Borough of Hellertown, PA
Northampton County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Hellertown 8-21-2006 by Ord. No. 699; amended in its entirety 12-19-2011 by Ord. No. 765. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Numbering of buildings — See Ch. 134.
Code enforcement — See Ch. 153.
Construction codes — See Ch. 160.
Nuisances — See Ch. 278.
A certain document, three copies of which are on file in the office of the Borough Secretary of Hellertown Borough, being marked and designated as "the International Property Maintenance Code, 2009 edition," as published by the International Code Council, be and is hereby adopted as the Property Maintenance Code of the Borough of Hellertown in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for regulating and governing the conditions and maintenance of all property, buildings and structures; by providing the standards for supplied utilities and facilities and other physical things and conditions essential to ensure that structures are safe, sanitary and fit for occupancy and use; and the condemnation of buildings and structures unfit for human occupancy and use, and the demolition of such existing structures as herein provided; providing for the issuance of permits and collection of fees therefor; and each and all of the regulations, provisions, penalties, conditions and terms of said Property Maintenance Code on file in the office of the Borough of Hellertown are hereby referred to, adopted, and made a part hereof as if fully set out in this chapter, with the additions, insertions, deletions and changes, if any, prescribed in § 310-2 of this chapter.
The following sections are hereby revised:
A. 
Section 101.1, Title, insert "Borough of Hellertown, Northampton County, Pennsylvania" in place of the bracketed phrase [Name of Jurisdiction].
B. 
Section 103.5, Fees, insert "Borough of Hellertown Fee Schedule" in place of the bracketed phrase [Jurisdiction to Insert Appropriate Schedule].
C. 
Section 112.4, Failure to comply, insert "$100 or more than $500" in place of the bracketed phrase [Amount] in two places.
D. 
Section 302.4, Weeds, insert "eight inches" in place of the bracketed phrase [Jurisdiction to Insert Height in Inches].
E. 
Section 304.14, Insect Screens, insert "April 1 and October 31," respectively, in place of the two bracketed terms [Date].
F. 
Section 602.3, Heat Supply, insert "October 1 and April 30," respectively, in place of the two bracketed terms [Date].
G. 
Section 602.4, Occupiable Work Spaces, insert "October 1 and April 30," respectively, in place of the two bracketed terms [Date].
[Added 6-20-2016 by Ord. No. 808[1]]
A. 
Vegetative growth a nuisance under certain conditions. No person, firm or corporation, owning or occupying any property within the Borough of Hellertown 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 be in excess of a height of eight 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 Hellertown in violation of any of the provisions of this section is hereby declared to be detrimental to the health, safety, cleanliness and comfort of the inhabitants of the Borough of Hellertown.
B. 
Responsibility for removing, cutting or trimming. The owner of any premises, as to vacant premises, multiple residential or multiple commercial 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 Subsection A.
C. 
Notice to remove, trim or cut; municipality may do work; costs. The Borough Council, or any officer or employee of the Borough of Hellertown 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 Subsection A of this section, directing and requiring such occupant to remove, trim or cut such grass, weeds or vegetation so as to conform to the requirements of this chapter, within five days after issuance of such notice. Whenever, in the judgment of the Borough Code Enforcement Officer of the Borough of Hellertown, it shall appear to be impracticable to give notice as above provided, either because the owner or occupant cannot readily be found or because a search for the owner or occupant would entail unreasonable delay, the Borough Council or any officer or employee of the Borough of Hellertown designated thereby for that purpose, may give notice by posting conspicuously on the property where such grass and weed violation exists, a notice or order directing and requiring that such violation of Subsection A be abated within five days. 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 Council may order the removal, trimming or cutting of such grass, weeds or vegetation, and the cost thereof, together with a penalty of 10% of the cost thereof shall be collected by the Borough of Hellertown from such person, firm or corporation, in the manner provided by law.
D. 
Violations and penalties. Any person who violates or permits a violation of this section shall, upon conviction in a summary proceeding brought before a Magisterial District Judge under the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure, be guilty of a summary offense and shall be punishable by fine of not less than $100 nor more than $1,000, plus cost of prosecution. In default of payment thereof, the defendant may be sentenced to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 90 days. Each day or portion thereof that such violation continues or is permitted to continue shall constitute a separate offense and each subsection of this section that is violated shall also constitute a separate offense.
(1) 
Notice of violation. Whenever a condition constituting a violation of this section occurs, the Borough shall cause written notice to be served upon the owner in one of the following manners:
(a) 
By making personal delivery of the notice to owners;
(b) 
By handing a copy of the notice to the owner or an adult person in charge of the residence or business, whichever the case may be;
(c) 
By fixing a copy of the notice to the door at the entrance of the premises in violation; or
(d) 
By mailing a copy of the notice to the last known address of the owner by certified mail and regular mail.
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also repealed former § 310-3, Repealer.
[Added 7-1-2019 by Ord. No. 830]
A. 
Purpose. The provisions of this section are enacted to control planting, growing or cultivating of bamboo in the Borough of Hellertown so as to prevent the spread of noxious vegetation and the trespass of noxious vegetation onto public and private properties and onto public rights-of-way. Therefore, it is the intent of this section to ensure that the vegetation named herein does not become a threat to the public health, safety and welfare.
