Municipality of Bethel Park, PA
Allegheny County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Adopted by Ord. No. 8-8-60B]
27.1.1. 
All buildings or structures which have any or all of the following defects shall be deemed "dangerous building":
1. 
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.
2. 
Those which, exclusive of the foundation, show 33% or more of damage or deterioration of the supporting member or members, or 50% of damage or deterioration of the non-supporting enclosing or outside walls or covering.
3. 
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.
4. 
Those which have been damaged by fire, wind or other causes so as to have become dangerous to life, safety, morals or the general health and welfare of the occupants or the people of the Municipality of Bethel Park.
5. 
Those which have become or are so dilapidated, decayed, unsafe, unsanitary 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, morals, safety or general welfare of those living therein.
6. 
Those having light, air and sanitation facilities which are inadequate to protect the health, morals, safety or general welfare of human beings who live or may life therein.
7. 
Those having inadequate facilities for egress in case of fire or panic or those having insufficient stairways, elevators, fire escapes or other means of communication.
8. 
Those which have parts thereof which are so attached that they may fall and injure members of the public or property.
9. 
Those which because of their condition are unsafe, unsanitary, or dangerous to the health, morals, safety or general welfare of the people of this municipality.
10. 
Those buildings existing in violation of any provision of the Building Code of this municipality or any provision of the Fire Prevention Code or other ordinances of this municipality.
27.2.1. 
The following standards shall be followed in substance by the Building Inspector and Council of the Municipality of Bethel Park in ordering repair, vacation or demolition:
1. 
If the dangerous building can reasonably be repaired so that it will no longer exist in violation of the terms of this ordinance, it shall be ordered repaired.
2. 
If the dangerous building is in such condition as to make it dangerous to the health, morals, safety or general welfare of its occupants, it shall be ordered to be vacated.
3. 
If any case where a dangerous building is 50% damaged or decayed or deteriorated from its original value or structure, it shall be demolished; and in all cases where a building cannot be repaired so that it will no longer exist in violation of the terms of this ordinance, it shall be demolished. In all cases where a dangerous building is a fire hazard existing or erected in violation of the terms of this ordinance or any ordinance of the municipality or statute of the State of Pennsylvania, it shall be demolished.
27.3.1. 
All dangerous buildings within the terms of 27.1 of this ordinance are hereby declared to be public nuisances and shall be repaired, vacated or demolished as herein before and hereinafter provided.
27.4.1. 
The Building Inspector shall:
1. 
Inspect or cause to be inspected semiannually all public buildings, schools, halls, churches, theaters, hotels, tenements, commercial, manufacturing or loft buildings for the purpose of determining whether any conditions exist which render such places a dangerous building within the terms of 27.1 of this ordinance.
2. 
Inspect any building, wall or structure about which complaints are filed by any person to the effect that a building, wall or structure is or may be existing in violation of this ordinance.
3. 
Inspect any building, wall, or structure reported (as hereinafter provided for) by the Fire or Police Departments of this municipality as probably existing in violation of the terms of this ordinance.
4. 
Notify in writing the owner, occupant, lessee, mortgagee, agent and all other persons having an interest in said building, as shown by the land records of the Recorder of Deeds of Allegheny County, of any building found by him to be a dangerous building within the standards set forth in 27.1 of this ordinance, that:
a. 
The owner must vacate or repair or demolish said building in accordance with the terms of the notice and this ordinance.
b. 
The occupant or lessee must vacate said building, or may have it repaired in accordance with the notice and remain in possession.
c. 
The mortgagee, agent or other persons having an interest in said building as shown by the land records of the Recorder of Deeds of Allegheny County may, at his own risk, repair, vacate or demolish said building or have such work or act done; provided, that any person notified under this subsection to repair vacate or demolish any building shall be given such reasonable time, not exceeding 30 days, as may be necessary to do, or have done, the work or act required by the notice provided for herein.
5. 
Report to the Council of the Municipality of Bethel Park any noncompliance with the notice provided for in 27.4 hereof.
6. 
Appear at all hearings conducted by Council and testify as to the condition of dangerous buildings.
7. 
Place a notice on all dangerous buildings reading as follows: "This building has been found to be a dangerous building until it is repaired, vacated or demolished in accordance with the notice which has been given the owner, occupant, lessee, mortgagee or agent of this building and all other persons having an interest in said building as shown by the land records of the Recorder of Deeds of Allegheny County. It is unlawful to remove this notice until such notice is complied with."
27.5.1. 
Duties of Council of the Municipality of Bethel Park. Council shall:
1. 
Upon receipt of a report of the Building Inspector as provided for in 27.4 hereof, give written notice to the owner, occupant, mortgagee, lessee, agent and all other persons having an interest in said building as shown by the land records of the Recorder of Deeds of Allegheny County to appear before it on the date specified in the notice to show cause why the building or structure reported to be a dangerous building should not be repaired, vacated or demolished in accordance with the statement of particulars set forth in the Building Inspector's notice provided for herein.
