[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of New Hope as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 6-14-1954by Ord. 95 (Ch. 10, Part 1 of the 1990 Code)]
No person, firm or corporation, owning or occupying any property within the Borough of New Hope shall permit any grass or weeds or any vegetation whatsoever, not edible or planted for some useful or ornamental purpose, to grow or remain upon such premises so as to exceed a height of 12 inches or to throw off any unpleasant or noxious odor or to conceal any filthy deposit or to create or produce pollen. Any grass, weeds or other vegetation growing upon any premises in the Borough of New Hope in violation of any of the provisions of this section is hereby declared to be a nuisance and detrimental to the health, safety, cleanliness and comfort of the inhabitants of the Borough.
The owner of any premises, as to vacant premises or premises occupied by the owner, and the occupant thereof, in case of premises occupied by other than the owner thereof, shall remove, trim or cut all grass, weeds or other vegetation growing or remaining upon such premises in violation of the provisions of the first section of this article.
The Borough Council, or any officer or employee of the Borough of New Hope designated thereby for the purpose, is hereby authorized to give notice by personal service or by United States Mail, to the owner or occupant, as the case may be, of any premises whereon grass, weeds or other vegetation is growing or remaining in violation of the provisions of the first section of this article, directing and requiring such occupant to remove, trim or cut such grass, weeds or vegetation, so as to conform to the requirements of this article, within five days after issuance of such notice. In case any person, firm or corporation shall neglect, fail or refuse to comply with such notice within the period of time stated therein, the Borough authorities may remove, trim or cut such grass, weeds or vegetation, and the cost thereof, together with any additional penalty authorized by the law, may be collected by the Borough from such person, firm or corporation, in the manner provided by law.
[Amended 8-13-1990 by Ord. No. 1990-2]
Any person, firm or corporation who or which shall violate or fail, neglect or refuse to comply with any of the provisions of this article, shall, upon conviction thereof, be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $600 and costs, or in default of payment thereof, shall be subject to imprisonment for a term not to exceed 30 days, provided each day's violation shall constitute a separate offense and notice to the offender shall not be necessary in order to constitute an offense.
[Adopted 11-17-2015 by Ord. No. 2015-05]
New Hope Borough Council finds that certain bamboo plants are invasive plants, and these are not native to New Hope Borough. Bamboo is often difficult to control. If not properly controlled and/or removed, the bamboo plant can cause, and has caused, damage to private and public properties, rights-of-way and bodies of water in and near New Hope Borough.
The purpose of this article is to enact regulations regarding the planting, growing, maintenance, cultivating and/or removal of bamboo in New Hope Borough to prevent it from becoming a hazard to private and public properties, rights-of-way and bodies of water.
New Hope Borough hereby finds and declares that bamboo, if not controlled and/or removed in accordance with provisions of this article, is a nuisance and a threat to the health, safety and general welfare of the residents, occupants and visitors of and to New Hope Borough.
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- Any plant species commonly known as "running (monopodial) bamboo," or as being part of the genus Sasa, Pseudosasa, Pleioblastus, and/or Phyllostachys.
- The Borough of New Hope, Bucks County, Pennsylvania.
- Any and all property owner(s) or resident(s) of a property on which bamboo has been planted, grows, or is found, whether above ground or below the surface. "Owner" shall include any person who has planted and/or grows bamboo on the property; who has bamboo on the property, even if the existence of such bamboo pre-dates his or her ownership and/or occupancy; or who permits bamboo to grow or remain on his or her property even if the bamboo has spread from an adjoining property.
Prohibition. Except as specifically provided in this article, after the effective date of this article, no owner shall plant, replant, grow, cultivate, install or cause or permit the planting, replanting, growing, cultivation or installation of bamboo upon any property located within the geographical limits of New Hope Borough.
Permitted planting. An owner may plant, replant, grow, cultivate and/or install bamboo only as follows:
The root system of the bamboo is entirely contained within an above-ground planter, barrel or other container of such design, material and location so as to prevent the spread of the bamboo root system beyond the confines of the container in which it is contained; or
The root system of the bamboo is planted in the ground but is entirely within a barrier, constructed in accordance with all the following specifications:
The barrier itself shall be composed of a high-density polypropylene or polyethylene, with a thickness of at least 40 mils.
The barrier shall be secured and joined together by stainless steel clamps or stainless steel closure strips designed to be used with such barriers.
