Township of Newtown, PA
Delaware County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Newtown as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Numbering of buildings — See Ch. 72.
Uniform Construction Code — See Ch. 79.
Fire prevention — See Ch. 88.
Natural features and landscaping — See Ch. 104.
Nuisances — See Ch. 107.
Plumbing — See Ch. 121.
Sewers — See Ch. 130.
Subdivision and land development — See Ch. 148.
Zoning — See Ch. 172.
Fees — See Ch. A176.
[Adopted 11-14-1994 by Ord. No. 1994-2]
[Amended 2-13-2006 by Ord. No. 2006-03; 1-22-2007 by Ord. No. 2007-1]
A certain document, three copies of which are on file in the office of the Township Manager of the Township of Newtown, being marked and designated as the 2006 Edition of the International Building Code, as published by the International Code Council, be and is hereby adopted as the Building Code of the Township of Newtown in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania for the control of buildings and structures as herein provided, and each and all of the regulations, provisions, penalties, conditions and terms of said International Building Code are hereby referred to, adopted and made a part hereof as if fully set out in this article, with the additions, insertions, deletions and changes, if any, prescribed in § 69-5 and § 69-6 of this article.
No building permits shall be issued for any building, the plans for which must be approved by the Commonwealth Department of Labor and Industry, until such time as the approval of the Commonwealth Department of Labor and Industry to such plans has been given. Plans approved by the Commonwealth Department of Labor and Industry must be submitted for all buildings requiring such approval as part of the application for a building permit.
[Amended 2-13-2006 by Ord. No. 2006-04]
Certificates of use and occupancy for the transfer of a residential property shall be issued in accordance with the following procedures:
A. 
Application. Applications for a certificate of use and occupancy shall be filed with the Code Department by the seller of the property not later than the date of execution of an agreement for sale between the buyer and seller. Applications shall contain such information as the Township may require. A fee in the amount of $75 shall accompany the residential application, and a fee of $125 for a commercial or industrial application.
B. 
Inspection.
(1) 
Upon receipt of a completed application, the Code Department shall, within five business days, conduct an inspection of the property to determine compliance with the following Township standards:
(a) 
Display of house numbers, which shall be:
[1] 
Clearly visible from the street on which the number is assigned.
[2] 
At least four inches high and 2 1/2 inches wide with Scotchlite reflective material.
[3] 
Of a color which contrasts with their background.
[4] 
Displayed in such a way as to avoid confusion regarding which building or unit is being identified.
(b) 
Maintenance of public sidewalks and curbs and/or gutters in accordance with Article I of Chapter 145, Street and Sidewalks, § 145-4, of the Code of the Township of Newtown. Sidewalks and curbs which abut the property shall be kept in good repair and in a safe condition for public use. Sidewalks and curbs with a horizontal crack or a difference in elevation shall be replaced upon the issuance of a permit by the Township Engineer or Code Enforcement Officer.
(2) 
If a violation is determined during the inspection, the seller shall be mailed a notice within three business days of the inspection, which shall clearly describe the violation and remedial action for compliance.
C. 
Reinspection. Upon correction of any violation or violations, the applicant shall notify the Code Department, in writing, for a reinspection, which shall be conducted within five business days from receipt of this letter.
(1) 
Where it is determined by the Township that, due to unique circumstances or weather conditions, sidewalks cannot be replaced or repaired to comply with Township standards, or house numbers cannot be installed, the Township shall establish a dollar value to complete the work necessary to comply with the terms of this chapter, which shall be escrowed by the seller with the Township of Newtown on behalf of the buyer.
D. 
Certification statement. Prior to the issuance of a certificate of use and occupancy, the Township shall be in receipt of a notarized statement, signed by the sellers and purchasers, which shall certify compliance with the following provisions of the Township Code:
(1) 
That operating smoke detectors or a smoke-detection system is located within the immediate vicinity of all bedrooms and on every level of the building in compliance with the IBC Property Maintenance Code as adopted by the Board of Supervisors.
