Borough of Bellefonte, PA
Centre County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Bellefonte as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Noisy animals — See § 372-11.
[Adopted as Ch. 608 of the 1979 Codified Ordinances]
[Amended 8-4-1980 by Ord. No. 846; 10-15-2012 by Ord. No. 10152012-001; 8-1-2016 by Ord. No. 08012016-01; 6-4-2018 by Ord. No. 060418-01]
No person shall keep any bovine, horse, pig, hog, swine, mule, sheep, turkey, roosters, guinea fowl, or other farm animal or maintain any pigpen, hogpen, stable, kennel or other similar structure or building for the care and housing of such animals in the Borough. This section shall not apply to a farm, as defined in§ 575-150 of Chapter 575, Zoning, or to any validly existing nonconforming use, or to any veterinary or animal hospital or similar operation legally existing and presently operating in the Borough. Beekeeping is a permitted activity in the Borough for the production of honey and/or beeswax. The keeping of backyard chickens is permitted in accordance with Article II of this chapter.
[Amended 10-19-1998 by Ord. No. 1135]
No owner of any dog, whether or not such dog is licensed, shall allow or permit such dog to run at large at any time, either upon any of the streets, alleys or public grounds in the Borough or upon the property of another, unless such dog is accompanied by and under the immediate control of the owner, custodian or keeper. "Under the immediate control" means that dogs shall be under leash and not interfering with or creating an obstacle for pedestrians using public streets and sidewalks.
It shall be the duty of every police officer of the Borough to seize and detain any dog, whether licensed or not, found running at large contrary to § 193-2. If any such dog bears a current license tag, it shall be detained and properly kept and fed, and immediate notice, either in person or by certified mail, shall be given to the person in whose name the license was procured, or his agent, to claim such dog within 10 days. If such dog is claimed within such period of time, the owner or his agent shall pay all reasonable expenses incurred by reason of its detention, whereupon such dog shall be turned over to such owner or his agent. If any dog found running at large does not bear the current license tag, it shall be the duty of every police officer of the Borough to seize such dog and, upon satisfactory evidence that such dog has not been licensed as required by law, to kill such dog in a humane manner, after trying to find the owner thereof.
[Amended 4-1-1985 by Ord. No. 929]
A. 
No person owning or having possession, care, custody or control of any dog within the Borough shall knowingly or unknowingly allow or permit any such dog to commit any nuisance and, more particularly and without limiting the generality thereof, allow any dog to excrete any feces upon any public property, including any sidewalk, street, road, lane or other public thoroughfare of the Borough, any public building or any public park or playground, or in or upon any private property without the permission of the owner of such property. Negligence of the owner or possessor of any such dog excreting feces upon any public property of the Borough or upon any private property within the Borough shall not constitute a defense to a violation of this section.
B. 
Any person owning, possessing or having the care, custody or control of a dog shall immediately remove all feces deposited by such dog and dispose of the same by any sanitary method. Disposal shall not be made on any public property of the Borough nor on any private property without the permission of the owner of such property. Disposal of any such feces in any public receptacle for trash or refuse upon the public property of the Borough is hereby expressly prohibited, unless such feces is enclosed in a sealed plastic bag. Further, any person owning, possessing or having the care, custody or control of any dog shall have a positive duty to take any reasonable and proper action to prevent any such dog from committing a nuisance in, on or upon any public property of the Borough or upon any private property without the permission of the owner of such property. Failure to do so shall constitute a violation of this section.
C. 
If the owner, possessor or person having the care, custody or control of any dog, which dog excretes feces on public property of the Borough or on any private property without permission of the owner, immediately removes and disposes of all feces so deposited by such dog in accordance with Subsection B hereof, such owner, possessor or person shall have an absolute defense to any violation charged under this section.
[Amended 7-24-2000 by Ord. No. 1152]
A. 
No person shall knowingly keep or harbor any cat which habitually cries or howls.
B. 
No person shall allow a cat to habitually roam unwelcome onto someone else's property. Any cat which scratches, digs or defecates upon any lawn, tree, shrub, plant, building or any other public or private property other than the property of the owner or person in charge or control of such animal is hereby declared to be a nuisance.
C. 
Upon the first and second offenses, the cat owner or keeper shall be given written warning notices by personal service or certified mail, return receipt requested. It shall be a condition precedent to any enforcement proceeding to show that two written warnings were issued to the cat owner or keeper within the previous twelve-month period.
[Amended 7-24-2000 by Ord. No. 1152]
A. 
