Borough of Girard, PA
Erie County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Girard as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Fire prevention and fire protection — See Ch. 199.
Housing standards — See Ch. 228.
Nuisances; dangerous buildings — See Ch. 266.
Numbering of buildings — See Ch. 270.
Subdivision and land development — See Ch. 370.
Zoning — See Ch. 425.
[Adopted 7-15-1974 by Ord. No. 467 (Ch. V, Part 2, of the 1974 Code of Ordinances)]

§ 145-1 Title.

This article shall be known as the "One- and Two-Family Dwelling Code of Girard Borough."

§ 145-2 Adoption of standards.

There is hereby adopted by the Borough of Girard, Erie County, Pennsylvania, for the purpose of establishing rules and regulations for the fabrication, erection, construction, reconstruction, enlargement, alteration, addition to, repair, location and use of detached one- and two-family dwellings, their appurtenances and accessory structures, the "BOCA One- and Two-Family Dwelling Code, First Edition, 1971," and each and all of the regulations, provisions, penalties, conditions, and terms of the said code are hereby referred to, adopted and made a part hereof as if fully set out in this article, with the additions, insertions, deletions, and changes, if any, hereinafter set forth, of which not less than three copies have been and now are on file in the office of the Secretary of the Borough of Girard.

§ 145-3 Modifications and amendments.

The One- and Two-Family Dwelling Code is hereby changed and amended in the following respects:
A. 
Section R-106 of the said code is hereby amended to read as follows:
R-106 Violations and penalties: It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation, whether as owner, lessee, sublessee, or occupant, to fabricate, erect, construct, reconstruct, enlarge, alter, add to, repair, locate, improve, remove, convert, demolish, equip, use, occupy, or maintain any one- or two-family dwelling in the Borough of Girard, or cause or permit the same to be done, contrary to or in violation of any of the provisions of this code.
It is hereby declared that certain violations of this code may constitute a public nuisance, and, in addition to any other remedies provided by this code for its enforcement, Girard Borough may bring civil suit to enjoin the violation of any provisions of this code.
If for any reason any one or more sections, sentences, or parts of this code are held invalid, such judgment shall not affect, impair, or invalidate the remaining provisions. Any person, firm, or corporation violating any of the provisions of this code shall, upon conviction thereof, be sentenced to pay a fine not exceeding $300, and costs of prosecution, and, in default of payment of such fine and costs, to imprisonment for not more than 30 days. Provided: each and every day or portion thereof during which any violation of any provision of this code is committed or continued shall constitute a separate offense.
B. 
Section R-107 of the said code is hereby amended to read as follows:
R-107 Right of appeal: All persons shall have the right to appeal the Building Official's decision to the Board of Appeals, and the terms and provisions of Section 127, including all subsections thereunder, of the Building Code of Girard Borough shall apply with respect to said right of appeal.
C. 
Chapter 25, Section P-2501 to P-2510, of the said code is hereby deleted in its entirety and the following is hereby added to read:
Chapter 25, Sewers and Private or Individual Sewage Disposal Systems: Said systems shall comply with the Pennsylvania Sewage Facilities Act, Act 537, as amended, approved January 24, 1966, and all amendments and supplements thereto.[1]
[1]:
Editor's Note: See 35 P.S. § 750.1 et seq.

§ 145-4 Interpretation.

In interpreting any of the provisions of the code hereby adopted,[1] the following principles shall be governing:
A. 
The said code shall not supersede any provision of any law of the commonwealth or of any regulation promulgated by any department or agency of the commonwealth by authority of law, where such law or regulation is in conflict with or identical to a provision of the said code or where such law or regulation deals with a subject that local authorities have no authority to regulate; provided, however, that any provision of the said code that is stricter than or in addition to any state law or regulation governing a particular subject or activity shall be in effect and shall be enforced within the Borough of Girard, subject to the penalties herein prescribed for violation[2] of the said code hereby adopted.
[2]:
Editor's Note: See § 145-3A of this article.
B. 
Mention in or regulation by the code hereby adopted of any specific use of property or of any business or industry shall not in itself authorize such use of property or the carrying on of such business or industry in the Borough. It is hereby declared that it is the intent of the Borough Council that permitted and prohibited uses of property within the Borough shall be as governed by Chapter 425, Zoning, of the Code of the Borough of Girard, and its amendments and supplements.
[1]:
Editor's Note: The BOCA One- and Two-Family Dwelling Code; see § 145-2 of this article.