(2) 
That all sump pump(s) or other devices which discharge drainage resulting from rainwater, springs, wells, or other groundwater have been disconnected from the sanitary sewer system in accordance with Chapter 121 of the Township Code.
(3) 
The certification statement shall be on forms provided by the Township and shall contain such information as the Township may require.
E. 
Upon determining that the property complies with the full provisions of this article, a certificate of occupancy shall be issued by the Director. Such certificate shall be valid for a period of 12 months from the date of issuance.
F. 
Any building, residential or commercial, hereafter erected, transferred, or altered as to occupancy shall not be occupied until a certificate of occupancy has been issued therefor by Newtown Township, signed by the Building Official, Fire Marshal, Plumbing Inspector and Zoning Officer. It shall be the responsibility of the owner, builder, or seller to secure such certificate of occupancy from the Township before permitting the building to be occupied. If the owner, builder, or seller proposes to convey title to the building to a new owner, it shall be the responsibility of the owner, seller, or builder conveying title to secure such certificate of occupancy before permitting the conveyance to be consummated. The Township shall keep a record of all certificates issued and shall charge a fee for certificates for each individual dwelling or dwelling unit and a fee for certificates for all other buildings or parts thereof. Should any owner, seller, or builder of a building permit the occupancy of the same prior to the issuance of a certificate of occupancy for such building or should any owner or builder permit the occupancy of one or more units within a building prior to the issuance of the certificate of occupancy for such building or units, each such occupation shall constitutes a separate violation of this Building Code. Whenever such owner, seller, or builder has been officially notified by the Building Official, Zoning Officer or any other official of Newtown Township or by service of a summons in a prosecution or in any other official manner of a violation of this section, each day thereafter that such violation continues shall constitute a new and separate offense punishable by fine or penalty as provided in this Building Code.
Driveways and parking lots shall be constructed in accordance with the applicable sections of the Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) Form 408, Specifications, as amended to date. All material thicknesses shall be thicknesses after compaction of materials. Construction methods other than those listed below may be allowed if permitted under PennDOT Form 408, Specifications, and approved by the Township Engineer.
A. 
Apartments and offices; driveway and parking areas.
(1) 
Subbase shall consist of the preparation of the surface of the graded roadway as per Section 3.7, Form 408, Pennsylvania Highway Specifications.
(2) 
The compacted finished base course shall consist of a six-inch thickness of crushed aggregate or 3A modified stone rolled and compacted with a ten-ton roller or other approved attainable compaction equipment.
(3) 
Bituminous surface course shall consist of two courses, a one-inch binder course and a one-inch wearing course, constructed of ID-2 bituminous material, with each course being rolled and compacted as approved by the Township Engineer.
B. 
Shopping center and other commercial construction.
(1) 
Surface drives and through drives.
(a) 
Subbase shall consist of the preparation of the surface of the graded roadway as per Section 3.7, Form 408, Pennsylvania Highway Specifications.
(b) 
The compacted finished base course shall consist of eight inches of No. 3 crushed stone or slag rolled and compacted with a ten-ton roller or other approved attainable compaction. After final compacted thickness of base course has been obtained, it shall be choked by application of No. 1 screenings such as to fill all voids and ensure smooth, hard monolithic surface.
(c) 
The bituminous surface course shall consist of two courses, a 1 1/2 inch binder course and a one-inch wearing course, constructed of ID-2 bituminous material, with each course being rolled and compacted with a ten-ton roller or other approved attainable compaction equipment.
(2) 
Parking areas.
(a) 
Subbase shall consist of the preparation of the surface of the graded roadway as per Section 3.7, Form 408, Pennsylvania Highway Specifications.
(b) 
The compacted finished base course shall consist of six inches of No. 3 crushed stone or slag rolled and compacted with a ten-ton roller or other approved attainable compaction equipment. After final compacted thickness of base course, it shall be choked by application of No. 1 screenings such as to fill voids and ensure a smooth, hard and monolithic surface.
