Township of Upper Chichester, PA
Delaware County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Commissioners of the Township of Upper Chichester as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Blighted Property Review Committee — See Ch. 15.
Planning Commission — See Ch. 76.
Boarding of windows and doors — See Ch. 187, Art. I.
Dangerous buildings — See Ch. 191.
Construction standards — See Ch. 240.
Contractors — See Ch. 244.
Historic preservation — See Ch. 351.
Disorderly houses — See Ch. 417, Art. I.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 429.
Zoning — See Ch. 600.
[Adopted 11-10-2011 by Ord. No. 668]
This article may be cited as the "Neighborhood Blight Reclamation and Revitalization Ordinance."
A. 
This article is to implement in Upper Chichester Township the provisions of the Act of October 27, 2010 (Act 90 of 2010), 53 Pa.C.S.A. § 6101 et seq., known as the "Neighborhood Blight Reclamation and Revitalization Act."
B. 
There are deteriorated properties located in Upper Chichester Township as a result of neglect by their owners in violation of applicable state and municipal codes; and
C. 
These deteriorated properties create public nuisances which have an impact on crime and the quality of life of our residents and require significant expenditures of public funds in order to abate and correct the nuisances; and
D. 
In order to address these situations, it is appropriate to deny certain governmental permits and approval in order to:
(1) 
Prohibit property owners from further extending their financial commitments so as to render themselves unable to abate or correct the code, statutory and regulatory violations for tax delinquencies.
(2) 
Reduce the likelihood that this municipality and other municipalities will have to address the owners' neglect and resulting deteriorated properties.
(3) 
Sanction the owners for not adhering to their legal obligations to Upper Chichester Township, as well as to tenants, adjoining property owners and neighborhoods.
The following words and phrases when used in this article, shall have the following meanings given to them in this section unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
ACT
The Act of October 27, 2010 (Act 90 of 2010), 53 Pa.C.S.A. § 6101 et seq., known as the "Neighborhood Blight Reclamation and Revitalization Act."
BUILDING
A residential, commercial or industrial building or structure and the land appurtenant to it.
CODE
A building, housing, property maintenance, fire, health or other public safety ordinance enacted by a municipality. The term does not include a subdivision and land development ordinance or a zoning ordinance enacted by a municipality.
COURT
The Court of Common Pleas of Delaware County.
MORTGAGE LENDER
A "business association" defined as a "banking institution" or "mortgage lender" under 7 Pa.C.S.A. Ch. 61 (relating to mortgage loan industry licensing and consumer protection) that is in possession of or holds title to real property pursuant to, in enforcement of or to protect rights arising under a mortgage, mortgage note, deed of trust or other transaction that created a security interest in the real property.
MUNICIPALITY
A city, borough, incorporated town, township or home rule, optional plan or optional charter municipality or municipal authority in this commonwealth and any entity formed pursuant to the Act of Dec. 19, 1996 (P.L. 1158, No. 177), Section 1, 53 Pa.C.S.A. Ch. 23, Subch. A (relating to intergovernmental cooperation).
MUNICIPAL PERMITS
Privileges relating to real property granted by Upper Chichester Township that are building permits issued pursuant to the Code of the Township of Upper Chichester, and zoning permits, special exceptions, conditional uses and variances granted under Chapter 600, Zoning, with amendments thereto, of the Code of the Township of Upper Chichester.[1]
OWNER
A holder of the title to residential, commercial or industrial real estate, other than a mortgage lender, who possesses and controls the real estate. The term includes, but is not limited to, heirs, assigns, beneficiaries and lessees, provided this ownership interest is a matter of public record, including lessees under leases for which a memorandum of lease is recorded in accordance with the Act of June 2, 1059 [P.L. 254 (Vol. 1), No. 86], 21 P.S. § 405.
