City of Pittston, PA
Luzerne County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Pittston 3-21-2007 by Ord. No. 2007-2. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Alarm systems — See Ch. 130.
Dangerous buildings — See Ch. 165.
Condemned property — See Ch. 186.
Uniform construction codes — See Ch. 191.
Electrical standards and electricians — See Ch. 223.
Fire prevention — See Ch. 260.
Nuisance properties — See Ch. 326.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 370.
This chapter shall be known as the "City of Pittston Fire and Safety Inspection Ordinance."
The purpose of this chapter is to establish a fire and safety inspection program to protect the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of the City of Pittston and to maintain and improve the quality of the neighborhoods and properties to avoid dilapidation and neglect of properties that result in unsafe properties and conditions.
Any parcel of real estate, with or without improvements located thereon, utilized by any person or persons, partnership or corporation for any business, commercial or industrial activity or purpose shall be included in this program. Also included is any building containing one or more residential occupancy or sleeping units offered for rent or lease. The owner of said properties shall be required to obtain an annual certificate of occupancy. Certificates of occupancy shall be issued by the Zoning and Code Enforcement Officer and/or Fire Code official or designee.
A. 
Pursuant to the fire and safety inspection program, each commercial, educational and institutional property and each rental unit stated above shall be subject to inspection of the following:
(1) 
Proper use in accordance with occupancy use classification;
(2) 
Cooking hood fire-protection system;
(3) 
Portable extinguishers;
(4) 
Fire-protection systems, including standpipes and sprinkler systems;
(5) 
Fire, smoke and safety alarms;
(6) 
Emergency power systems;
(7) 
Exit and emergency area lighting;
(8) 
Storage of hazardous and nonhazardous materials;
(9) 
Stacking and storage of combustible materials;
(10) 
Exit/emergency egress doors;
(11) 
Records of evacuation plans, fire drills;
(12) 
Records of fire-protection and alarm system tests;
(13) 
Anti-backflow device test records.
B. 
Other items required by the Pennsylvania Uniform Construction Code or NFPA to be periodically tested and/or inspected shall be included. Items added by subsequent revisions to the codes are hereby automatically incorporated into this program without amendment to this chapter. Owners of said properties shall make arrangements with the City of Pittston to obtain inspections and certificates of occupancy beginning April 1, 2007. Certificates of occupancy must be obtained by December 31, 2007. Certificates of occupancy must be obtained by December 31 of each subsequent year.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
[Added 7-17-2013 by Ord. No. 2013-6]
A. 
Certificate required and applicability. The owner of each and every structure in the City of Pittston being used for commercial, industrial, institutional and educational purposes, including mixed-use structures, shall, on a biannual basis, obtain a certificate of City of Pittston Fire Prevention Code compliance from the City Fire Inspector.
B. 
Fees. The City Council shall, by resolution, set the fees for the certificate and/or inspections and reinspections.
C. 
Initial implementation. The initial certificates issued under this chapter shall expire on December 31, 2014, as specified in the fee resolution. All subsequent renewals shall be for a two-year, calendar-year-based term.
[Amended 10-16-2013 by Ord. No. 2013-9]
[Added 7-17-2013 by Ord. No. 2013-6]
A. 
Certificate required. To ensure that housing units in the City of Pittston are safe, sanitary and in compliance with Chapter 260, Fire Prevention, Chapter 370, Property Maintenance, and the City Zoning Ordinance,[1] each and every residential unit in the City of Pittston let out for rent or lease shall require a rental property maintenance certificate before occupation and every two years thereafter.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 480, Zoning.
B. 
Administration. This chapter shall be enforced by the City of Pittston Code Enforcement Officer as directed by the City Administrator. The Code Enforcement Officer shall be assisted by the City of Pittston Fire Code Inspector, Zoning Officer, Health Officer, Board of Health, Sewage Enforcement Officer, City Engineer, and/or any other City officer or employee as directed by the City Administrator.
C. 
Applicability. This chapter shall apply to any structure within the City of Pittston that includes one or more residential occupancy or sleeping units offered for rent or lease.
D. 
Requirements. The owner of each structure containing residential rental units shall be required under this chapter to obtain from the Code Enforcement Officer a rental property maintenance certificate for each residential rental unit within a structure. The purpose of this certificate shall be to ensure the structure and its units are being used in accordance with:
(1) 
The Zoning Ordinance of the City of Pittston;[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 480, Zoning.
(2) 
The Property Maintenance Code and Chapter 370, Property Maintenance, of the Code of the City of Pittston;
(3) 
Chapter 260, Fire Prevention, of the Code of the City of Pittston;
(4) 
Applicable City and state health ordinances and codes;
(5) 
Applicable City and state sewerage ordinances and codes;
(6) 
Any and all requirements of the Pennsylvania Uniform Construction Code (Act 45 of 1999, as amended).[3]
[3]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 191, Construction Codes, Uniform.
E. 