(c) 
The bituminous surface course shall consist of two courses, a one-inch binder course and a one-inch wearing course, constructed of ID-2 bituminous material, with each course being rolled and compacted with a ten-ton roller or other approved attainable compaction equipment.
[Amended 12-27-2001 by Ord. No. 2001-6]
A. 
Purpose. The Board of Supervisors finds it in the best interest of the residents of Newtown Township, Delaware County, Pennsylvania, that persons or firms who engage in construction, repairs, remodeling, rehabilitation or demolition, and operating as general contractors, and including, but not limited to mechanical contractors, electrical contractors, plumbing contractors, fire prevention contractors, specialty contractors, home improvement contractors, elevator contractors, grading contractors, roofing contractors, painting contractors, paperhanging contractors, tree surgeons, or landscapers, who may be prime contractors or subcontractors shall be required to obtain a license from the Township for such purpose, to the end that only responsible and qualified persons shall be permitted to engage in such business in said Township of Newtown.
B. 
Compliance with regulations. No person or firm may engage in or transact any construction, building repairs, remodeling, rehabilitation or demolition business, or hold themselves out to the public as doing such business or solicit such business, in the Township of Newtown, Pennsylvania, except in compliance with the applicable provisions of this section. No person or firm may engage in this Township in any trade or practice or other act prohibited by any provision of this section, and any person or firm who willfully participates in a prohibited act or violation is subject to the criminal penalty therefor. The provisions of this section may not be waived by agreement.
C. 
License limitations; nonapplicability.
(1) 
A license issued pursuant to this section may not be construed to authorize the licensee to perform any particular type of work or kind of business which is reserved to qualified licensees under other provisions of state or local law, nor shall any license or authority other than as issued or permitted pursuant to this section authorize engaging in construction, building repairs, remodeling, rehabilitation, demolition or home improvement business in the Township of Newtown.
(2) 
This section shall not apply to the official transaction of an authorized representative of the United States of America or any instrumentality thereof, or of any state, the District of Colombia, territory of the United States or any city or county thereof or of any instrumentality of a state or political subdivision thereof.
D. 
Definitions. For the purpose of this section, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
Whenever the terms "Building Inspector" or "Assistant Building Inspector" appear in this chapter, it shall be and mean the duly appointed Code Enforcement Officer or his assistant, or deputy, of the Township of Newtown, said terms being synonymous.
CONTRACT
An agreement, whether oral or written or contained in one or more documents, between a contractor and an owner for the performance of work, including all labor, services and materials to be furnished and performed thereunder.
CONTRACTOR
Any person, other than a bona fide employee of the owner, who undertakes or offers to work, whether or not such person is licensed or subject to the licensing requirements of this section and whether or not such person is a prime contractor or subcontractor with respect to the owner.
OWNER
Any property owner, tenant or other person who orders, contracts for or purchases the services of a contractor, subcontractor, specialty contractor or home improvement contractor, or the person entitled to the work of such pursuant to a contract.
PERSON
Includes an individual, partnership, corporation, trust, association, owner, contractor, salesman or other legal entity.
E. 
Administration and enforcement; certificate of insurance.
(1) 
It is the duty of the Building Inspector or Assistant Building Inspector to administer and provide for the enforcement of all the provisions of this section and specifically to issue licenses to all applicants who shall be duly qualified under and who comply with provisions of this section, and to refuse licenses to or suspend or revoke licenses issued to persons who do not so quality or so comply. The Township Building Inspector or Assistant is authorized to issue licenses upon the proper application, the furnishing of a certificate of insurance as required by Subsection I(2), and the license fee having been paid.
(2) 
A certificate of insurance acceptable to the Building Inspector shall be filed with the Township prior to the issuance of a license. These certificates shall contain a provision that coverage afforded under the policy will not be cancelled until at least 15 days prior to written notice having been given the Township of Newtown.
F. 