§ 145-5 Continuing nature of provisions.

The provisions of this article, and of the code hereby adopted,[1] so far as they are the same as those of ordinances in force immediately prior to the enactment of this article, are intended as a continuation of such ordinances and not as new enactments. Nothing in this article or in the code hereby adopted shall affect any act done or liability incurred, nor shall it affect any suit or prosecution pending or to be instituted to enforce any right or penalty or to punish any offense under the authority of any such prior ordinance.
[1]:
Editor's Note: The BOCA One- and Two-Family Dwelling Code; see § 145-2 of this article.
[Adopted 6-21-2004 by Ord. No. 686]

§ 145-6 Adoption of standards.

The Borough of Girard adopts and incorporates by reference the following codes as its Construction Code:
A. 
Provisions of Chapters 2 to 29 and 31 to 35 of the International Building Code.
B. 
The International Residential Code, exclusive of its Chapter 1, but including Sections R101, R102 and R106 and including Sections AE501 through AE503 and AE601 through AE605 of its Appendix E.
C. 
The International Electrical Code, exclusive of its administrative provisions, aside from those defining its scope, construction plan requirements and required testing and inspections, to the extent they do not conflict with administrative regulations implementing the UCC.
D. 
The International Mechanical Code, exclusive of Chapter 1, but including Sections 101.1, 105, 106.3 and 107 to the extent they do not conflict with the administrative regulations implementing the UCC.
E. 
The International Fuel Gas Code, exclusive of its Chapter 1, but including Section 101 to the extent it does not conflict with the administrative regulations implementing the UCC.
F. 
The International Plumbing Code, exclusive of its Chapter 1, but including Sections 101, 104.1, 104.5, 105, 106.3 and 107 to the extent they do not conflict with the administrative regulations implementing the UCC.
G. 
The International Fire Code, exclusive of its Chapter 1, but including Sections 101.1 to 101.3, 102, 103.1 to 103.3, 104.3, 104.4, 104.5, 105, 106, 107, 109.1, 110 and 111 to the extent they do not conflict with the administrative regulations implementing the UCC.
H. 
The International Energy Conservation Code.
I. 
Code requirements for housing accessibility.

§ 145-7 Training and certification.

The Borough of Girard adopts by reference regulations governing training and certification, administration and other matters governing implementation of the UCC as adopted by the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry, as the same in the future may be amended.

§ 145-8 Election to administer and enforce.

Girard Borough hereby elects to administer and enforce the provisions of the Pennsylvania Construction Code Act, Act 45 of 1999, 35 P.S. §§ 7210.101 to 7210.1103, as amended from time to time, and its regulations.

§ 145-9 Adoption of UCC by reference.

The Uniform Construction Code, contained in 34 Pa. Code Chapters 401 to 405, as amended from time to time, is hereby adopted and incorporated herein by reference as the Municipal Building Code of Girard Borough.

§ 145-10 Administration and enforcement.

Administration and enforcement of the code within Girard Borough shall be undertaken in any of the following ways as determined by the Girard Borough Council from time to time by resolution:
A. 
By the designation of an employee of Girard Borough to serve as the Borough Code Official on behalf of Girard Borough.
B. 
By the retention of one or more construction code officials or third-party agencies to act on behalf of Girard Borough.
C. 
By agreement with one or more other municipalities for the joint administration and enforcement of this Act through an intermunicipal agreement.
D. 
By entering into a contract with another municipality for the administration and enforcement of this Act on behalf of Girard Borough.
E. 
By entering into an agreement with the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry for plan review, inspections and enforcement of structures other than one-family or two-family dwelling units and utility and miscellaneous-use structures.

§ 145-11 Board of Appeals.

