[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Green Tree 2-2-2015 by Ord. No. 1730. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Demolition of buildings and structures — See Ch. 126.
Construction codes — See Ch. 144.
Editor's Note: This ordinance also repealed former Ch. 132, Buildings, Unsafe, adopted 6-8-1955 by Ord. No. 450 (Ch. 1444 of the 1982 Code).
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated, unless a different meaning clearly appears from the context:
- A structure which has enclosing walls and a roof and which requires a permanent location on land.
- DANGEROUS BUILDINGS OR STRUCTURES
- All buildings or structures which have any one or any of the following defects shall be deemed dangerous:
- A. Those whose interior walls or other vertical structural members list, lean or buckle to such an extent that the structural integrity of the building or structure is threatened.
- B. Those which, exclusive of the foundation, show substantial damage or deterioration to the supporting member or members, or damage or deterioration of 50% of the nonsupporting enclosing or outside walls or covering.
- C. Those which have improperly distributed loads upon the floors or roofs or in which the same are overloaded, or which have insufficient strength to be reasonably safe for the purpose used.
- D. Those which have been damaged by fire, wind or other causes so as to be dangerous to life, safety, or the general health and welfare of the occupants or the public.
- E. Those which are so damaged, dilapidated, decayed, unsafe, unsanitary, vermin-infested or which so utterly fail to provide the amenities essential to decent living that they are unfit for human habitation, or are likely to cause sickness or disease, so as to cause injury to the health, safety or general welfare of those living therein or to surrounding parties.
- F. Those which have parts thereof which are so attached or partially detached that they may fall and injure property or members of the public.
- G. Those which lack illumination, ventilation, sanitation facilities, windows, doors, any utility such as gas, electric or water, or because of another condition are unsafe, unsanitary, or dangerous to the health, safety, or general welfare of the occupants or the public.
- H. Those which because of their location are unsanitary, or otherwise dangerous, to the health or safety of the occupants or the public.
- I. Those existing in violation of any provision of the state or local Building Code, Fire Prevention Code, or other ordinances of the Borough.
- J. Those which have been inspected by the Borough Building Code Official, and found to be dangerous buildings or structures based on their condition.
- A person who, alone or jointly or severally with others:
- A. Shall have legal title to any building or structure with or without accompanying actual possession thereof; or
- B. Shall have charge, care or control of any building or structure, as owner or agent of the owner, or as executor, executrix, administrator, administratrix, or guardian of the estate of the owner. Any such person thus representing the actual owner shall be bound to comply with the provisions of this chapter and with all rules and regulations adopted pursuant hereto, to the same extent as if he were the owner.
- An individual, partnership, public or private association or corporation, firm, trust, estate, municipality, governmental unit, public utility or any other legal entity which is recognized by law as the subject of rights and duties.
- A piece, parcel, lot or tract of land.
- Anything constructed or erected, the use of which demands a permanent location on the soil or an attachment to something having a permanent location on the soil.
The Borough Building Code Official is authorized to inspect all buildings and structures within the Borough in order to determine whether they are dangerous, and shall prepare a report, as necessary.
The Building Code Official may review all available reports and make a determination as to whether the building or structure is dangerous within the meaning of this chapter.
If the Building Code Official determines the building or structure to be dangerous, the said Official shall issue a written notice ("the notice") requiring the repair or removal of the building or structure within a specified deadline.
The notice shall be dated and shall reasonably state the reasons for which it is issued.
If the notice permits repair, it shall identify the repairs required to be made, or refer to the report of the Building Code Official, if the required repairs are identified therein.
The notice shall reasonably advise of the following:
The Building Code Official has determined the building or structure described to be dangerous and a nuisance, and such building or structure must be repaired or removed within 30 days of the date of the notice, unless a shorter period is specified as set forth in Subsection D below. Unless a hearing is requested as set forth below, this determination shall become final 30 days after the date of the notice.
Any party who may feel aggrieved by the determination that a building or structure is dangerous may contest the determination by requesting a hearing before the Uniform Construction Code Appeals Board (UCCAB) in accordance with the rules and regulations applicable to the said Appeals Board.
The request for a hearing must be in writing and must be filed and received by the Borough Manager within 30 days of the date of the notice, unless a shorter period is specified as set forth in Subsection D below. Failure to file a timely request for hearing will result in the loss of any opportunity to contest the determination that the building or structure is dangerous.
The notice may set forth a repair or removal deadline of less than 30 days and an appeal period of less than 30 days if the Building Code Official finds that a shorter repair, removal or appeal period is necessary to protect the occupants or the public from the nuisance or danger posed by the dangerous building or structure.