2. 
Hold a hearing and hear such testimony as the Building Inspector or the owner, occupant, mortgagee, lessee or any other person having an interest in said building as shown by the land records of the Recorder of Deeds of Allegheny County shall offer relative to the dangerous building.
3. 
Make written findings of fact from the testimony offered pursuant to above as to whether or not the building in question is a dangerous building within the terms of 27.1 hereof.
4. 
Issue an order based upon findings of fact made pursuant to 27.4 commanding the owner, occupant, mortgagee, lessee, agent and all other persons having an interest in said building as shown by the land records of the Recorder of Deeds of Allegheny County to repair, vacate or demolish any building found to be a dangerous building within the terms of this ordinance, and provided that any person so notified, except the owners, shall have the privilege of either vacating or repairing said dangerous building; or any person not the owner of said dangerous building, but having an interest in said building, as shown by the land records of the Recorder of Deeds of Allegheny County, may demolish said dangerous building at his own risk to prevent the acquiring of a lien against the land upon which said dangerous building stands by the municipality, as provided in 27.4 hereof.
5. 
If the owner, occupant, mortgagee or lessee fails to comply with the order provided for in 27.4 hereof, within 10 days, Council of the Municipality of Bethel Park shall cause such building or structure to be repaired, vacated or demolished as the facts may warrant under the standards herein before provided for in this ordinance and shall, with the assistance of the Municipal Solicitor, cause the costs of such repair, vacation or demolition to be charged against the land on which the building existed as a municipal lien or cause such costs to be recovered in a suit at law against the owner, provided that in cases where such procedure is desirable and any delay thereby caused will not be dangerous to the health, morals, safety or general welfare of the people of this municipality, Council shall notify the Municipal Solicitor to take legal action to force the owner to make all necessary repairs or demolish the building.
6. 
Report to the Municipal Solicitor the names of all persons not complying with the order provided for in 27.5 hereof.
[Amended by Ord. No. 8-10-70D]
27.6.1. 
The owner of any dangerous building who shall fail to comply with any notice order to repair, vacate or demolish said building, given by any person authorized by this ordinance to give such notice or order, shall be guilty of a summary offense, and, upon conviction thereof before the Mayor or Justice of the Peace in the Municipality of Bethel Park, shall be fined not exceeding $100 for each offense, and a further sum of $25 for each and every day such failure to comply continues beyond the date fixed for compliance.
27.6.2. 
The occupant or lessee in possession who fails to comply with any notice to vacate and who fails to repair said building in accordance with any notice given, ask provided for in this ordinance, shall be guilty of a summary offense, and, upon conviction thereof, shall be fined not exceeding $100 for each offense and a further sum of $25 for each and every day such failure to comply continues beyond the date fixed for compliance.
27.6.3. 
Any person removing the notice provided for in 27.4 hereof shall be guilty of a summary offense and, upon conviction thereof before the Mayor or a Justice of the Peace, shall be fined not exceeding $100 for each offense.
27.7.1. 
The Municipal Solicitor shall:
1. 
Prosecute all persons failing to comply with the terms of the notices provided for herein in 27.4, and the order provided for in 27.5.
2. 
Bring suit to collect all municipal liens, assessments or costs incurred by the Council of the Municipality of Bethel Park in repairing, or causing to be vacated or demolished, dangerous buildings.
3. 
Take such other legal action as is necessary to carry out the terms and provisions of this ordinance.
27.8.1. 
In cases where it reasonably appears that there is immediate danger to the life or safety of any person unless a dangerous building, as defined herein, is immediately repaired, vacated or demolished, the Building Inspector shall report such facts to the Council of the Municipality of Bethel Park; and Council shall cause the immediate repair, vacation or demolition of such dangerous building. The costs of such emergency repair, vacation or demolition of such dangerous building shall be collected in the same manner as provided in 27.5 hereof.
27.9.1. 
In cases, except emergency cases, where the owner, occupant, lessee or mortgagee is absent from the municipality, all notices or orders provided for herein shall be sent by registered mail to the owner, occupant, mortgagee, lessee and all other persons having an interest in said building as shown by the land records of the Recorder of Deeds of Allegheny County, to the last known address of each; and a copy of such notice shall be posted in a conspicuous place on the dangerous building to which it relates. Such mailing and posting shall be deemed adequate service.
27.10.1. 
No officer, agent or employee of the Municipality of Bethel Park shall render himself personally liable for any damage that may accrue to persons or property as a result of any act required or permitted in the discharge of his duties under this ordinance. Any suit brought against any officer, agent or employee of the Municipality of Bethel Park as a result of any act required or permitted in this discharge of his duties under this ordinance shall be defended by the Municipal Solicitor until the final determination of the proceedings therein.
27.11.1. 
It is the intention of the Municipal Council that each separate provision of this ordinance shall be deemed independent of all other provisions herein, and it is further the intention of the Municipal Council that if any provision of this ordinance be declared invalid, all other provisions thereof shall remain valid and enforceable.