Township of Franklin, PA
Chester County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents

§ 10-101 Legislative Intent.

[Ord. 91-02, 8/8/1991, § 1]
Franklin Township, a second class township located in Chester County, Pennsylvania, exists as a township with agricultural uses as well as residential uses. This Part is intended to apply to the portions of the Township of Franklin not devoted to agricultural uses. It is not intended to be applicable to land maintained in a natural and undeveloped state such as woodland or wetland but is intended to be applicable to the area of the Township devoted to residential uses. This Part is for the protection of the public safety and health by regulating the maintenance of residential properties to prevent the accumulation of noxious plants, weeds and shrubs and to prevent the accumulation of trash and debris in such areas.

§ 10-102 Definitions.

[Ord. 91-02, 8/8/1991, § 2]
EXCESS GROWTH
Any growth in vegetation more than 12 inches in height. Excess growth by this definition does not include ornamental shrubs, foundation plantings, hardwood or softwood trees or any agricultural products. Excess growth shall also include any vegetation which impairs the vision on public highways or which interferes with pedestrian traffic on any sidewalk or public right-of-way for pedestrian traffic.
NOXIOUS WEEDS
Any plant that is determined and known to be injurious to public health, crops, livestock, agricultural land or other property. Noxious weeds shall include, but are not limited to, the following:
A. 
Cannabis sativa, commonly known as marijuana.
B. 
Cichorium intybus, commonly known as chicory or succory or blue daisy.
C. 
Cirsium arvense, commonly known as Canadian Thistle.
D. 
Rosa multiflora, commonly known as multiflora rose.
E. 
Sorghum halepense, commonly known as Johnson grass.
RESIDENTIAL AREA
The area of any approved subdivision where one or more certificates of occupancy have been issued as well as any existing dwelling site on a subdivided lot.

§ 10-103 Maintenance.

[Ord. 91-02, 8/8/1991, § 3]
All lots in residential areas shall be maintained in such a manner that all excess vegetation and noxious vegetation shall be removed.

§ 10-104 Enforcement.

[Ord. 91-02, 8/8/1991, § 4]
Upon the occurrence of any excess vegetation in residential areas, the owner of the real estate and the occupier of the real estate shall be notified by the person so authorized to enforce this Part indicating the violation of this Part and further notifying the owner and occupier of the property that such violation must be abated within seven days of the notice. Notice in this instance shall be valid if mailed by regular mail to the address of the owner given for real estate tax purposes or by personal delivery to the occupant of the site.

§ 10-105 Violation and Penalty.

[Ord. 91-02, 8/8/1991, § 5; as amended by Ord. 2009-05, 8/19/2009]
Any person, firm or corporation who shall violate any provision of this Part, upon conviction thereof in an action brought before a magisterial district judge in the manner provided for the enforcement of summary offenses under the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure, shall be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than $100 and not more than $1,000 plus costs and, in default of payment of said fine and costs, to a term of imprisonment not to exceed 90 days. Each day that a violation of this Part continues or each section of this Part which shall be found to have been violated shall constitute a separate offense.

§ 10-106 Cost of Removal.

[Ord. 91-02, 8/8/1991, § 6; as amended by Ord. 2009-05, 8/19/2009]
Failure of the owner of the property or occupier of the property to comply with this Part after the said seven-day notice shall authorize the Township to enter upon the property and remove the excess growth and noxious growth from the property and charge the property owner or occupant of the property for the same. This cost of removal shall be in excess of any fines imposed as stated herein and shall be collected as provided by the Municipal Claims and Tax Liens Act, 53 P.S. § 7101 et seq.

§ 10-201 Responsibility for Removal or Trimming.

[Ord. 2016-08, 9/21/2016]
Property owners shall be responsible for removal and/or trimming of trees in Township rights-of-way if the tree and/or limbs pose a risk of harm to the public

§ 10-202 Abatement Notice.

[Ord. 2016-08, 9/21/2016]
It shall be the duty of the Township Manager to serve or cause to be served a notice upon the owner or occupant of any premises on which the trees are permitted to grow in violation of the provisions of this chapter and to demand the abatement of the nuisance or safety hazard within 21 days.

§ 10-203 Failure to Comply with Notice; Abatement by Township.

[Ord. 2016-08, 9/21/2016]
If the person so served does not abate the nuisance or safety hazard within 21 days, the Township Manager of Franklin Township may proceed to abate such nuisance or safety hazard, keeping an account of the expense of the abatement, and such expense shall be charged and paid by such owner or occupant.

§ 10-204 Charges to Become Lien.

[Ord. 2016-08, 9/21/2016]
A. 
Charges for tree or limb removal shall be a lien upon the premises. Whenever a bill for such charges remains unpaid for 60 days after it has been rendered, the Township Secretary or Township Solicitor may file with the Recorder of Deeds of Chester County a statement of lien claim. This statement shall contain a legal description of the premises, the expenses and costs incurred and the date the tree was trimmed or removed, and a notice that the Township of Franklin claims a lien for this amount.
B. 
Notice of such lien claim shall be mailed to the owner of the premises if his address is known; provided, however, that failure of the Township Secretary or Township Solicitor to record such lien claim or to mail such notice, or the failure of the owner to receive such notice, shall not affect the right to foreclose the lien for such charges as provided in the following section.

§ 10-205 Prosecution of Liens.

[Ord. 2016-08, 9/21/2016]
The Township shall follow the procedures set forth in the Municipal Claim and Tax Lien Law, 53 P.S. § 7101 et seq., for properties subject to a lien for unpaid tree cutting charges.