[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Girard 5-17-2004 by Ord. No. 685. Amendments noted where applicable.]
It shall be unlawful for any person, partnership, corporation or other association to create or cause to be created upon any public or private property within the Borough of Girard any activity which shall constitute a nuisance.
For the purpose of this chapter, the terms used herein are defined as follows:
- ABANDONED or JUNKED
- When applied to a vehicle, a vehicle that is not currently inspected, is not currently registered and is not capable of passing a Commonwealth of Pennsylvania inspection, which vehicle has not been moved for a period of 45 days. Any other article shall be considered abandoned when it has been left in a position on property for a period of 30 days or longer.
- AUTOMOBILE GRAVEYARD
- The storage of one or more junked or wrecked automobiles on any premises. The term shall not include the storage of wrecked automobiles in a commercial district in connection with an automobile repair business where the wrecked automobiles are stored merely awaiting the repair thereof in the immediate future.
- An independent structure having a roof supported by columns or walls resting on its own foundation and includes a dwelling, garage, barn, stable, shed, greenhouse, mobile home, plant, factory, warehouse, school or similar structure.
- DANGEROUS BUILDINGS
- All buildings or structures which have any or all of the following defects shall be deemed dangerous buildings:
- A. Those whose interior walls or other vertical structural members list, lean or buckle to such an extent that a plumb line passing through the center of gravity falls outside of the middle third of its base;
- B. Those which, exclusive of the foundation, show damage or deterioration to 33% of the supporting member or members or damage or deterioration to 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 work injury to the health, safety or general welfare of those living therein;
- F. Those which have parts thereof which are so attached that they may fall and injure property or members of the public;
- G. Those which lack illumination, ventilation or sanitation facilities 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;
- Any discarded material or article and shall include, but not be limited to, scrap metal; scrapped, abandoned or junked motor vehicles; machinery; equipment; paper; rags; glass; containers; wood; lumber; and structures.
- Includes, but is not limited to, the storage of abandoned or junked automobiles or other motor-driven equipment or material part thereof, the dumping or accumulation of garbage, refuse, trash or other junk, including all types of discarded personal property, dangerous buildings, or any other activity which may be considered harmful to the promotion of the health, cleanliness, comfort, safety and general well-being of the citizens of Girard Borough.
The following uses of and activities upon real property, both private and public, in Girard Borough are hereby declared to be nuisances and are hereby prohibited. Nothing herein should in any way be construed as to authorize other activities which may constitute a nuisance, for such other activities are also prohibited.
The use of any premises as a trash or garbage dump, unless specifically authorized.
The depositing or dumping of any amount of trash or garbage upon the premises of another or upon public property.
The burning of or setting fire to trash, rubbish, refuse, garbage, motor vehicles or other machinery brought upon and accumulated or stored on any premises from any other location or locations.
The accumulation or storage of junked or wrecked or abandoned automobiles.
The accumulation or storage of scrap metal or other waste material as a junkyard.
The storing of gasoline, kerosene or other petroleum products in excess of 5,000 gallons, except by gasoline service stations or dealers where all gasoline is stored in appropriate tanks.
Any use of or activity upon property that, by reason of flames, smoke, odors, fumes, noise or dust, unreasonably interferes with the reasonable use, comfort and enjoyment of a neighbor's property or endangers the health or safety of the occupants of a neighboring property or endangers the health and safety of Borough residents and/or the users of the Borough public streets, property or facilities.
The excessive or unreasonable accumulation of scrap, junk, trash or garbage upon premises, causing odors, fumes or unsightly appearance to neighboring property owners.
The deterioration of a structure or property to such a state that it is a dangerous building and unsafe and unusable for its intended purpose and/or constitutes a fire hazard endangering surrounding structures or property and/or provides shelter for rats or other vermin or other wild animals and/or creates a hazard to the welfare and safety of children or adults who play or work thereabout.
Upon a determination by the Girard Borough Police that a violation of this chapter has occurred, the following action shall be taken:
As to dangerous structures or buildings:
The Borough Council shall direct a registered or certified letter notice to the owner of such property. The owner shall be determined by reviewing the county tax assessment records of the most current year. Said letter shall be mailed to the address as determined by such records.
The said letter notice shall inform the said owner as to the violation of this chapter, citing the reason for violation, giving the owner 15 days to remove the reason for the violation, advising that, in default thereof, the Borough will remove the cause of violation by the use of its own personnel and equipment and/or cause the structure to be destroyed by fire through the use of a volunteer fire company and/or hereby contract a private person to effectuate such removal, and if the owner, occupant, mortgagee, or lessee fails to comply with the order of the Borough within the time specified in the notice missed by him and no petition for a hearing is filed within 10 days thereafter, or following a hearing by the Girard Council where the order is sustained thereby, the Borough shall cause such building or structure to be repaired, vacated, or demolished, as determined by the Girard Council in accordance with the standards hereinbefore provided. The Girard Borough may collect the cost of such repair, vacation or demolition, together with a penalty of 10% of such cost, in the manner provided by law, or the Girard Borough may seek injunctive relief in a court of competent jurisdiction pursuant to the Rules of Civil Procedure, or a combination of the above, and charge the cost thereof to such owner.
As to all other nuisances other than buildings and structures, the Girard Borough Police shall notify the owner of such property of violation of this chapter and shall give the owner 15 days to remove the reason for the violation. After 15 days, the owner shall be cited by the Girard Borough Police.
Any person affected by any notice which has been issued in connection with the enforcement of any provision as to dangerous buildings or structures of this chapter may request and shall be granted a hearing on the matter before the Girard Council, provided that such person shall file with the Girard Borough Secretary a written petition requesting such hearing and setting forth a brief statement of the grounds therefor within 10 days after the day the notice was served. Upon receipt of such petition, the Girard Borough Secretary shall set a time and place for such hearing and shall give the petitioner written notice thereof. At such hearing, the petitioner shall be given an opportunity to be heard and to show why such notice should be modified or withdrawn. The hearing shall be commenced not later than 30 days after the day on which the petition was filed.
After such hearing, the Girard Council shall sustain, modify or withdraw the notice. If the Girard Council sustains or modifies such notice, it shall be deemed to be an order. Any notice served pursuant to this chapter shall automatically become an order if a written petition for a hearing is not filed with the Girard Borough Secretary within 10 days after such notice is served.
Any aggrieved party may appeal the final order to the Court of Common Pleas in accordance with the provisions of the Judicial Code.
Any person who violates or permits a violation of this chapter shall, upon being found liable therefor in a civil enforcement proceeding commenced by the Borough before a Magisterial District Judge, pay a fine of not more than $600, plus all court costs, including reasonable attorneys' fees, incurred by the Borough in the enforcement of this chapter. No judgment shall be imposed until the date of the determination of the violation by the Magisterial District Judge. If the defendant neither pays nor timely appeals the judgment, the Borough may enforce the judgment pursuant to the applicable Rules of Civil Procedure. Each day a violation exists shall constitute a separate offense. Further, the appropriate officers or agents of the Borough are hereby authorized to seek equitable relief, including injunction, to enforce compliance herewith.