Borough of Ephrata, PA
Lancaster County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Ephrata 12-10-2012 by Ord. No. 1488.[1] Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Abandoned vehicles and property — See Ch. 111.
Brush, grass and weeds — See Ch. 129.
Numbering of buildings — See Ch. 141.
Electricity — See Ch. 165.
Protection of public property — See Ch. 227, Art. I.
Plumbing — See Ch. 233.
Solid waste — See Ch. 271.
Trees — See Ch. 297.
[1]
Editor's Note: This chapter also repealed former Ch. 245, Property Maintenance, adopted 8-12-1991 by Ord. No. 1210, amended in its entirety 4-8-1996 by Ord. No. 1279.

§ 245-1 Adoption of standards by reference.

A certain document, two copies of which are on file in the office of the Borough Secretary, being marked and designated as the International Property Maintenance Code, 2009 edition, as published by the International Code Council, is hereby adopted as the Property Maintenance Code of The Borough of Ephrata, Lancaster County, Pennsylvania for regulating and governing the conditions and maintenance of all property, buildings and structures; by providing the standards for supplied utilities and facilities and other physical things and conditions essential to ensure that structures are safe, sanitary and fit for occupation and use; and the condemnation of buildings and structures unfit for human occupancy and use, and the demolition of such existing structures as herein provided; providing for the issuance of permits and collection of fees therefor; and each and all of the regulations, provisions, penalties, conditions and terms of said Property Maintenance Code on file in the office of the Borough Secretary are hereby referred to, adopted, and made a part hereof, as if fully set out in this chapter, with the additions, insertions, deletions and changes, if any, prescribed in § 245-2 of this chapter. From the date on which this chapter shall take effect, the provisions thereof shall be controlling in the maintenance of all structures, and in all other subjects therein contained, within the corporate limits of the Borough of Ephrata.

§ 245-2 Revisions to code provisions and amendments to standards.

