[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Norristown 9-4-1990 by Ord. No. 90-23; amended in its entirety by the Municipal Council of the Municipality of Norristown 6-3-2008 by Ord. No. 08-11. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
The Municipality of Norristown has resolved that boarded-up and enclosed buildings in the Municipality are not in the interest of the public health, safety and welfare and that an ordinance be adopted regulating the boarding and enclosing of buildings in the Municipality of Norristown.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- BOARDING, BOARDING UP OR ENCLOSING A BUILDING
- A condition when the property is vacant or unoccupied and the owner of the property encloses three or more windows, doorways or other openings of said building with plywood or similar materials.
- COMMITMENT OF FINANCE
- A letter of credit, mortgage or similar document from a responsible lender indicating the lender's commitment to finance the purchase or rehabilitation of a property.
When the owner, tenant or owner's agent decides or is directed by Municipal officials to board up a building or enclose an existing building, said person shall make an application to the Municipal Building Inspector or other code enforcement officials for a boarding permit.
If a building is currently boarded up or has been ordered boarded up by the Municipal Building Inspector or other code enforcement officials, the building owner shall make an application for a boarding permit within 10 days of notice.
Upon application for a permit under this chapter, the person applying for the permit shall pay an application fee set by resolution of Municipal Council which may be adjusted from time to time.
The Municipal Building Inspector or other code enforcement officials shall make a complete inspection of the premises to determine that:
The building is structurally sound and would present no hazard to the community and is otherwise safe and secure.
The electrical, heating, plumbing, water and sewage systems are properly working. If any of the above systems are not functional, they shall be made safe and secure.
The building is baited for rodents and exterminated for insects.
The materials to board up shall be painted a similar color to match surrounding brick, stucco, wood or other surrounding materials.
The work and materials used in boarding up the building meet the standards of the Uniform Construction Code and/or the International Property Maintenance Code or its successor legislation and any applicable Municipal ordinances.
After the inspection has been completed by the Building Inspector or other code enforcement officials, the Building Inspector or other code enforcement officials shall advise the property owner of the repairs, if any, required to make the property secure for boarding and enclosing. After the property owner has made the repairs, as directed by the Building Inspector or other code enforcement officials, a boarding permit shall be issued to the property owner.
A building shall not be boarded up or enclosed for a period of time exceeding three months from the date of application of the permit. All extensions of the aforesaid permit time shall be solely at the discretion of the Municipal Administrator or his/her designee, based on the following circumstances:
The owner has a valid building permit and is actively rehabilitating the building;
The owner has a valid agreement of sale with a perspective purchaser and said purchaser has a commitment of finance or mortgage from a responsible lender; or
The owner has advertised the property for sale for the past three months. "Advertising" consists of listing the property with a real estate agent or placing a sign on the property and publishing the offer for sale in a newspaper of local general circulation at least once a week.
Any person who shall violate this chapter, shall be subject to a fine of not less than $300 nor more than $1,000, plus all court costs and attorneys fees, or imprisonment set by a court of competent jurisdiction.