B. 
Definitions. As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
PLANT
A living organism exemplified by trees, flowers, grasses, shrubs, herbs, mosses, ferns, et al. The word "plant" shall be understood to mean any and all parts of a plant, including stem and stalk, leaves, seed pods, flowers and fruit, and roots.
RESTRICTED VEGETATION
Any plant that is determined by the Borough of Hellertown Council or the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania to be injurious to public health, crops, livestock, agricultural land or other property. Such restricted vegetation is listed in § 310-4C.
C. 
Vegetation restricted. All species of running bamboo, including but not limited to Acidosasa, Arundinaria, Bashania, Brachystachyum, Chimonobambusa, Gelidocalamus, Indocalamus, lndosasa, Ochlandra, Phyllostachys, Pleioblastus, Pseudosasa, Sasa, Sasaella, Semiarundinaria, Shibataea, Sinobambusa, and those commonly known as common bamboo, golden bamboo and arrow bamboo.
D. 
Regulations governing running bamboo.
(1) 
No person, firm, corporation, property owner, or possessor of property shall plant, cause to grow or cultivate any running bamboo on any lot or parcel of ground, subject to the following exceptions:
(a) 
The root system of the running bamboo plants is entirely contained within an aboveground planter, barrel or other container of such design, material and location as to prevent the spread of the running bamboo root system beyond the confines of the container in which it is contained; or
(b) 
The root system is planted in the ground but is entirely contained within a barrier constructed in accordance with the following specifications:
[1] 
The barrier itself shall be composed of a high-density polypropylene or polyethylene with a thickness of at least 40 mils;
[2] 
The barrier shall be secured and joined together by stainless steel clamps or stainless steel closure strips designed to be used with such barriers;
[3] 
The barrier shall be installed at least 30 inches deep;
[4] 
At least three inches of the barrier must protrude above ground level around the entire perimeter of the running bamboo;
[5] 
The barrier shall slant outward from the bottom to top.
(c) 
Whether planted or growing in a container, as described herein, all running bamboo plants shall be located, controlled and maintained so that no part of the plant is closer than 10 feet from any public right-of-way or property line or encroaching upon adjacent property.
(2) 
The owner of any property in the Borough of Hellertown on which running bamboo is growing in violation of § 310-4D(1)(c) shall remove all parts of the running bamboo plant(s) that are closer than 10 feet from any public right-of-way or property line. If the violation is the result of encroachment of the root system, the owner of the property shall remove all running bamboo plant(s) from the property or shall install the barrier described in § 310-4D(l)(b).
E. 
Complaint; notice; order for removal and compliance.
(1) 
Whenever a complaint is received by Hellertown Borough regarding the encroachment of any restricted vegetation onto a public right-of-way and/or adjacent property, or whenever Hellertown Borough on its own observation and inspections determines that there is an encroachment of restricted vegetation onto a public right-of-way, Hellertown Borough shall take the necessary steps to verify that a violation of this section has occurred. If a violation has occurred, Hellertown Borough shall give notice of the property owner to control and/or remove the offending restricted vegetation plant.
(a) 
The notice shall be mailed by certified mail, return receipt requested, properly addressed and with sufficient postage. Notice by certified mail shall be deemed complete on the date of personal delivery. If the certified mail is marked "refused," "unclaimed" or otherwise undeliverable by the United States Postal Service, notice will be sent by regular mail and by posting the notice on the property.
(b) 
The notice shall specify the nature of the violation.
(c) 
The notice shall state specifically what must be done by the responsible party to correct the violation and come into compliance with this section. The notice shall specify, as appropriate, the practices and processes to be followed and shall set a time frame for compliance.
(d) 
The notice shall state that failure to comply with the compliance time frame will result in the removal of the restricted vegetation by Hellertown Borough and that the responsible party will be billed for all costs incurred by Hellertown Borough, which may, in its discretion, elect to issue a citation daily until such time as the offending restricted vegetation or root system is removed by the property owner, and the notice should so advise the responsible party.
(2) 
Compliance with the provisions of the notice shall be subject to the inspection of the Hellertown Borough Code Enforcement Officer.
F. 
Violations and penalties. Any person who violates or permits a violation of this section shall, upon conviction in a summary proceeding brought before a Magisterial District Judge under the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure, be guilty of a summary offense and shall be punishable by fine of not less than $100 nor more than $1,000, plus cost of prosecution. In default of payment thereof, the defendant may be sentenced to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 90 days. Each day or portion thereof that such violation continues or is permitted to continue shall constitute a separate offense, and each subsection of this section that is violated shall also constitute a separate offense.
[Amended 6-20-2016 by Ord. No. 808; 7-1-2019 by Ord. No. 830]
Nothing in this chapter shall prevent the Borough from enforcing a violation of grass and other vegetation through the Property Maintenance Code and/or the Nuisance Ordinance.[1] Nothing shall prevent the Borough from enforcing a violation of the cultivation of bamboo through the Nuisance Ordinance.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 278, Nuisances.