PUBLIC NUISANCE
Property, which, because of its physical condition or use, is regarded as a public nuisance at common law or has been declared a public nuisance in accordance with the International Property Maintenance Code as adopted in Chapter 429, Property Maintenance, Article II, Adoption of Standards, or as defined as such in Chapter 191, Buildings, Dangerous, of the Code of the Township of Upper Chichester.[2]
REMEDIATION PLAN
A plan for the correction of violations of state law or a code that is part of an agreement between the owner and the municipality in which the real property containing the violations is located.
SERIOUS VIOLATION
A violation of a state law or a code that poses an imminent threat to the health and safety of a dwelling occupant, occupants in surrounding structures or a passerby, that is a building ordered vacated in accordance with the Department of Labor and Industry's Regulations, 34 Pa. Code § 403.84, as amended, implementing the Uniform Construction Code, the Act of November 10, 1999 (P.L. 491, No. 45), as amended, 35 P.S. §§ 7210.101 to 7210.1103; a building placarded as unfit for human habitation so as to prevent its use under Upper Chichester Township's Property Maintenance Code adopted by Ordinance No. 456; or a vacant building whose exterior violates Section 304 of the 2009 ICC Property Maintenance Code adopted by Ordinance No. 631, or any successor statute, regulations or Property Maintenance Code.[3]
STATE LAW
A statute of the commonwealth or a regulation of an agency charged with the administration and enforcement of commonwealth law.
SUBSTANTIAL STEP
An affirmative action as determined by a property codes official or officer of the court on the part of a property owner or managing agent to remedy a serious violation of a state law or municipal code, including, but not limited to, physical improvements or repairs to the property, which affirmative action is subject to appeal in accordance with applicable law.
TAX DELINQUENT PROPERTY
Tax delinquent real property as defined under:
A. 
The Act of July 7, 1947 (P.L. 1368, No. 542), known as the "Real Estate Tax Sale Law";[4]
B. 
The Act of May 16, 1923 (P.L. 207, No. 153), referred to as the "Municipal Claim and Tax Lien Act";[5] or
C. 
The Act of October 11, 1984 (P.L. 876, No. 171) known as the "Second Class City Treasurer's Sale and Collection Act,"[6] located in any municipality in this Commonwealth; or
D. 
Any successor law to any of the above statutes.
UNIFORM CONSTRUCTION CODE
The Act of November 10, 1999 (P.L. 491, No. 45), as amended, 35 P.S. § 7210.101 to 7210.1103, as implemented by Ordinance No. 611.[7]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
[2]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
[3]
Editor's Note: See also Ch. 187. Buildings, Damaged, Art. I, Boarding of Windows and Doors; Ch. 191, Buildings, Dangerous; Ch. 240, Construction Standards; Ch. 307, Fire Prevention and Protection; and Ch. 429, Property Maintenance.
[4]
Editor's Note: See 72 P.S. § 5860.101 et seq.
[5]
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 7101 et seq.
[6]
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 27101 et seq.
[7]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 240, Art. III, Uniform Construction Codes.
A. 
Actions. In addition to any other remedy available at law or in equity, Upper Chichester may institute the following actions against the owner of any real property that is in serious violation of a code or for failure to correct a condition which causes the property to be regarded as a public nuisance;
(1) 
In personam action; recovery.
(a) 
An in personam action may be initiated for a continuing violation for which the owner takes no substantial step to correct within six months following receipt of an order to correct the violation, unless the order is subject to a pending appeal before the administrative agency or court.
(b) 
As authorized by the Act, Upper Chichester Township reserves the right to recover in a single action under this section an amount equal to any penalties imposed against the owner and any costs of remediation lawfully incurred by or on behalf of the municipality to remedy any code violation.
(2) 
A proceeding in equity.
B. 
Asset attachment.
(1) 
General rule. A lien may be placed against the assets of an owner of real property that is in serious violation of a code or is regarded as a public nuisance after a judgment, decree or order is entered by a court of competent jurisdiction against the owner of the property for an adjudication under Subsection A (relating to actions).
(2) 
Limitations under the Act. In proceedings under the Act, except as otherwise allowed by law, where the owner is an association or trust no lien shall be imposed upon the individual assets of any limited partner, shareholder, member or beneficiary of the owner.
