Township of Pine, PA
Allegheny County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Pine 4-7-2014 by Ord. No. 369.[1] Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Rights-of-way — See Ch. 66.
Streets and sidewalks — See Ch. 72.
Subdivision and land development — See Ch. 78.
Attachment 1 - Private Road Index and Classification Schedule
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also provided for the repeal of former Ch. 65, Private Roads, Acceptance of, adopted 5-5-1997 by Ord. No. 251.

§ 65-1 Designation of private roads.

At the time of the enactment of this chapter, the Township of Pine has determined that 61 private roads have been constructed and currently exist within the boundaries of the Township of Pine. Such 61 private roads are identified by name and are each specified as belonging to one of four classifications (Class A, B, C, or D, respectively) as set forth in an exhibit hereto entitled "Township of Pine Private Road Index and Classification Schedule," the provisions of which exhibit are incorporated herein by reference as if hereby set forth at length in this section.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Said exhibit is included as an attachment to this chapter.

§ 65-2 Criteria for classification.

The Township of Pine has reviewed each of the 61 private roads identified in § 65-1 hereof for purposes of both classifying them and setting forth the procedures and criteria under which any of them might be accepted in the future as a public Township road. In establishing the classification of each of the aforesaid private roads, the Township of Pine has considered, among other elements: the number of housing units which presently exist upon such private road; the amount and type of vehicular traffic thereon; and the potential for additional development in the area of the existing private road, and the likelihood of the amount of additional residential and/or commercial structures to be served thereby and the amount and type of vehicular traffic that would be occasioned by such additional development.

§ 65-3 Classification specifications.

In the event that the Township of Pine, pursuant to procedures set forth herein, hereafter desires to accept any of the aforementioned private roads as public Township roads, it shall do so only after such private road has been previously improved and upgraded at the financial expense of parties other than the Township prior to its acceptance, and according to its herein-designated classification, to the following specifications:
A. 
Class A: Dedication to the Township of a public right-of-way of a minimum of 50 feet in width. Construction of a road surface (cartway) and drainage thereof which satisfies the current Township specifications for construction and drainage of new public roads, as shown on Drawing No. R-1 as prepared by the Township's Engineer, originally dated July, 2001, and with revisions thereto dated December, 2004, or latest subsequent revision date (as on file in the office of the Township Manager), and provided that the width of the paved road surface shall be a minimum of 20 feet and that, in addition, the road shall have integral wing curbs of two feet constructed on both sides thereof. Such road shall be required to also have the area specified for turnaround and to have met all other requirements set forth in Chapter 72 ("Streets and Sidewalks") and § 84-125 ("Stormwater management") of Chapter 84 ("Zoning") of the Code of the Township of Pine. In addition, all preexisting, unacceptable cartway material shall have been completely removed prior to construction of the new road surface specified herein.
B. 
Class B: Dedication to the Township of a public right-of-way of a minimum of 33 feet in width. Construction of a road surface (cartway) of a minimum of 18 feet in width and, in addition, with construction of one-and-one-half-foot-wide integral wing curbs on both sides thereof. Such road shall also be required to have met all requirements of the road specifications as prepared by the Township's Engineer in Drawing No. R-2, originally dated July, 2001, and with revisions thereto dated June, 2011, or latest subsequent revision date, as is on file in the office of the Township Manager. Such road shall also be required to have met the specifications for drainage and turnaround area as set forth in Chapter 72 ("Streets and Sidewalks") and § 84-125 ("Stormwater management") of Chapter 84 ("Zoning") of the Code of the Township of Pine. In addition, all preexisting, unacceptable cartway material may be required to have been completely removed prior to the construction of the new road surface specified herein if such is so required by the Township's Engineer due to unsatisfactory results of a roadway base material analysis performed by such Engineer upon such preexisting roadway material.
C. 
Class C: Dedication to the Township of a public right-of-way sufficient in width, in the opinion of the Board of Supervisors, to provide for: safe public travel, accommodation of any necessary utilities, and appropriate ability for public maintenance. Construction of a road surface (cartway) of a minimum width sufficient, in the opinion of the Board of Supervisors, to permit safe public travel and public maintenance, and including construction of one-and-one-half-foot-wide wing curbs on each side. Such road shall also be required to have met all requirements of the road specifications as prepared by the Township Engineer in Drawing No. R-2, originally dated July, 2001, and with revisions thereto dated June, 2011, or latest subsequent revision date, as is on file in the office of the Township Manager. Such road shall also be required to have met the specifications for drainage and turnaround area as set forth in Chapter 72 ("Streets and Sidewalks") and § 84-125 ("Stormwater management") of Chapter 84 ("Zoning") of the Code of the Township of Pine. In addition, such preexisting, unacceptable cartway material shall be replaced as required by the Township's Engineer based upon such Engineer's analysis of the degradation of such existing material.