License fee. No license shall be issued or become effective until the applicant pays the required fee, payable to the Township of Newtown as follows: All contractors as provided for in Subsection A and who are in good standing may be issued an annual license on a calendar year basis beginning January 1 of each year upon application and the payment of a fee of $50. An abatement of said fee shall be made on September 1 for the balance of the calendar year at the rate of $25.
G. 
License required. Except as otherwise specifically exempted by the provisions of this section, no person shall act in the capacity of general contractor, subcontractor, specialty contractor or home improvement contractor unless authorized to do so by an existing license issued in accordance with the provisions of this section.
H. 
Exceptions to license requirements. No contractor's license shall be required of any person when acting in the particular capacity or particular type of transaction set forth in this section:
(1) 
An individual who performs labor or services for a contractor for wages or salary.
(2) 
Any person who is required by state or local law to attain standards of competency or experience as a prerequisite to engaging in such craft or profession, and who is acting exclusively within the scope of the craft or profession for which he is currently licensed pursuant to such other law.
I. 
Issuance, refusal and renewal of licenses; insurance.
(1) 
When an application has been filed with the Building Inspector or Assistant Building Inspector, in proper form, he must, within a period of 30 days from the date following the date the application is received, issue or refuse the appropriate contractor's license to the applicant. If an application for a license is refused, the applicant shall be sent a written statement setting forth the reason for the refusal to grant the license.
(2) 
An applicant for any license required by the provisions of this section shall file a written application on a form supplied by the Township, which shall be signed and under oath. The application shall require (among other items) the names of owners, partners, directors and officers of the applicant, and the business addresses and trade names of the applicant, together with a certificate of insurance written for not less than any limit of coverage specified under this section. The contractor shall take out and maintain at his own expense, during the life of the license, public liability, property damage, products liability and completed operations insurance. Said applicant must provide a current certificate of insurance to the Township written for a minimum policy of $500,000 combined single limits covering said requirement.
(3) 
Every contractor licensee shall within 10 days after a change in control of ownership or management, or change of address or trade name, notify the Building Inspector of such changes.
(4) 
Licenses of all contractors shall expire on December 31 following the date of issue unless prior thereto the license is revoked or suspended. Upon payment of the annual license fee, as prescribed by Subsection F, prior to the expiration date, a license shall be renewed for another year, and the authority to do business shall continue in effect until such time within the year as the Board revoked or suspended the license.
J. 
Standard for license issuance or continuance. For the protection of the people of this Township, no license shall be issued or continued if already issued, where:
(1) 
The person or the management personnel are untrustworthy or not of good character.
(2) 
The business transactions of the person have been marked by a practice of failure to perform contracts or the manipulation of assets or accounts, or by fraud or bad faith.
K. 
Grounds for refusal, revocation or suspension of license.
(1) 
The Building Inspector shall have the power, upon approval of the board of Supervisors, to refuse, suspend or revoke any licenses issued under the provisions of this section where the Building Inspector or Board of Supervisors finds that the licensee has violated any provisions of this section or is performing or attempting to perform any act prohibited by this section, or violates the Township of Newtown Building Code.
(2) 
A violation of any condition of a permit shall be cause for suspension or revocation of the license.
(3) 
Any violation of any of the provisions of this section upon the part of any director, manager, partner, officer, salesman, agent or employee of a contractor shall be cause for suspension or revocation of the license of the contractor unless it shall appear to the satisfaction of the Board of Supervisors and Building Inspector that the individuals engaged in the management of the contractor:
(a) 
Had no knowledge of the wrongful conduct; or
(b) 
Were unable to prevent the violation.
L. 
Hearing.
(1) 
The Board shall suspend or revoke any license or authority to do business only after a hearing. At least 10 days prior to the date set for the hearing, the Building Inspector shall notify the licensee in writing of any change made, and afford said licensee an opportunity to be heard in person and by counsel in reference thereto. Such written notice shall be served by delivery of the same to the licensee by certified mail to the business address of such licensee of record with the Board. The hearing on such changes shall be at such time and place as the Board of Supervisors shall prescribe.