A. 
The following sections of the said International Property Maintenance Code, 2009 edition, are hereby revised:
(1) 
"Borough of Ephrata" shall be inserted wherever the words "name of jurisdiction" appear in brackets therein.
(2) 
Whenever the term "legal officer" or "legal representative" is used in this code, it shall be held to mean the Ephrata Borough Solicitor.
(3) 
Whenever the term "code official" is used in this code, it shall be held to mean the Code Enforcement Office or officer designated by the Manager of the Borough of Ephrata.
(4) 
Whenever the term "board of appeals" is used in this code, it shall be held to mean the Property Maintenance Board of Appeals of the Borough of Ephrata.
(5) 
Section 101.1 is hereby amended to read as follows:
101.1 Title. These regulations shall be known as the International Property Maintenance Code of the Borough of Ephrata, hereinafter referred to as "this code".
(6) 
Section 103.5 is hereby amended to read as follows:
103.5 Fees. The fees for activities and services performed by the Borough, its employees and agents in carrying out its responsibilities under this code shall be determined by resolution of the Council of the Borough of Ephrata.
(7) 
Section 106.4 is hereby amended to read as follows:
106.4 Violation penalties. Any person, firm or corporation who or which shall violate any provision of this code shall, upon conviction thereof, be subject to a fine of not more than $1,000 plus costs of prosecution, and, in default of payment, to imprisonment for not more than 30 days. Each day that a violation of this code continues shall constitute a separate offense.
(8) 
A new Section 111.1.1 is hereby added to read as follows:
111.1.1 Application fees. A fee for an appeal shall be established by resolution of the Council of the Borough of Ephrata which fee shall not exceed the actual costs of publishing the hearing notice, court reporter services and other necessary administrative services.
(9) 
Section 111.2 is hereby amended to read as follows:
111.2 Membership of board. The board of appeals shall consist of a minimum of three members who are qualified by experience and training to pass on matters pertaining to property maintenance and who are not employees of the jurisdiction. The code official shall be an ex-officio member but shall have no vote on any matter before the board. The board shall be appointed by the Council of the Borough of Ephrata as the chief appointing authority, and shall serve staggered and overlapping terms. The board of appeals may consist of one or more members of the Ephrata Borough Uniform Construction Code Appeals Board.
(10) 
Section 111.2.4 is hereby amended to read as follows:
111.2.4 Secretary. The Borough Secretary shall designate a qualified person to serve as recording secretary to the board. The secretary shall file a detailed record of all proceedings in the office of the Borough Secretary.
(11) 
Section 111.2.5 is hereby amended to read as follows:
111.2.5 Compensation of members. Compensation of members may be established by resolution of the Council of the Borough of Ephrata as authorized by law.
(12) 
Section 111.4 is hereby amended to read as follows:
111.4 Open hearing. All hearings before the board shall be open to the public. The appellant, the appellant's representative, the code official and any person whose interests are affected shall be given an opportunity to be heard. A quorum shall consist of not less than 2/3 of the board membership. The board of appeals shall schedule meetings and provide public notice of meetings in accordance with 65 Pa.C.S.A. §§ 701-716 (relating to the Sunshine Act).
(13) 
Section 111.6 is hereby amended to read as follows:
111.6 Board decision. The board shall affirm, modify or reverse the decision of the code official only by a concurring vote of a majority of the total number of appointed board members. The decision shall be rendered not later than 45 days from the date of the last hearing held in the matter. The appeal shall be deemed granted if a board of appeals fails to act within this time period.
(14) 
Section 111.6.1 is hereby amended to read as follows:
111.6.1 Records and copies. The decision of the board shall be in writing and shall be recorded. Copies of the decision shall be furnished to the appellant in person or by first-class mail and to the code official within five business days from the date of the decision.
(15) 
Section 111.7 is hereby amended to read as follows:
111.7 Court review. Appeals from the decision of the board shall be made to the Lancaster County Court of Common Pleas not later than 30 days from the entry of the decision and order of the board pursuant to the provisions of 42 Pa.C.S.A. § 101 et seq.
(16) 
Section 112.4 is hereby amended to read as follows:
112.4 Failure to comply. Any person who shall continue any work after having been served with a stop-work order, except such work as that person is directed to perform to remove a violation or unsafe condition, shall be liable to a fine of not less than $100 or more than $1,000. Each day that such work shall continue shall constitute a separate offense.
(17) 
Section 302.4 is hereby amended to read as follows:
302.4 Weeds. All premises and exterior property shall be maintained free from weeds or plant growth in excess of six inches. All noxious weeds shall be prohibited. Weeds shall be defined as all grasses, annual plants and vegetation, other than trees or shrubs; provided, however, this term shall not include cultivated flowers and gardens. Upon failure of the owner or agent having charge of a property to cut and destroy weeds after service of a notice of violation, they shall be subject to prosecution in accordance with Section 106.3 and as prescribed by the authority having jurisdiction. Upon failure to comply with the notice of violation, any duly authorized employee of the jurisdiction or contractor hired by the jurisdiction shall be authorized to enter upon the property in violation and cut and destroy the weeds growing thereon, and the costs of such removal shall be paid by the owner or agent responsible for the property.
(18) 
Section 302.8 is hereby amended to read as follows:
302.8 Motor vehicles. Except as provided for in other regulations, no inoperative, unlicensed or uninspected motor vehicle that constitutes a nuisance shall be parked, kept or stored on any premises, and no vehicle shall at any time be in a state of major disassembly, disrepair, or in the process of being stripped or dismantled. Painting of vehicles is prohibited unless conducted inside an approved spray booth.
 
Exception: A vehicle of any type is permitted to undergo major overhaul, including body work, provided that such work is performed inside a structure or similarly enclosed area designed and approved for such purposes.
(19) 
Section 304.14 is hereby amended to read as follows:
304.14 Insect screens. During the period from April 1 to October 1, every door, window and other outside opening required for ventilation of habitable rooms, food preparation areas, food service areas or any areas where products to be included or utilized in food for human consumption are processed, manufactured, packaged or stored shall be supplied with approved tightly fitting screens of not less than 16 mesh per inch (16 mesh per 25 mm), and every screen door used for insect control shall have a self-closing device in good working condition.
 
