewage; or
[3]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 8-105.
D. 
With the Fire Chief, if the facts giving rise to the emergency situation are such that two or more of the aforesaid Boards, or any such board or boards and the Director of Building and Housing Development (Director), have jurisdiction of the appeal, in which event the Codes Administrator may select an appropriate Board or the Director with whom the appeal must be filed. However, the Board or Director to whom the appeal has been directed may subsequently refer the matter for disposition to another Board or the Director if it is determined that another Board or the Director is better qualified to consider the appeal.

§ 8-301.5 Public nuisances. [1]

Any existing building or structure which, in the opinion of the Codes Administrator, is dangerous, unsafe, or unfit for human occupancy in accordance with these Codified Ordinances shall be deemed a public nuisance per se.
[1]
Editor's Note: This section derives from Ord. No. 3-1972.

§ 8-301.6 Elimination of emergency by City.

If the party responsible to eliminate the conditions giving rise to the emergency fails to file a timely appeal with the appropriate Board or the Director, as applicable, and does not comply with the emergency order, then the City, acting through its duly authorized representatives or persons employed by the City, may take the necessary measures to have the emergency eliminated. In order to eliminate an emergency, representatives of the City, or any party employed by the City to correct such conditions, may enter upon the premises involved without the permission of the owner, tenant or occupant, but only if such entry will not cause a breach of the peace. If the party responsible does file a timely appeal, then the City shall not take further action until proceedings relative to such appeal have been concluded and an order issued by the Board or Director to whom the appeal was taken and the time for further appeal shall have expired.

§ 8-301.7 Elimination of emergency conditions without order; notice and appeal.

A. 
If the Codes Administrator determines that the continued existence of any emergency situation constitutes a grave and immediate threat to the safety or health of persons within the City or their property, he may direct representatives of the City or other duly qualified parties to employ the necessary measures to have the emergency eliminated without the necessity of first issuing an emergency order in accordance with § 8-301.1.
B. 
If the Codes Administrator proceeds to eliminate an emergency situation in accordance with the provisions of Subsection A hereof, then the City shall not bring an action in assumpsit for any expenses incurred in doing so or enter a municipal claim against the premises involved until written notice of the intention of the City to institute such proceeding or enter such claim has been served on the party who was responsible to eliminate the condition(s) giving rise to the emergency, which service shall be made in the manner set forth in § 8-301.3 for service of an emergency order. The notice shall contain the following:
(1) 
A description of the situation which constitutes the emergency;
(2) 
The name of the party who is responsible to eliminate the conditions which constitute the emergency;
(3) 
The date on which the necessary measures were employed whereby the emergency was eliminated;
(4) 
A description of the work employed in order to eliminate the emergency;
(5) 
A statement setting forth the expenses incurred in order to eliminate the emergency;
(6) 
A statement that suit will be instituted against the party responsible and/or a municipal claim entered against the premises involved in the event that payment of the expenses incurred in order to eliminate the emergency is not made to the City within a period of 10 days;
(7) 
The time within which an appeal from the notice must be filed and the identity of the Board or Director of Building and Housing Development with whom an appeal must be filed.
C. 
An appeal from the notice must be filed in writing within three days after service with the Board or Director to whom an appeal could have been taken in accordance with § 8-301.4 if an Emergency Order had been issued in accordance with § 8-301.1. The Board or Director to whom the appeal is directed may subsequently refer the matter for disposition to another Board or the Director if it is determined that another Board or the Director is better qualified to consider the appeal.
D. 
If such an appeal is filed, the Board or Director to whom the appeal is taken shall determine whether the facts which caused the Codes Administrator to proceed in accordance with the provisions of Subsection A hereof did constitute a grave and immediate threat to the safety or health of persons within the City or to their property and whether the procedures followed by the City relative to the emergency were in accordance with the provisions of this chapter. If an appeal is taken, the City shall not institute a suit in assumpsit or enter a claim for expenses incurred in eliminating the emergency until the proceedings before the Board or Director relative to such an appeal have been concluded and an order issued by such Board or Director and the time for further appeal has expired. The proceedings before any Board or Director shall be in conformity with the procedures set forth in the ordinance establishing the Board and, in the case of an appeal to the Director, the procedure shall be in accordance with the procedure set forth in the Fire Prevention Code governing appeals.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See § 3-901.6, Appeal.

§ 8-301.8 Apportionment of expenses between parties and property owners.

If the City is required to eliminate the conditions which constitute an emergency situation in accordance with the provisions of § 8-301.6 or 8-301.7, and if the facts giving rise to the emergency involve two or more parties or properties, the expenses for eliminating the emergency situation shall be divided equally among the parties or owners of the properties involved, unless it is determined that any party or property is not responsible for the conditions which constituted the emergency, in which event the expenses shall be equally divided among the remaining parties or owners of the properties involved. In any case, where expenses are to be divided among parties or owners of properties as aforesaid, if an objective method exists for apportioning such expenses among the parties or owners involved, then the expenses shall not be divided equally among the parties or owners but may be apportioned in accordance with the objective method employed.

§ 8-301.9 Expenses.

If the City is required to execute an emergency order for failure of the party responsible for property(ies) to comply with the same, or if the City eliminates an emergency situation in accordance with § 8-301.6, any expense incurred in doing so, together with a penalty of 10% of such expense, may be collected from the party responsible in an action in assumpsit. In addition, if the party responsible is the owner of the premises involved, the expenses and the penalty may be entered as a municipal claim against the property in accordance with the provisions of law governing the entry of a municipal claim.

§ 8-301.99 Penalty.

Any person who violates the provisions of this chapter shall be subject to the general code penalty, § 1-301.99 of these Codified Ordinances.