Property manager. For the purpose of ensuring compliance with this chapter, the owner of each structure to which this chapter is applicable shall designate a property manager for the structure. The owner may designate themselves as the property manager. The property manager must reside within 20 miles of the City of Pittston and must provide a telephone number and residence mailing address (no post office boxes) to the Code Enforcement Officer for the purpose of receiving communications under this chapter. The property manager may also designate an e-mail address for the purpose of receiving electronic communications under this chapter. It is the responsibility of the property manager to update contact information as needed by informing the Code Enforcement Officer of any changes in address or telephone number from what is listed on the application.
F. 
Application requirements and inspection process.
[Amended 10-16-2013 by Ord. No. 2013-9]
(1) 
Application form. For each residential rental unit for which a certificate is required by this chapter, the property owner shall make application to the Code Enforcement Officer on a form provided by the Code Enforcement Officer. The application form shall include, at a minimum:
(a) 
The name, address and telephone number of the property owner;
(b) 
The name, address and telephone number of the property manager;
(c) 
The precise address of the rental unit.
(2) 
Payment of fees. Any fees required by this chapter shall be required to be paid in full at the time of application. An application will not be considered received and approved until all required fees are paid in full.
(3) 
Required inspections. Once the application is received and approved, the property owner will then make all necessary arrangements for the Code Enforcement Officer to inspect the interior and exterior of the unit during normal business hours of the City.
(4) 
Report of inspection. Post inspection, the Code Enforcement Officer will provide the property manager with a report indicating if the property is in full compliance with the City ordinances or, if there are deficiencies, a list of the deficiencies and a time period for compliance.
(5) 
Reinspections. One reinspection will be performed by the Code Enforcement Officer at no additional cost if deficiencies are recorded. The City Council may establish fees by resolution for additional inspections if required to ensure compliance.
G. 
Additional required inspections. If a rental unit with a current certificate is subsequently deemed under Chapter 370, Property Maintenance, as unfit for human habitation or condemned or damaged by fire or structurally damaged to the point it cannot be inhabited or found to be infested with rodents, insects or vermin or is left vacant for more than six months or the property owner or occupant is convicted on a citation for a Property Maintenance Code or Fire Prevention Code violation at the property, the property will require a full new certificate, including payment of required fees, prior to being reoccupied.
H. 
Required fees. The City Council shall, by resolution, establish the fee for a certificate, the fee for reinspection, and any other fees and costs which may be required to implement this chapter.
I. 
Initial implementation. The initial certificates issued under this chapter shall be prorated on a calendar-year basis and shall expire on December 31, 2014. All subsequent renewals shall be for a two-year, calendar-year-based term. All fees shall be as set forth by resolution of the City Council.
[Amended 7-17-2013 by Ord. No. 2013-6]
The City Council, by means of resolution, shall adopt a fee schedule for the certificates, inspections, reinspections and other costs required for enforcement of this chapter.
[Added 7-17-2013 by Ord. No. 2013-6[1]]
Any property owner aggrieved by actions of enforcement under this chapter may file a written appeal with the City of Pittston Property Maintenance Code Board of Appeals (see Chapter 7, Article II) within 20 days of the date of enforcement action. Any appeals must be made on the form prescribed by the Board and with full payment of any fees required by resolution of the City Council. The Board will convene a public hearing within 30 days and render a written decision on the appeal within 10 days of the conclusion of the hearing.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
[Added 7-17-2013 by Ord. No. 2013-6]
The Code Enforcement Officer, Fire Prevention Code Inspector, and any City employee, officer, or contractor assigned to assist the Code Enforcement Officer and Fire Prevention Code Inspector in the enforcement of this chapter, and members of the Board of Property Maintenance Code Appeals, are fully indemnified by the City of Pittston in the official conduct of their duties while acting for the jurisdiction in good faith and without malice in the discharge of the duties required by this chapter or other pertinent laws, and they shall not be rendered liable personally and are hereby relieved from all personal liability for any damage accruing to persons or property as a result of an act or by reason of an act or omission in the discharge of official duties. Any suit instituted against any officer or employee because of an act performed by that officer or employee in the lawful discharge of duties and under provisions of this chapter shall be defended by the City of Pittston until the final termination of the proceedings. The code official or any subordinate shall not be liable for costs in an action, suit or proceeding that is instituted in pursuance of this chapter.
[Amended 7-17-2013 by Ord. No. 2013-6; 10-16-2013 by Ord. No. 2013-9]
Any property owner found to be in violation of any provision of this chapter shall be given written notice by the Code Enforcement Officer to come into compliance with this chapter within 30 days. If the violation or violations create such a hazard that the Code Enforcement Officer deems them an imminent threat to public health, safety and welfare, the Code Enforcement Officer shall set a reasonable time limit to correct the violation(s). If the violation(s) persists, the Code Enforcement Officer shall issue a nontraffic citation to the property owner for each violation present in each rental unit not in compliance. Upon conviction, a fine of not less than $50 and not more than $1,000, plus all City-incurred legal fees and court costs, shall be imposed. Each day the offense continues shall be deemed a separate offense. The first offense shall be fined the minimum $50, and each subsequent offense shall increase the fine by a minimum of $25. Upon failure to pay any fine imposed, a sentence of not more than 30 days in prison may be imposed.