(2) 
If the Board of Supervisors shall determine that any licensee is guilty of any violation of any of the provisions of this section, the authority of the licensee to do business may be revoked or suspended for such period of time as shall be determined by the Board of Supervisors.
(3) 
If a license is refused, the applicant may, within 10 days from the date the notice of refusal is mailed, request a hearing. Said hearing must be held within 30 days from the date of the request, and the Board of Supervisors must render its decision within 20 days following the hearing.
M. 
Prohibited acts.
(1) 
The following acts are prohibited:
(a) 
Abandonment or willful failure to perform, without justification, any contract or project engaged in or undertaken by a contractor, or willful deviation from or disregard of plans or specifications in any material respect without obtaining the consent of the owner in writing and without providing the Township building officials notification of such changes.
(b) 
Making any substantial misrepresentation in the procurement of a contract, or making any false promise of character likely to influence, persuade or induce.
(c) 
Any fraud in the execution of, or in the material alteration of any contract, mortgage, promissory note or other document incident to a contractual transaction.
(d) 
Preparing or accepting any mortgage, promissory note or other evidence of indebtedness upon the obligation of a contractual transaction with knowledge that it received a greater monetary obligation than the consideration for the work to be performed, which consideration may be a time-sale price.
(e) 
Directly or indirectly publishing any advertisement relating to work or services which continue an assertion, representation or statement of fact which is false, deceptive or misleading, provided that any advertisement which is subject to and complies with the then existing rules, regulations or guides of the Federal Trade Commission shall not be deemed false, deceptive or misleading; or by any means advertising or purporting to offer the general public any work or service with the intent not to accept contracts for the particular work or at the price which is advertised or offered to the public.
(f) 
Willful or deliberate disregard and violation of the building laws of this state or this Township, or of the safety of labor or workmen's compensation insurance laws of this state.
(g) 
Doing any business with or through any person who is subject to the licensing requirements of this section with the knowledge that such person is not licensed as required.
(h) 
Misrepresentation of a material fact by an applicant in obtaining a license.
(i) 
Willful failure to notify the Board of any change of control in ownership, management or business name or location.
(j) 
Conducting a business in any name other than the one in which the contractor or salesman is licensed.
(k) 
Willful failure to comply with any order, demand or requirement lawfully made by the Board of Supervisors under and within the authority of this section.
(2) 
Violations of any of the prohibitions of this section shall subject any violator, to whom the licensing provisions of this section apply, to the administrative sanctions of this section and to criminal prosecution.
N. 
Doing business without a license. Any person who shall knowingly and willfully engage in building construction, repairs, remodeling, rehabilitation or demolition without obtaining a license as required by this section, and who is not otherwise exempted from said licensing requirements, and any person who continues in business as a contractor after revocation or during suspension, shall be punished by a fine not exceeding $1,000 for each separate violation, and in default of payment thereof be imprisoned for a term not exceeding 30 days.
O. 
(Reserved)
P. 
Severability. If any provision of this section or the application thereof to any person or circumstance is held invalid for any reason, such invalidity shall not affect the other provisions or any other application of this section which can be given effect without the invalid provisions or application; and to this end, all provisions of this section are declared to be severable.
Q. 
Solicitation. A license issued under this section does not supersede the requirements of Chapter 118 of the Code of the Township of Newtown pertaining to soliciting, etc., but is to be enforced in conjunction therewith where applicable.
The following sections of the BOCA National Building Code, Twelfth Edition, 1993, are hereby revised as follows:
A. 
Section 101.1 (Title). Insert "Township of Newtown."
B. 
Section 108.2, Suspension of permit, is amended to read as follows:
108.2 Suspension of permit: Any permit issued shall become invalid if the authorized work is not commenced within six months from the issuance of the permit or if the authorized work is suspended or abandoned for a period of six months from the time the work commences or if all work is not completed within a period of two years after commencing the work. If a permit becomes invalid, a new permit must be obtained for any work.