C. 
Reservation of rights and remedies under the law other than the Act. Upper Chichester Township reserves all rights and remedies existing under statutes other than the Act, its ordinances implementing them, and applicable case law to obtain recovery for the costs of preventing and abatement of code violations and public nuisances to the fullest extent allowed by law from mortgage lenders, trustees, and members of liability companies, limited partners who provide property management services to the real property as well as general partners of owners; and officers, agents, and operators that are in control of a property as an owner or otherwise hold them personally responsible for code violations as well as owners themselves. Such owners, mortgage lenders, partners, members of limited liability companies, trustees, officers, agents and operators in control of a real property with code violations shall be subject to all actions as law and in equity to the full extent authorized by such statutes, ordinances and applicable case law. Such action may be joined in one lawsuit against responsible parties with an action brought under the Act.
A. 
Permit application form.
(1) 
In addition to the requirements set forth in the governing ordinance, regulations or rules for the specific municipal permit being applied for under the ordinances referenced in the definition of "municipal permit" in § 428-3, all applications for a municipal permit shall include:
(a) 
If the owner is an individual, the home address of the owner.
(b) 
If the owner is an entity, its registered office and principal place of business, type of entity, in what state it was formed, and whether the entity was qualified to do business as a foreign entity in Pennsylvania by filing with the Corporation Bureau of the Pennsylvania Department of State under Title 15 of the Pennsylvania Consolidated Statutes.(The home address of at least one responsible officer, member, trustee, or partner shall be also be included.)
(c) 
The applications shall also include a provision requiring the owner to disclose real properties owned by the owner both inside of Upper Chichester Township as well as in all other municipalities of the commonwealth:
[1] 
In which there is a serious violation of state law or a code and the owner has taken no substantial steps to correct the violation within six months following notification of the violation; and
[2] 
For which fines or other penalties or a judgment to abate or correct were imposed by a Magisterial District Judge or Municipal Court, or a judgment at law or in equity was imposed by a Court of Common Pleas; and
[3] 
Real property owned in the commonwealth by the owner for which there is a final and unappealable tax, water, sewer or refuse collection delinquency on account of the actions of the owner. This provision shall require the owner to disclose the street address, tax parcel number, municipality, and county of each such real property. The provision shall require the disclosure be under penalty as provided in 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 4904(a) for an unsworn falsification to a government officer or employee (public servant) performing official functions.
(2) 
All applicants for a municipal permit shall accurately complete the permit applicant disclosure form as from time-to-time adopted by resolution of the Board of Commissioners subject to a penalty as described in 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 4904.
B. 
Municipal permit denials and appeals.
(1) 
Permit denial.
(a) 
The Zoning Hearing Board, under Subsection B(1)(f), shall deny issuing to an applicant a municipal permit if the applicant owns real property in any municipality for which there exists on the real property:
[1] 
A final and unappealable tax, water, sewer or refuse collection delinquency on account of the actions of the owner; or
[2] 
A serious violation of state law or a code and the owner has taken no substantial steps to correct the violation within six months following notification of the violation and for which fines or other penalties or a judgment to abate or correct were imposed by a Magisterial District Judge or Municipal Court, or a judgment at law or in equity was imposed by a Court of Common Pleas. However, no denial shall be permitted on the basis of a property for which the judgment, order or decree is subject to a stay or supersedeas is lifted by the court or a higher court or the stay or supersedeas expires as otherwise provided by law. Where a stay or supersedeas is in effect, the property owner shall so advise the municipality seeking to deny a municipal permit.
(b) 
The Zoning Hearing Board shall not deny a municipal permit to an applicant if the municipal permit is necessary to correct a violation of state law or a code, provided all other conditions for the issuance of a municipal permit have been met.
(c) 
The municipal permit denial shall not apply to an applicant's delinquency on taxes, water, sewer or refuse collection charges that are under appeal or otherwise contested through a court or administrative process.