Any dangerous building or structure required to be removed must be done in accordance with Chapter 126.
The notice will state, in large capital letters, "OCCUPANCY OF THIS BUILDING IS PROHIBITED BY LAW, EFFECTIVE 30 DAYS FROM THE DATE OF THIS NOTICE." If the notice contains a shorter removal or repair deadline pursuant to Subsection D above, that shorter removal or repair time period shall be stated in the notice.
The notice shall be in writing and mailed by registered or certified mail, return receipt requested, and by first-class, postage-prepaid, United States mail, to the last known address of the owner as set forth in the Borough's tax records and to the occupants of the building or structure at the building's or structure's address. The notice shall also be posted upon the property by attachment to or near the front door of the building or structure. The notice shall be declared to have been served on the owner and/or occupant of the building or structure on the date of the mailing or the date of the posting of the notice, whichever first occurs.
If, after the notice is given, and a hearing, if requested, has been held resulting in a determination that the building or structure is dangerous, and if said building or structure is not repaired or removed within the time limits prescribed by the notice, the Borough is authorized to advertise for bids for demolition or repair of such building or structure and the restoration of the land to its natural state, if required. The Borough may enter into a contract with the lowest responsible bidder, or if feasible, the work may be done in whole or in part by Borough employees. Borough officials are also authorized to enter, inspect, photograph, and inventory said building or structure prior to demolition or repair.
The Borough is hereby authorized and directed to file a municipal claim against the lot or lots appurtenant to any building or structure caused to be razed or repaired pursuant to this chapter and to claim all the costs and attorney fees incurred in connection with the razing or repair, together with a penalty of 10% as provided by law. In the alternative, the said costs, attorney fees, penalties and expenses may be collected by an action in assumpsit against the owners of said dangerous building or structure.
A copy of the notice of repair or removal, once posted on the building or structure, shall remain on the building or structure until the building or structure is demolished or repaired in accordance with the notice. Removal of the notice is prohibited, except by the Building Code Official. The unauthorized removal of the notice shall be a summary offense and punishable by a fine of $25 plus costs of prosecution.
It is violation of this chapter for any person to be an owner of a dangerous building or structure or to permit, cause or allow such building to become dangerous. It is a violation of this chapter for any owner of a dangerous building or structure to fail to repair or remove the building or structure as directed by the Building Code Official or fail to carry out the repair or removal within the time period specified by the Building Code Official. No person is permitted to occupy a dangerous building or structure. Borough Officials are authorized to remove any occupant from a dangerous building or structure, along with their possessions. The costs of removal and storage of the possessions shall be recoverable under § 132-5 herein or as otherwise allowed by law. The Borough shall not in any event store possessions in excess of 30 days.
A public notice shall be posted by the Borough in the manner set forth below when the following conditions have occurred:
A notice of repair or removal has been issued by the Borough pursuant to § 132-3, and
The property owner has not appealed such notice within the applicable appeal time and has not timely carried out the required repair or removal; or
An appeal has been filed by the owner resulting in a final determination by the UCCAB, or a Local Agency Law hearing has been completed and a final decision rendered by the Borough Council requiring the repair or removal and such required repair or removal has not been commenced with the applicable time limit.
Where either of the conditions referenced in § 132-8A(1)(a) or (b) have occurred, the Building Code Official or Code Enforcement Officer may post a sign in the Borough's right-of-way adjacent to the property in question which contains the following information: the property owner's and mortgagee's name, address and telephone number, a copy of the written notice issued pursuant to § 132-3, and a statement as to whether there have been any hearings held regarding the property. The sign shall be conspicuously posted in large print and shall be maintained until all code violations have been eliminated on the premises.
When the Building Code Official or the Code Enforcement Officer causes a sign to be erected as set forth herein, notice of the same shall be immediately given to the Borough Manager.
It shall be a violation of this chapter for any person to remove or otherwise tamper with a sign erected by the Building Code Official pursuant to this section. Any unauthorized removal shall be punishable as a summary offense and subject to a fine of $25 plus costs of prosecution.
The Building Code Official may agree with the property owner to removal of such sign if the property owner takes concrete steps to bring the property into compliance. Any such agreement shall be in writing and must be approved by the Borough Manager.
Any provision of this chapter may be implemented, performed or enforced by the Building Code Official or his designees.
Any person who shall violate any provisions of this chapter, upon conviction thereof, may be sentenced to pay a fine not exceeding $1,000, and in default of payment thereof to undergo imprisonment for a term not to exceed 30 days. Each day that a violation continues beyond the date fixed for compliance shall constitute a separate offense.