[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Norristown 8-3-1999 by Ord. No. 99-13.
Housing Code Review Committee — See Ch. 33.
Building construction — See Ch. 119.
Building Permits and Floodplain Management — See Ch. 120.
Boarding and Enclosing of Buildings — See Ch. 122.
Electrical standards — See Ch. 143.
Plumbing standards — See Ch. 236.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 239.
Editor's Note: This ordinance also repealed former Ch. 251, Roofers, adopted 4-6-1982 as Ch. 170 of the 1981 Code, as amended.
The Borough Council finds that unqualified and irresponsible persons, firms, partnerships, associations and corporations are engaged in the business of general building contracting in the Borough of Norristown.
In order to protect and promote the public safety, health and general welfare of the people of the Borough of Norristown, it is necessary that the Borough Building Inspector shall have the authority to require bonding, proof of financial responsibility, registration and licensing of such persons, firms, partnerships, associations and corporations. The necessity in the public interest for the provisions herein enacted is hereby declared as a matter of legislative determination.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the indicated meanings:
- BUILDING INSPECTOR
- The borough employee or his duly appointed assistant or representative charged with the enforcement and administration of all borough Building Codes, ordinances, regulations and any other requirement relating to the general contracting business in the Borough of Norristown.
- An agreement, whether oral or written and whether contained in one or more documents, between a general building contractor and an owner or another general building contractor for the performance of general contracting work, including all labor, services and materials to be furnished and performed thereunder.
- The Department of Building Inspections.
- GENERAL BUILDING CONTRACTOR
- Any person, other than a bona fide employee of the owner, who undertakes or offers to perform any construction, repair, tank installation or removal, roofing, remodeling, demolition, rehabilitation, excavating, paving, grading, sprinklers, HVAC, heating or any other residential or nonresidential general building work in the Borough of Norristown.
- Any person to whom a license is issued pursuant to the provisions of this chapter.
- Includes a firm, partnership, association of persons, corporation, organization or any individual acting as an independent contractor or any other group acting as a unit.
The provisions of this chapter shall supplement local laws, ordinances, codes or regulations. Where a provision of this chapter is found to be in conflict with any provision of a local law, ordinance, code or regulation, the provision or requirement which is more restrictive or which establishes the highest standard shall prevail.
All installations, alterations, repairs and materials, assemblies and equipment utilized in connection therewith shall be in conformity with the Building Codes of the Borough of Norristown, applicable ordinances and regulations and relevant state statues or regulations.
It shall be unlawful for any person to engage in the business of general building contractor within the Borough of Norristown unless such person registers and obtains a license from the Department. All applications for licenses shall be made to the Department upon forms furnished by the Department.
Such application shall include the name and address of the applicant; the firm under which the applicant proposes to do business; the length of time engaged in the general building contractor business; city, state and federal employer identification numbers and such other information as the Department reasonably deems necessary.
The applicant shall prove financial responsibility by furnishing a certification of insurance as evidence that the applicant is carrying Workers' Compensation Insurance, Public Liability Insurance in the amount of $500,000 and property damage insurance in the amount of $100,000 which are hereby determined to be amounts sufficient to afford adequate protection for all concerned.
Applicants must register for a business privilege license prior to the issuance of the required general building contractor license.
All persons engaged in general contracting business shall be entitled to apply for and be issued a license hereunder. The applicant for a license under the provisions of this chapter shall, at the time of making application therefor, pay the Borough Treasurer the sum of $70 and a like sum shall be paid annually.
Licenses shall be issued for the calendar year in which they are granted, and no abatement in fee shall be made during any calendar year. The Department shall have the right to fix the fiscal license year on any twelve-month basis which it deems necessary or desirable for efficient administration.
Every general building project shall be performed under the personal supervision of a licensee or a specially authorized foreman or superintendent of a licensee, one of whom shall be present at all times during the course of the work.
All workmanship and materials used shall be in accordance with the Building Codes, rules and regulations of the Department and state statutes and regulations where applicable.
No general building contracting work may be done until a building permit has been procured from the Department stating the type of work to be performed and the type of materials to be used. The licensee shall be responsible for obtaining said building permit. Fees for the work shall be based on the contract price, if by contract; otherwise, on the borough Building Inspector's reasonable estimated cost.
The building permit fee schedule shall be used in determining the amount of fee due for each job.
No Building Inspector, agent or employee of the Borough of Norristown shall be personally liable for any damages that may accrue to any persons as a result of any act required or permitted in the discharge of his duties under this chapter.
The Building Inspector shall have the right to suspend or revoke the license of any general building contractor for failure to comply with any borough codes, rules, ordinances and regulations, and state statues and regulations of the borough.
[Amended 4-4-2017 by Ord. No. 17-04]
Notice. Whenever the Building Permit Officer or other authorized Municipal representative determines that there are reasonable grounds to believe that there has been a violation of any provisions of this chapter, or of any regulations adopted pursuant hereto, the Building Permit Officer shall give notice of such alleged violation as hereinafter provided and all work in connection therewith shall cease. Such notice shall be in writing; include a statement of the reasons for its issuance; be served upon the property owner, the contractor or an agent of either as the case may require; provided, however, that such notice or order shall be deemed to have been properly served upon such owner, contractor or agent when a copy thereof has been served with such notice by any other method authorized or required by the laws of this state; and contain an outline of remedial action which, if taken, will effect compliance with the provisions of this chapter and allow for the continuation of work.
Violations and penalties.
Any person who fails to comply with obtaining a license pursuant to the provisions of this chapter shall be guilty of an offense and, upon conviction shall be subject to the following fine plus the costs of prosecution:
First offense: $500.
Second offense within one year of first offense: $1,000.
Third offense within one year of second offense: $1,000 and a suspension of the right to work within the Municipality of Norristown for one year commencing with the payment of the fine of $1,000 for the third offense.
Said fines shall be applicable to the contractor and all subcontractors working on the same job.
Any person who fails or refuses to comply with any notice, order or direction of the Building Permit Officer or any other authorized employee of the municipality to stop work pursuant to the provisions of this chapter, except such work as that person is directed to perform by the building, plumbing and/or electrical inspector to remove a violation or unsafe condition, shall be guilty of a separate offense and, upon conviction shall be subject to a fine of $1,000 plus the costs of prosecution.
The owner of a building, structure or premises where anything in violation of these building regulations shall be placed or shall exist and an architect, builder, contractor, agent, person or corporation employed in connection therewith and who may have assisted in the commission of such violation shall each be guilty of a separate offense and upon conviction thereof shall be liable to a fine of not more than $1,000 for each offense.
Each day during which any violation of this chapter continues shall constitute a separate offense. In addition to the above penalties, all other actions are hereby reserved, including an action in equity for the proper enforcement of this chapter. The imposition of a fine or penalty for any violation of, or noncompliance with, this chapter shall not excuse the violation or noncompliance or permit it to continue, and all such persons shall be required to correct or remedy such violations and noncompliance within a reasonable time. Any development initiated or any structure or building constructed, reconstructed, enlarged, altered or relocated in noncompliance with this chapter may be declared by the Council to be a public nuisance and abatable as such.