(d) 
In issuing a denial of a municipal permit based on an applicant's delinquency in real property taxes or municipal charges or for failure to abate a serious violation of state law or a code on real property that the applicant owns in this commonwealth, the Code Enforcement Officer or board shall issue the denial in writing and indicate the street address, municipal corporation and county in which the property is located and the court and docket number for each parcel cited as a basis for the denial. The denial shall also state that the applicant may request a letter of compliance from the appropriate state agency, municipality or school district, in a form specified by such entity as provided in the Act. The denial shall be delivered by United States Certified, Registered, or Express Mail, Return Receipt Requested (and such receipt is obtained or delivery refused); personal service in manner provided by the Pennsylvania Rules of Court for Civil Procedure for original process, hand delivery by a member of the codes enforcement staff; or a private delivery service that provides for a receipt (and such receipt is obtained or delivery refused).[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
(e) 
The information on the real property forming the basis for a municipal permit denial may be obtained by the Code Enforcement Officer, or other employee or agent of Upper Chichester Township from the information disclosed by the owner in accordance with Subsection A or any other reliable information obtained through a search of records using governmental systems online or through direct contact with the office maintaining the systems such as the court docket systems maintained by the Administrative Office of the Pennsylvania Courts, Delaware County Department of Records, office of the Recorder of Deeds, municipal and county tax collectors and treasurers, county tax claim bureaus, prothonotary and Clerk of Court, private online fee based search services, and free searches on the Internet. Prior to making a determination on whether to deny a municipal permit, the Zoning Hearing Board using the services of the Zoning Administrator or other municipal staff or contracted service provider may conduct a search using the sources described in this Subsection B(1)(e).[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
(f) 
Zoning Hearing Board.
[1] 
Municipal permits may be denied by a board in accordance with the requirements of this section to the extent that approval of the municipal permit is within the jurisdiction of the Board. For purposes of this section, "Board" shall mean an Upper Chichester Township Zoning Hearing Board granted jurisdiction to render decisions in accordance with the Act of July 31, 1968 (P.L. 805, No. 247), known as the "Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code."[3]
[3]
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 10101 et seq.
[2] 
In any proceeding before a board other than the governing body of the municipality, the municipality may appear to present evidence that the applicant is subject to a denial by the Board in accordance with this section.
[3] 
For purposes of this subsection, a municipal permit may only be denied to an applicant other than an owner if:
[a] 
The applicant is acting under the direction or with the permission of an owner; and
[b] 
The owner owns real property satisfying the conditions of Subsection B(1)(a).
(2) 
Applicability of other law. A denial of a municipal permit shall be subject to the provisions of 2 Pa.C.S.A. Ch. 5, Subch. B (relating to practice and procedure of local agencies), and Ch. 7, Subch. B (relating to judicial review of local agency action), or the Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code,[4] for denials subject to the Act.
(a) 
The Zoning Hearing Board shall review the disclosure form and the searches, if any, in accordance with Subsection B(1)(e) prior to any plan or construction reviews or inspection to determine if such review or inspection is unnecessary due to a municipal permit being denied under this Subsection B.
(b) 
Right of appeal. The owner shall have a right to appeal the denial of a municipal permit in accordance with the applicable law governing such municipal permit. In the case of a denial by the Code Enforcement Officer, the appeal shall be made within 30 days of the denial to the Board of Appeals established under the Uniform Construction Code unless the owner has submitted to the Board of Appeals proof before the expiration of the 30 days that the owner is seeking proof of compliance under Subsection B(3), which case the municipal permit and the denial shall be held in abeyance until the forty-five-day period for obtaining proof of compliance under Subsection B(3) has expired. In case of a denial by the Upper Chichester Township Zoning Hearing Board, the appeal shall be to the Court of Common Pleas.[5]
[1] 
With respect to a denial under the grounds authorized by the Act, the denial may only be reversed for the following reasons:
[a] 
An authentic proof of compliance letter in accordance with Subsection B(3).
[b] 
Evidence of substantial steps taken to remedy a serious violation set forth on the denial confirmed by an order of the court or the Code Enforcement Officer.