§ 65-4 Roads excluded from acceptance.

Those private roads classified as Class D in § 65-5 of this chapter shall not at any time in the future be accepted by the Township of Pine as public Township roads under any circumstances.

§ 65-5 Classification designations (for existing and future private roads).

A. 
Based upon the review set forth in § 65-2 hereof and the classifications set forth in § 65-3 and § 65-4 hereof, it has been determined by the Board of Supervisors that the Township's aforementioned 61 existing private roads are dividable into Classes A, B, C, and D and are, henceforth, classified as follows:
(1) 
Class A: those 39 private roads identified as Class A on the attached exhibit hereto entitled "Township of Pine Private Road Index and Classification Schedule," the provisions of which are incorporated herein by reference as if set forth at length in this section.
(2) 
Class B: those seven private roads identified as Class B on the attached exhibit hereto entitled "Township of Pine Private Road Index and Classification Schedule," the provisions of which are incorporated herein by reference as if set forth at length in this section.
(3) 
Class C: those 14 private roads identified as Class C on the attached exhibit hereto entitled "Township of Pine Private Road Index and Classification Schedule," the provisions of which are incorporated herein by reference as if set forth at length in this section.
(4) 
Class D: that one private road identified as Class D on the attached exhibit hereto entitled "Township of Pine Private Road Index and Classification Schedule," the provisions of which are incorporated herein by reference as if set forth at length in this section.
B. 
Any additional private road which meets the requirements set forth in Chapter 72 ("Streets and Sidewalks") of the Code of the Township of Pine and which is later approved as such by any official action of the Township's Board of Supervisors taken subsequent to the effective date of this chapter shall be deemed to have been classified thereby as a Class A private road, pursuant to § 65-3 hereof, unless some other classification is specifically designated for it in formal action taken by the Township's Board of Supervisors.

§ 65-6 Evaluation for acceptance; petition required.

The Board of Supervisors of the Township of Pine may initiate the evaluation of the possible future public acceptance of any existing private road classified within Classes A, B, or C, as previously set forth herein, upon the written petition signed by all owners of property representing more than 50% of the number of properties abutting on such existing private road proposed for public acceptance. In the event that a property does not abut upon the existing private road proposed for public acceptance, but is legally permitted to reach and utilize such private road and, also, does not otherwise abut an existing public Township road, then such property shall also be included in the calculation of the percentage of owners described within this § 65-6.

§ 65-7 Preparation of plans and estimates.

Upon receipt of a written petition meeting the criteria as set forth in § 65-6 hereof, the Board of Supervisors may refer such matter to the Township Engineer, Township staff, and Solicitor to prepare engineering plans and estimates of the costs necessary to improve and upgrade the private road in question to the specifications set forth for a private road of its classification as designated in §§ 65-3 and 65-5 of this chapter.

§ 65-8 Establishment of assessments; Board of Viewers.

The method for establishing the assessments against owners of properties abutting on and/or served by any private road which is to be the subject of public acceptance shall be as follows:
A. 
Whenever the engineering plans and cost estimates for the proposed improvement and construction of the private road to the appropriate specifications set forth herein have been completed and approved by the Township Engineer, the Board of Supervisors shall appoint a Board of Viewers to establish the method (footage or benefit) by which each property accommodated, improved, or benefitted by the construction of the road improvements to the private road shall be assessed. Said Board of Viewers shall consist of three members, all of whom shall be residents of the Township. One member shall be a member of the Township's Planning Commission, one member shall be a member of the Township's Zoning Hearing Board, and one member shall hold no other current elected or appointed position for the Township.
B. 
The Board of Viewers so appointed shall determine the method whereby the properties accommodated, improved, or benefitted by the construction of the road improvements to the private road shall be assessed. The assessment method to be used in each instance shall be confirmed in writing by the Board of Viewers and conveyed to the Township Manager.

§ 65-9 Petition for public acceptance.

Upon receipt by the Township Manager of the information described in § 65-8 of this chapter, he/she shall convey to both the petitioning and nonpetitioning property owners on the private road proposed for public acceptance: the findings of the preliminary studies, the engineering drawings, construction cost estimates, review of legal issues associated with the proposed conversion, and methodology for cost assessment as determined by the Board of Viewers. Upon consideration of this and any other relevant information, the owners of property (as such is defined in § 65-6 of this chapter) abutting on or served by the private road in question may file a written petition with the Board of Supervisors to undertake the steps necessary to convert the private road to public ownership, subject to the requirement that at least 2/3 of such owners of properties abutting and/or serviced by the private road shall join in the written petition to the Board of Supervisors to undertake its conversion to public ownership.