Exception: Screens shall not be required where other approved means, such as air curtains or insect repellent fans, are employed.
(20) 
Section 304.19 is hereby added to read as follows:
304.19 Stormwater drainage. All stormwater drainage, detention and conveyance facilities shall be provided, installed and maintained in accordance with the requirements of Chapter 275, Stormwater Management, of the Code of the Borough of Ephrata, as amended from time to time.
(21) 
Section 308.4 is hereby added to read as follows:
308.4. Location of rubbish or garbage containers. All rubbish, refuse, garbage and recycling containers shall be kept to the rear of the dwelling, apartment building, storeroom, restaurant or other principal building on any lot. At no time shall any vessels, receptacles or containers be placed or kept upon the alley, street, sidewalk or public place or in front of any building, residence or retail or wholesale establishment.
(22) 
Section 404.5 shall be amended to read as follows:
404.5 Overcrowding. Dwelling units shall not exceed the below stated occupancy level or fail to meet minimum square footage requirements outlined below (Subsections A through E); if they do so exceed the occupancy level or minimum square footage, that dwelling shall be considered overcrowded:
A.
Sleeping (bedroom) space shall be at least 70 square feet for a room occupied by one person and 50 square feet per person is required for a room occupied by more than one person.
B.
A living room shall not be required if there are only one or two occupants per dwelling or apartment. If there are three to five occupants in a dwelling or an apartment there must be at least 120 square feet allocated for a living room. If there are six or more occupants in a dwelling at least 150 square feet must be allocated for a living room.
C.
A dining room shall not be required if there are only one or two occupants per dwelling or apartment. If there are three to five occupants in a dwelling or apartment there must be at least 80 square feet allocated for a dining room. If there are six or more occupants at least 100 square feet must be allocated for a dining room.
D.
A bathroom/personal hygiene room shall be required per each dwelling or apartment. If there are six or more occupants, at least two bathrooms shall be provided in each dwelling or apartment. A bathroom is defined by the International Property Maintenance Code, 2009 edition as a room containing plumbing fixtures, including a bathroom or shower.
E.
The calculations for square footage required for living and dining rooms in Subsections B and C above shall be in addition to those required by Subsection A.
(23) 
Section 404.8 is hereby added to read as follows:
Section 404.8 Rooming houses. Minimum standards for rooming houses: No person shall operate a rooming house or shall let to another for occupancy any morning unit in any rooming house which does not comply with the following minimum standards for rooming houses:
 
404.8.1.1 Every rooming house shall have at least one flush water closet, one lavatory basin and one bathtub or shower properly connected to a water and sewer system in good working condition, for each five persons residing therein (including members of the operator's family) who share the use of the facilities. All facilities shall be located within a room which is not more than one floor above or below the rooming unit intended to be served for such facility; nor shall such facility be located in a place requiring passage through part of any other rooming unit.
 
404.8.1.2 When the operator of a rooming house supplies bed linen and towels, they shall change these at least twice each week and prior to the letting of any room to any new occupant. The owner shall be responsible for the wholesomeness and cleanliness of all supplied bedding.
 
404.8.1.3 Every room occupied for sleeping purposes shall contain at least 70 square feet of floor space for the initial occupant and at least 50 additional square feet for each additional occupant.
 
404.8.1.4 Every rooming unit shall have safe and unobstructed means of egress open to ground level.
 
404.8.1.5 The operator or owner of every rooming house shall be responsible for the sanitary maintenance of all walls, floors and ceilings and all shared parts of the rooming house.
 
404.8.1.6 The operator or owner of a rooming house shall keep a current list of all occupants at all times in a permanently bound register which shall be available for inspection by the Code Enforcement Officer.
 
404.8.1.7 No occupant of any rooming unit shall prepare or cook food in any room used for sleeping purposes, nor shall the owner or operator of any rooming house permit the preparation or cooking of food in any room used for sleeping purposes.
 
404.8.1.8 The provisions of this chapter which apply to rooming houses shall also apply to hotels and motels.
(24) 
Section 602.3 is hereby amended to read as follows:
602.3 Heat supply. Every owner and operator of any building who rents, leases or lets one or more dwelling units or sleeping units on terms, either expressed or implied, to furnish heat to the occupants thereof shall supply heat during the period from October 1 to May 1 to maintain a temperature of not less than 68°F (20°C) in all habitable rooms, bathrooms and toilet rooms.
(25) 
Section 602.4 is amended to read as follows:
602.4 Occupiable work spaces. Indoor occupiable work spaces shall be supplied with heat during the period from October 1 to May 1 to maintain a temperature of not less than 65°F (18°C) during the period the spaces are occupied.

§ 245-3 State law and regulations.

In all matters that are regulated by the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania or by regulations of departments or agencies of the commonwealth promulgated by authority of law, such laws or regulations, as the case may be, shall control where the requirements thereof are the same as or in excess of the provisions of this chapter. This code shall control in all cases where the state requirements are not as strict as those contained in this chapter.

§ 245-4 Provisions to be continuation of existing regulations.

The provisions of this chapter so far as they are the same as those of ordinances and/or codes in force immediately prior to the enactment of this chapter, are intended as a continuation of such ordinances and codes and not as new enactment. The provisions of this chapter shall not affect any act done or liability incurred, nor shall they affect any suit it prosecution pending or to be instituted to enforce any right or penalty or punish any offense under the authority of any of the repealed ordinances.

§ 245-5 Construal of provision.

Nothing in this chapter or in this Property Maintenance Code hereby adopted shall be construed to affect any suit or proceeding impending in any court, or any rights acquired, or liability incurred, or any cause or causes of action acquired or existing, under any act or ordinance hereby repealed as cited in § 245-2 of this chapter; nor shall any just or legal right or remedy of any character be lost, impaired or affected by this chapter.