C. 
Section 112.3.1, Fee schedule, is amended to read as follows:
112.3.1 Fee schedule: The fees to be charged by the Township of Newtown shall be specified by the Board of Supervisors from time to time by resolution in applying the provisions of this code. The value of the work shall be determined by the Building Official on the basis of estimated current costs.
D. 
Sections 112.4, Accounting, is amended to read as follows:
112.4 Accounting: The Township Manager or his designee shall keep an accurate account of all fees collected; and such fees collected shall be deposited in a timely manner in the appropriate Township account.
E. 
Section 116.4, Violation penalties, is amended to read as follows:
116.4 Violation penalties: It shall be unlawful for any person to erect, use, occupy or maintain any building or structure in violation of any provision of this code or to cause, permit or suffer any such violations to be committed. For any and every violation of the provisions of this Building Code, the owner, general agent or contractor of a building or premises where such violation has been committed or exists and the lessee or tenants of the entire building or entire premises where such violation has been committed or exists and the general agent, architect, builder, contractor or any other person who knowingly commits, takes part or assists in any such violation shall be liable, on conviction thereof, to a fine or penalty of not less than $75 nor more than $300 for each and every offense. Whenever such person has been officially notified by the Building Inspector or by any other official of the Township or by service of a summons in a prosecution or in any other official manner that he is committing a violation of this Building Code, each day that he continues such violation after such notification shall constitute a separate offense punishable by a like fine or penalty. Such fines or penalties shall be collected as like fines or penalties are now collected by law.
F. 
Section 117.2, Unlawful continuance, is amended to read as follows:
117.2 Unlawful continuance: Any person who continues any work in or about the structure after having been served with a stop-work order, except such work as he is directed to perform to remove a violation or unsafe conditions, shall be liable to a fine of not more than $300.
G. 
Section 121.2, Membership of board, is amended to read as follows:
121.2 Membership of board: The Board of Supervisors of the Township shall act as the Board of Appeals.
H. 
Section 914.2, Where required, is amended to read as follows:
914.2 Where required: Standpipe systems shall be installed where required by this code and in the locations indicated in Sections 914.2.3 and 914.2.4.
I. 
Section 3408.2, Applicability. Insert "April 30, 1938."
The following sections of the BOCA National Building Code, Twelfth Edition, 1993, are hereby deleted:
A. 
Section 102.2, Existing structures.
B. 
Section 104.3, Organization.
C. 
Section 104.4, Deputy.
D. 
Section 108.7, Approval of part.
E. 
Section 112.3, New construction and alterations.
F. 
Section 121.2.1, Qualifications.
G. 
Section 121.3, Notice of meeting.
H. 
Section 109.0, Temporary structures.
I. 
Section 914.2.1, Building height.
J. 
Section 914.2.2, Building area.
K. 
Section 3102.4.3, Permit exemptions.
L. 
Section 3102.13.2, Additional permits.
[Adopted 6-8-1992 by Ord. No. 1992-3]
A. 
In order to promote the public health, safety and welfare of the Township and to provide protection from failure of storage tanks from causing environmental damage, the Township Building Code and Plumbing Code are hereby respectively amended to require that a secondary containment synthetic liner system shall also be installed. Such synthetic liner system shall conform with all standards of the commonwealth and federal agencies and shall, if not in conflict with these standards, be equal to the Petrogard System of MPC Containment Systems, Ltd.
B. 
Propane tanks and tanks supplied with a secondary containment system with a Township-approved interstitial monitoring system shall not be required to install a synthetic liner.
[Added 6-12-1995 by Ord. No. 1995-5]
Any person, firm or corporation violating any provision of this article shall, upon conviction, be punishable by a fine not exceeding $1,000 for each offense, plus costs of prosecution, and, in default of payment of such fine and costs, shall be imprisoned for a term not exceeding 30 days.