The barrier shall be installed at least 30 inches deep.
At least three inches of the barrier must protrude aboveground level around the entire perimeter of the bamboo.
The barrier shall slant outward from the bottom to the top.
Whether planted within a barrier or growing in a container as described in Subsection B(1) or (2) above, all bamboo shall be located, controlled and maintained so that no part of the plant is closer than 10 feet from any private property line or 20 feet from the line of any public right-of-way or public property line.
Maintenance and confinement.
If bamboo is located on any property within the geographical limits of New Hope Borough, the owner shall maintain and confine the bamboo to prevent the encroachment, spread, invasion or intrusion of the bamboo onto any other private or public property, or private or public right-of-way, or body of water.
To satisfy the obligation under Subsection C(1) above, the owner shall take such measures reasonably expected and required to prevent the encroachment, spread, invasion and/or intrusion of bamboo. Such measures shall include, but not be limited to, spraying and/or poisoning to prevent regrowth; and/or installing sheathing comprised of metal or other material impenetrable by bamboo at sufficient depth within the property line(s) where the bamboo is planted and/or growing so as to prevent the growth, encroachment, spread, invasion and/or intrusion of the bamboo.
If bamboo on an owner's property dies, the owner shall promptly remove the dead bamboo and its root system.
If bamboo on an owner's property invades or grows onto an adjoining public or private property, right-of-way or body of water, the owner shall remove all parts of the bamboo and the root system that are closer than 10 feet from the nearest private property line(s) and 20 feet from the nearest line of any public right-of-way or public property line. If the encroachment is a result of the bamboo's root system, the owner shall remove all bamboo plant(s) from the ten-foot area and install the barrier described in Subsection B(2) above.
The New Hope Borough Code Enforcement Officer, and any authorized representative thereof, is hereby authorized and directed to enforce the provisions of this article and may institute civil enforcement proceedings as provided in this article when acting within the scope of his or her duties.
Any person may file a complaint with and/or notify the Borough of an alleged violation of this article. Whenever the Borough receives a notice of a violation of this article and confirms such violation, or if the Borough on its own observations and inspections determines that there is a violation of this article, the Borough may serve the owner with an enforcement notice as provided in this section.
The enforcement notice shall:
Be sent to the owner by regular and certified mail, return receipt requested. If both mailings are returned, unclaimed, refused or otherwise undeliverable, the enforcement notice may be posted at the property.
State the specific violation, citing in each instance the applicable provisions of this article, with a description of what must be done to correct the violation(s); and shall specify, as applicable, the practices and processes to be followed to abate and correct the violation(s).
State the date before which the steps for compliance must be commenced and the date before which the steps must be completed.
State that the failure to timely comply with the directives of the enforcement notice may result in corrective action being taken by the Borough to abate the violation, and that the owner will be responsible for all related costs and fees incurred by the Borough, which may be collected in the manner provided for the collection of municipal claims.
State that the failure to timely comply with the directives of the enforcement notice may result in the issuance of a citation for each day the violation exists until such time as the violation is corrected.
Any owner or other person who plants, replants, fails to maintain, confine and/or fails to remove bamboo within the geographical limits of New Hope Borough in contravention to the regulations of this article shall be in violation of this article, subject to the violations and penalties provisions set forth in this article. Any owner who fails to comply with the directives of an enforcement notice in accordance with the terms and conditions of such enforcement notice shall commit a violation of this article.
The New Hope Borough Code Enforcement Officer may issue a citation to the owner for a civil penalty fine for up to $600 for each violation. Each day that a violation of this article continues, upon an owner having been found liable therefor in civil proceedings, shall be considered a separate violation. The Borough may recover all court costs, legal fees and any other costs and fees incurred by the Borough to enforce the provisions of this article.
If the civil penalty imposed by a citation for a violation of this article is not voluntarily paid to the Borough within 30 days of the issuance of the citation, the New Hope Borough Code Enforcement Officer shall institute a civil enforcement proceedings before a Magisterial District Judge by complaint or by such other means as may be provided by the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure.
The Borough may also institute civil proceedings against an owner in equity for injunctive and/or civil relief as necessary to secure compliance with this article.
Nothing in this article shall be interpreted as limiting the rights of a private property owner to seek civil relief through a court of competent jurisdiction, nor the institution of a private civil proceeding.