[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the Township of West Whiteland 7-28-2010 by Ord. No. 371. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Uniform construction codes — See Ch. 129.
This chapter shall be known as and may be cited as "The West Whiteland Township Dangerous Structure Ordinance."
Unless otherwise specifically defined below, words or phrases used herein shall be interpreted so as to give them the same meaning as they have in common usage and so as to give the chapter its most reasonable application consistent with its intent. Words used in the present text include the future and past, words in the plural number include the singular, words in the singular number include the words in the plural, and words either in the feminine, masculine, or neuter shall include words of the other two genders.
The following definitions shall apply to the interpretation and enforcement of this chapter:
- The Board of Supervisors of the Township.
- CODE ADMINISTRATIVE OFFICER
- The Code Administration Officer and Assistant Code Administration Officers appointed by the Board as the code officials under Chapter 129 of this Code.
- DANGEROUS STRUCTURES
- All buildings or structures, including but not limited to residences, garages, sheds, barns, commercial buildings, and industrial buildings, which have been damaged by fire, wind, or other cause so as to have become reasonably certain to place in peril the life and safety of the occupants or other people of the Township, or adjoining property.
- The Township of West Whiteland, Chester County, Pennsylvania.
All dangerous structures are hereby declared to be public nuisances.
Whenever it shall be reported or come to the attention of the Code Administrative Officer that any structure, completed or in the process of construction, or any portion thereof, is in a dangerous condition, the Code Administrative Officer shall make an investigation and examination of such structure. If such investigation or examination indicates such structure to be a dangerous structure, a written report of such investigation shall be sent to the Board, specifying the exact condition of such structure and setting forth in what respect the structure is perilous and whether it shall be removed as a dangerous structure.
The Board shall have the discretion to order the demolition of a dangerous structure. If the Board orders the demolition of a dangerous structure, it shall be demolished and the debris from such demolition shall be properly disposed of in accordance with all applicable laws and regulations. In addition, after the demolition and debris removal have been completed, the ground disturbed by such demolition and debris removal shall be returned to grade with clean fill, seeded and mulched.
If any structure is deemed to be a dangerous structure pursuant to the standards of this chapter, the Code Administrative Officer shall forthwith cause notice to be served by certified mail upon the owner or owners of such dangerous structure at the last known address as determined by the records in the Office of the Recorder of Deeds/Tax Assessment Office in and for the County of Chester, or failing to find any owner or owners, then such notice shall be posted on the property for a period of not less than 10 days and mailed to the last known address of the owner.
Such notice shall identify the structure deemed dangerous, contain a statement of the particulars which made this structure a dangerous structure, and include an order to demolish the same.
Such notice shall require any person notified to demolish any structure to commence the work or act required by the notice within 10 days of such notice and to comply with such demolition within 60 days from the receipt of such notice.
Such notice shall be served by ordinary mail upon the following:
All fines provided for in this section shall be in addition to costs.
Any person who shall fail to comply with any notice or order to demolish any dangerous structure, which notice is served in accordance with this chapter shall, upon conviction before a Magisterial District Judge, be subject to a fine of not less than $100 and not more than $1,000. Every day that a person fails to comply with any notice or order to demolish any dangerous structure shall be deemed a separate violation of this chapter.
Any person who wrongfully removes the notice provided for in § 137-6A shall, upon conviction before a Magisterial District Judge, be subject to a fine of not less than $100 and not more than $1,000.
Any person having an interest in any structure who fails to comply with any notice or order to demolish any dangerous structure within 60 days of the receipt of such notice, by such failure, does empower the Board to cause such structure to be demolished by the Township and to cause the costs of such demolition together with a penalty of 10% to be charged upon the land upon which the structure exists as a municipal lien, or alternatively to recover such costs and penalty together with reasonable attorney fees incurred by the Township, in a suit at law against the owner or owners, but, failing to recover same, the judgment therefor shall be charged upon the land as a lien; and, this subsection is separate from and in addition to the fine, penalty, and costs which may be imposed by any other subsection of this chapter.