A Board of Appeals shall be established by resolution of the Borough of Girard in conforming to the requirements of the relevant provisions of the code, as amended from time to time, and for the purposes set forth therein. If at any time enforcement and administration is undertaken jointly with one or more other municipalities, said Board of Appeals shall be established by joint action of the participating municipalities.
A. 
A Joint Board of Appeals shall be established in accordance with 35 P.S. § 7210.501(c) and administrative regulations adopted by the Department of Labor and Industry to hear appeals from decisions of the Building Code Official and/or Construction Code Official.
B. 
A member of the Board of Appeals holds office at the pleasure of the governing bodies of the municipalities participating in the intermunicipal agreement and may be removed with or without cause by a majority vote of the governing bodies of the participating municipalities. The Board of Appeals may not act upon appeals, requests for variance or requests for extension of time which relate to matters regulated and governed by state laws and Borough ordinances other than the UCC and this article.
C. 
An action pertaining to an unsafe building, structure or equipment shall not be stayed by virtue of an appeal.
D. 
The Board of Appeals shall decide an appeal or request for variance or for extension of time by reviewing documents and written briefs or arguments, unless the owner requests a hearing. In the event an owner requests a hearing, the owner shall with such request pay all additional fees therefor as are imposed by resolution of the Girard Borough Council.
E. 
The Board of Appeals shall hold a hearing within 60 days after the date of an applicant's request and payment of required fees therefor, unless the applicant has agreed in writing to an extension of time.
F. 
An application for appeal shall be based on a claim that the true intent of the UCC or regulations adopted under it have been incorrectly interpreted; that the provision of the UCC do not fully apply; or that an equivalent form of construction is to be used. In considering appeals under this section, the Board of Appeals shall only consider the following in making its decision:
(1) 
Whether the true intent of the UCC and this article have been correctly interpreted by the Building Code or Construction Code Official.
(2) 
Whether provisions of the UCC and this article do not apply.
(3) 
Whether an equivalent form of construction is to be used.

§ 145-12 Requests for extensions or variances; fees.

A. 
The Board of Appeals may consider the following factors when ruling upon a request for extension of time or a request for variance from regulations:
(1) 
The reasonableness of application of the UCC and this article's additional standards to the particular case.
(2) 
The extent to which the granting of a variance or an extension of time will pose a violation of the UCC and/or additional standards in this article or an unsafe condition.
(3) 
The availability of professional or technical personnel needed to come into compliance.
(4) 
The availability of materials and equipment needed to come into compliance.
(5) 
The efforts being made to come into compliance as quickly as possible.
(6) 
Compensatory features that will provide an equivalent degree of protection to the UCC and additional standards in this article.
B. 
Economic cost shall not furnish justification for granting an appeal or a variance or extension of time.
C. 
In considering an appeal or a request for variance, the Board of Appeals may deny the request in whole or in part; grant the request in whole or in part; grant the request upon certain conditions being satisfied; or grant other appropriate relief.
D. 
The Board of Appeals shall provide written notice of its decision to the owner and the Building Code Official. The Building Code Official shall provide a copy of said decision to the Girard Borough Zoning Administrator within seven days after his or her receipt thereof.
E. 
The Girard Borough Council, by resolution, may impose fees for appeals. Such fees shall be paid contemporaneously with submission of an appeal petition.
F. 
The firm(s) retained by the Borough may establish fees approved by the Borough of Girard for additional services required of it in appeal.
G. 
The Girard Borough Council, by resolution, is authorized to establish fees to be paid to members of the Board of Appeals for services rendered.
H. 
The municipality involved in a proceeding before the Board of Appeals shall be responsible for payment of fees due to Board members for such proceeding. Fees established for appeals may include such costs as the Girard Borough Council deems reasonable.

§ 145-13 Effect on other provisions.

A. 
All building code ordinances or portions of ordinances which were adopted by Girard Borough on or before July 1, 1999, and which equal or exceed the requirements of the code shall continue in full force and effect until such time as such provisions fail to equal or exceed the minimum requirements of the code, as amended from time to time.
B. 
All building code ordinances or portions of ordinances which are in effect as of the effective date of this article and whose requirements are less than minimum requirements of the code are hereby amended to conform with the comparable provisions of the code.
C. 
All relevant ordinances, regulations and policies of Girard Borough not governed by the code shall remain in full force and effect.