The ordinance enforcement officer or any police officer or animal control officer empowered to enforce the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania within the jurisdictional boundaries of the Borough shall hereby be authorized to enforce the provisions of this article.
B. 
Whoever violates any of the provisions of this article shall, upon conviction thereof before a Magisterial District Judge, be subject to a civil fine as set forth in the schedule below, plus all costs of prosecution, including court costs and reasonable attorney's fees, incurred by the municipality. For purposes of clarification, a first citation for a violation of § 193-5 will not be issued until after the cat owner has received two written warnings within the previous twelve-month period.
C. 
Range of fines.
(1) 
First offense: $25.
(2) 
Second offense: $50.
(3) 
Third and subsequent offenses: $600.
[Adopted 6-4-2018 by Ord. No. 060418-01]
The keeping of chicken hens is permitted at owner-occupied one-family dwellings provided all of the following conditions are met:
A. 
No more than four chicken hens shall be kept per one-family dwelling.
B. 
No person shall keep a rooster in the Borough.
C. 
All chicken hens shall be housed in a roofed coop that is secure and enclosed in a way that contains the chickens. Coops may be mobile as long as their placement is in accordance with all designated setbacks.
D. 
The coop shall not be within 30 feet of any main building on an adjacent lot.
E. 
The minimum coop size shall be three square feet per chicken. The maximum overall coop size shall not exceed 20 square feet.
F. 
An outside run is permitted when attached to the coop.
G. 
If an outside run is provided, it shall be no bigger than 10 square feet per chicken and shall be enclosed in a way that contains the chickens. Runs may be mobile as long as their placement is in accordance with all designated setbacks.
H. 
The outside run shall not be within 30 feet of any main building on an adjacent lot.
I. 
All coops and runs are subject to setbacks for accessory structures.
J. 
All coops and runs shall be screened from the view at ground level from adjacent lots by using fencing, landscaping, or a combination thereof.
K. 
A zoning permit shall be required for keeping chicken hens, coops, and outside runs. The fee shall be established by resolution of Borough Council and updated from time to time. The permit shall be for a three-year period and renewable, provided that three or more violations have not occurred during the permit period.
It shall be unlawful for the owner or owners of any chickens to allow the same to run at large upon any of the common thoroughfares, sidewalks, passageways, play areas, parks, streets, alleys, or public highways or any place where people congregate or walk, or upon any public or private property without an approved coop and run in the Borough. Any chicken not contained within an approved coop or run shall be deemed "at large."
All owner or owners of chickens within the limits of the municipality are hereby required to house the same at all times under sanitary conditions so that the keeping of chickens shall not become either a public or private nuisance. The following provisions apply:
A. 
All chicken feces accumulated on private property shall be removed by using the approved sanitary method of double-bagging and placement in the trash for collection, unless composted as provided for in § 193-10 below.
B. 
Chicken feces on private property shall not be allowed to accumulate to the degree that they become a public health nuisance or hazard. In cases where chicken feces do accumulate on private property, the Nuisance Code Enforcement Officer or his or her designee may conduct an investigation, after which the accumulation may be declared a public health hazard or nuisance and the owner shall be ordered to remove and dispose of the accumulated feces in an approved manner. The order to remove such accumulated feces shall be given personally to the owner or shall be sent by registered mail, and the owner shall be given a period of 48 hours from the date and time of receipt of the order to clean the property and remove the accumulated feces.
It shall be unlawful for any person to spread or cause to be spread or deposited upon any ground or premises within the Borough any chicken manure. However, chicken manure may be composted on the property where the chickens are housed and the composted material then applied to gardens, yards, or other yards with written permission.
No person shall slaughter any chicken in the Borough.
All feed, water and other items associated with the keeping of chickens shall be protected in a way that prevents infestation by rats, mice, or other rodents or vectors. Failure to keep all feed, water and other items associated with the keeping of chickens in a clean and sanitary condition constitutes a violation of this article.
Any owner or owners of any chicken or chickens kept within the limits of this municipality violating any of the provisions of this article shall, upon conviction thereof before the District Magistrate, be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than $50 per day nor more than $600 per day and costs of prosecution at the discretion of said Magistrate and, in default of payment of such fine and costs, shall be committed to the county jail for not more than five days. In addition, three or more violations shall be grounds for terminating the zoning permit and the keeping of chickens. Failure to pay fines and/or costs of prosecution will result in termination of the zoning permit for keeping chickens. For each day a violation exists, a new citation or fine may be issued. This penalty for violation of provisions on chickens shall take precedence over § 193-6, Enforcement; violations and penalty.