[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Doylestown 8-19-1986 by Ord. No. 152; amended in its entirety 9-21-2010 by Ord. No. 353. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
Nuisances — See Ch. 113.
This chapter will be known and may be cited as the "Doylestown Township Brush, Grass and Weed Ordinance."
Doylestown Township hereby recognizes that the growth of a variety of vegetation within Township boundaries promotes diversity and enriches the quality of life for all Township residents. This ordinance is intended to promote the control of brush, grass, weeds and noxious vegetation in Doylestown Township so as to prevent the spread of noxious weeds, to reduce the amount of natural irritants and pollens in the air, to control rodents and other vectors, and to improve the aesthetic quality of the Township. Therefore, it is the intent of this chapter to encourage the use of wildflower and other native plants while at the same time ensuring that noxious vegetative growth does not become a threat to the public health, safety and welfare.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- NOXIOUS WEED
- A plant that is determined to be injurious to public health, crops, livestock, agricultural land or other property. Such weeds are listed on Pennsylvania's Noxious Weed Control List (as amended) and may include additional plants that are considered locally injurious as listed in § 62-4 below.
No person, firm, corporation or other entity owning or occupying any property within the Township of Doylestown, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, shall permit the following noxious weeds, in accordance with Title 7, Agriculture, Chapter 110, of the PA Code, as amended, to grow or remain upon such premises so as to exceed a height of eight inches. Any noxious weeds or other vegetation as described in this chapter which are growing upon any premises in the Township in violation of any of the provisions of this section are hereby declared to be a nuisance and detrimental to the health, safety and welfare of the residents of Doylestown Township. The list is as follows:
The owner of any premises, as to vacant premises or premises occupied by the owner, and the occupant thereof, in addition to the owner in the case of premises occupied by other than the owner thereof, shall trim or cut all grass, noxious weeds, or other uncultivated vegetation located on said property which violates the provisions of this chapter. Such grass, noxious weeds, or other uncultivated vegetation shall be cut or trimmed within one month prior or subsequent to May 1 and October 1 of each year to a maximum height of eight inches to limit the production of seed. The owner or occupant as described in this section shall be required to cut, trim or remove all of the vegetation in violation of this chapter, notwithstanding that the entire area to be cut, trimmed or removed includes other non-offending vegetation in addition to vegetation declared to be a nuisance pursuant to § 62-4 above.
No person, firm, corporation, partnership, or other legal entity owning or occupying any property within Doylestown Township shall permit any grass, weeds, or other uncultivated herbaceous vegetation to grow or remain upon such property at a height in excess of eight inches within 25 feet of any property line or roadway. The growth of any such vegetation within Doylestown Township in violation of the provisions of this chapter is hereby declared to be a nuisance and detrimental to the health, safety and welfare of the Township and its residents. The prohibitions contained in this chapter shall not be applicable to any stormwater facilities where such prohibitions would be detrimental to the proper functioning of said facilities, nor shall the same prohibitions be applicable within the boundaries of any riparian corridor, forest lands or tree lines.
The following areas shall be exempt from the cutting or trimming requirements of § 62-5, except that noxious weeds shall be controlled within those areas: woodlands, trees, shrubbery, flower beds or gardens, vegetables and vegetable gardens, wildflower gardens or meadows, steep slopes, wetlands, floodplains, riparian corridors, areas within 15 feet of a watercourse, pond or lake, land actively cultivated for crop production or actively utilized as pasture, and areas where stormwater management or conservation/wildlife management plans have been established.
Whenever on any property the vegetation prohibited pursuant to § 62-4 of this chapter shall be permitted to exceed levels as set forth in § 62-5 hereof, or upon receipt of a formal written complaint by a resident or landowner in Doylestown Township, the Township Manager, or his/her designee, shall cause notice, in writing, to be given to the owner and/or occupant of any property on which such growth in excess of the specified limits is found to exist. The notice shall specify the type and location of the offending growth and require removal thereof within five days of the date of the notice. Notice shall be given by certified mail and by regular mail to the owner and/or occupant of such property. If the address of the owner is not known or if service cannot be made by certified mail, then notice shall be made by posting the property. Failure of any owner and/or occupant to comply with the requirements of such notice within five days after receipt of or posting of the notice shall be prima facie evidence of violation of this chapter.
In the event of the failure of an owner and/or occupant, after proper notice, to comply with the notice and with the provisions of this chapter, the Township may, at its sole option, mow, destroy and dispose of such offending vegetation in such fashion as the Township Manager, or his/her designee, shall see fit. Such action by the Township shall not relieve the owner and/or occupant of penalties for violations of this chapter. The Township may by proper accounting means compute the costs of such action on its part, together with any additional penalty authorized by the law, and either file a lien against the property upon which such action was taken or proceed by civil suit against the owner and/or occupant of the property upon which the action was taken.
Any person, firm or corporation who shall violate any of the provisions of this chapter, upon conviction thereof, shall be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than $25 nor more than the amount specified by § 1-13 of Chapter 1, General Provisions. Each day's violation shall constitute a separate offense, and notice to the offender shall not be necessary to constitute a subsequent offense.