§ 65-10 Financial criteria for acceptance.

Upon the receipt of a written petition which meets the criteria as set forth in § 65-9 hereof, the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Pine shall determine if the Township's financial position permits it to undertake an advancement of funds necessary for the improvement of the private road for public acceptance and shall advise both the petitioners and the nonpetitioning property owners in writing of such determination. The Board of Supervisors shall have the absolute right to reject or to defer the petitioners' request if, in the sole discretion of the Board of Supervisors, the Township's financial position does not reasonably permit such advancement of funds for construction.

§ 65-11 Additional conditions for acceptance.

The Board of Supervisors of the Township shall not accept any presently existing private road unless all of the following conditions have been met:
A. 
Appropriate public right-of-way has been dedicated to the Township by all necessary owners of property and they have provided written approval to the Township for removal of trees, branches, or structures in or projecting into the public right-of-way.
B. 
The private road's cartway, drainage, turnaround, and other required features have been previously constructed (and the Township Engineer has so certified in writing) to the appropriate specifications set herein.
C. 
The property owners have provided certifications to the Township that all construction contractors have been fully paid or the appropriate arrangements for assessment of property owners have been made as set forth in §§ 65-12 and 65-13 hereof.

§ 65-12 Final assessment.

The final assessment against owners of property abutting and/or benefitted or serviced by the private road shall be made as follows:
A. 
Whenever the final construction cost invoices have been received and the Township Engineer has certified that the private road meets the relevant construction and other standards necessary for public acceptance (as set forth elsewhere in this chapter), the Board of Viewers shall assess such construction costs against owners of property abutting and/or benefitted or serviced by the private road, using the methodology previously determined.
B. 
Upon the filing of the final report of the Board of Viewers with the Board of Supervisors, assessment bills based upon the report of the Board of Viewers shall be prepared by the Township and signed by the Chairman of the Board of Supervisors and attested by the Secretary of the Board of Supervisors.
C. 
The Township shall serve the assessment bills upon the owners of such properties by certified mail, return receipt requested. If such owner or owners cannot be found within the Township, said notice may be served upon any agent or party in possession of the premises or posted on the most public part of the assessed premises.

§ 65-13 Payment of assessment.

All such above assessments shall be payable forthwith to the Township Manager. Any owner of property so assessed shall have the additional option of paying the assessment in equal, annual installments for not to exceed a total of three years, with a maximum annual interest rate equal to the then-prevailing legal rate of interest specified in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (unless a lower rate of interest is specifically approved therefor by the Township's Board of Supervisors), paid in the following manner:
A. 
The first installment shall be paid within 30 days from receipt of the assessment bill, and each of the remaining annual installments, with interest thereon, shall be payable on the same day and month of each of the succeeding years.
B. 
Any notice of intention by the owner or owners to exercise such installment option shall be filed in writing with the Township Manager no later than at the time of payment of the first such installment is due.
C. 
A municipal lien shall be duly filed by the Township of Pine, in accordance with applicable law, against the affected properties and owners for the amount of the remaining installments of the assessment, which lien shall not be prosecuted so long as the installments are duly paid in accordance with the following provisions: Upon default on the payment of a current installment, a penalty of 5% shall be charged against such installment; and upon default in the payment of more than one installment, a penalty of 5% shall be charged on the entire unpaid balance.

§ 65-14 Municipal lien.

If any owner has not elected to pay by installments and refuses or neglects to pay such assessment within 30 days from receipt of the assessment bill, the Township shall file a municipal lien, in accordance with applicable law, against the affected properties and owner, also claiming interest thereon at the then-prevailing legal rate of interest per annum specified in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania (unless a lower rate of interest is specifically approved therefor by the Township's Board of Supervisors) on the unpaid balance from the date of such assessment bill. The Township Manager shall certify to the Township Solicitor all unpaid assessments, and the Township Solicitor shall file municipal claims against the property or properties and owners or owners upon which such assessments shall have been made. The Township Solicitor shall thereupon proceed to collect the assessment under the general law relating to the collection of municipal claims, including, if so directed by the Township, the filing and prosecution of civil suits.

§ 65-15 Township costs for acceptance.

The Township of Pine shall pay (without the requirement of reimbursement by or assessment of the property owners abutting on the private road) the costs of engineering, legal, or other consulting services necessary to the design and planning of the construction of the road improvements herein, the cost of erection of any necessary signage, and the cost of reflection of such change in circumstances upon the affected property owners' deed.

§ 65-16 Deviation from regulations prohibited.

The procedures and specifications set forth herein shall be the sole manner in which the Township shall consider acceptance of the herein-named existing private roads as public Township roads, and no deviation herefrom shall be permitted or approved.