§ 145-14 Fees.

A. 
Fees assessable by Girard Borough for the administration and enforcement undertaken pursuant to this article and the code shall be established by the governing body by resolution from time to time.
B. 
No application for a permit, certificate or other service to be provided by the Borough shall be accepted unless all fees and deposits required therefor are paid with the application or other request.
C. 
No application for a UCC construction permit or construction plan approval shall be accepted or referred to the retained firm(s) unless all fees and deposits required therefor are paid with such.
D. 
If an initial deposit fund has been or soon will be exhausted, the Borough's Zoning Administrator or the retained firm(s), as the case may be, shall have authority to require that the applicant pay one or more additional deposits toward fees for additional services.
E. 
If a fee or deposit under this article, resolution of Girard Borough Council or contract with retained firm(s) is not paid by the date required therefor, the Borough or the retained firm(s), as the case may be, shall not perform any inspection, review or other service and shall not issue any permit, report or certificate until such time as the required fee or deposit has been paid in full.

§ 145-15 Intermunicipal agreements.

The Girard Borough Council is authorized to enter into one or more intermunicipal agreements with other municipalities in Erie County to provide for enactment of consistent ordinances implementing, administrating and enforcing the UCC and for retention by said municipalities of one or more firm(s) to provide plan review, inspection and administrative enforcement services required under the Act and this article.

§ 145-16 Violations and penalties.

A. 
Any person or entity committing any act(s) prohibited herein (or in the Uniform Construction Code as adopted by this article) shall violate this article and commit a summary offense.
B. 
Each day that a violation of this article continues shall be considered a separate violation.
C. 
This article shall be enforced to include all attorneys' fees and costs payable in enforcement actions.
D. 
A fine in the amount of $25 per violation and per day of violation is hereby prescribed for all violations of this article.
E. 
Upon conviction, any person violating any provisions of this article shall be sentenced to pay fines as prescribed in Subsection D, plus costs and all attorneys' fees incurred by the Borough in the proceeding.

§ 145-17 Civil and criminal enforcement actions. [1]

Actions to enforce the UCC and/or this article and actions to enjoin unlawful construction or activities or compel action to remedy violations brought in the District Justice Court or Court of Common Pleas of Erie County shall be instituted and prosecuted by the Borough. The firm(s) retained by Girard Borough under contract shall assist in prosecution of such actions, including but not limited to providing testimonial and documentary evidence. In the event the Borough is required to commence an action for enforcement of this article or for other relief in equity or at law as consequence of a violation, the Girard Borough Zoning Administrator and Solicitor are authorized to prosecute said actions, and the Borough, in addition to fines for violation and other relief, shall be entitled to recover from the violator all costs and all attorneys' fees incurred in the proceeding. The Borough's remedies shall be deemed to be cumulative. Election of one remedy shall not foreclose any alternative remedy.
[1]:
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).

§ 145-18 Liability of municipal officials.

Municipal code, zoning and other municipal officers or employees charged with the civil or criminal enforcement of this code, while acting for the municipality and within the scope of their employment, shall not thereby be rendered liable personally and are hereby relieved from all personal liability for any damage accruing to persons or property as a result of an act required or permitted in the discharge of official duties.

§ 145-19 Reporting requirements.

The person(s) or firm(s) retained by the Borough under contract to provide services under the UCC and this article shall retain for the Borough and as property of the Borough all documents received and generated in performance of its duties and shall provide to the Zoning Administrator such reports and documents as are required in the contract(s), these to include, at a minimum:
A. 
Written certification of approval of construction plan.
B. 
Copy of site plan after foundation inspection certifying location of all buildings.
C. 
Monthly report of inspections conducted.
D. 
Weekly reports of building activity.
E. 
Decisions of Board of Appeals pertaining to the Borough.
F. 
Final inspection reports.
G. 
UCC certificate of occupancy.