[c] 
Evidence of a timely appeal or administrative contest of a tax, water, sewer, or refuse collection delinquency.
[d] 
A failure of a state agency, school district or municipality to issue a proof of compliance with 45 days of a request.
[e] 
A failure of a state agency or municipality to provide the relief required under Section 6144 of the Act to an heir or devisee.[6]
[6]
Editor's Note: See 53 Pa.C.S.A. § 6144.
[f] 
Any other verifiable evidence that establishes by a preponderance of the evidence that a serious violation or collection delinquency of tax, water, sewer, or refuse accounts does not exist.
[2] 
With respect to denials for reasons other than those authorized by the Act, the provisions of the Uniform Construction Code or applicable zoning law shall govern. (The owner shall be informed of the right, time and place to make an appeal.)
[5]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
[4]
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 10101 et seq.
(3) 
Proof of compliance.
(a) 
All municipal permits denied in accordance with this subsection shall be withheld until an applicant obtains a letter from the appropriate state agency, municipality or school district indicating the following:
[1] 
The property in questions has no final and unappealable tax, water, sewer or refuse delinquencies;
[2] 
The property in question is now in state law and code compliance; or
[3] 
The owner of the property has presented and the appropriate state agency or municipality has accepted a plan to begin remediation of a serious violation of state law or a code. Acceptance of the plan may be contingent on:
[a] 
Beginning the remediation plan within 30 days following acceptance of the plan, if mutually agreeable to both the property owner and the municipality.
[b] 
Completing the remediation plan within no fewer than 90 days following commencement of the plan or sooner, if mutually agreeable to both the property owner and the municipality.
(b) 
In the event that the appropriate state agency, municipality or school district fails to issue a letter indicating tax, water, sewer, refuse, state law or code compliance or noncompliance, as the case may be, within 45 days of the request, the property in question shall be deemed to be in compliance for the purpose of this section, [provided a copy of the request has been delivered to the municipality where the municipal permit has been applied for in accordance with the Subsection B(3)(d). The appropriate state agency, municipality or school district shall specify the form in which the request for a compliance letter shall be made.
(c) 
Letters required under this section shall be verified by the appropriate municipal officials before issuing to the applicant a municipal permit.
(d) 
An owner seeking to obtain a proof of compliance in order to obtain a municipal permit that would otherwise be denied shall submit a copy of the owner's request for proof of compliance within five days of the date that request is sent to the appropriate state agency, municipality or school district, to the municipality from which a municipal permit is sought or submit the copy of the request with the application for the municipal permit if such application is made at a later date.
A. 
Conflict with other law. In the event of a conflict between the requirements of this article and federal requirements applicable to demolition, disposition or redevelopment of buildings, structures or land owned by or held in trust for the government of the United States and regulated pursuant to the United States Housing Act of 1937 (50 Stat. 888, 42 U.S.C. § 1437 et seq.) and the regulations promulgated thereunder, the federal requirements shall prevail.
B. 
Relief for inherited property. Where property is inherited by will or intestacy, the devisee or heir shall be given the opportunity to make payments on reasonable terms to correct code violations or to enter into a remediation plan in accordance with Section 6131(b)(1)(iii) of the Act[1] and § 428-5B(3)(a)[3] (relating to municipal permit denial) with Upper Chichester Township to avoid subjecting the devisee's or heir's other properties to asset attachment or denial or permits and approvals on other on other properties owned by the devisee or heir.
[1]
Editor's Note: See 53 Pa.C.S.A. § 6131(b)(I)(iii).
All ordinances or parts of ordinances in conflict herewith be and are hereby repealed, except any ordinance or parts of ordinances that authorize greater remedies than this article are preserved.
[Adopted 8-9-2012 by Ord. No. 679]
A. 
The purpose of this article requiring the registration of all vacant buildings and the payment of registration fees is to assist the Township in protecting the public health, safety and welfare, to monitor the number of vacant buildings in the Township, to assess the effects of the condition of those buildings on nearby businesses and the neighborhoods in which they are located, particularly in light of fire safety hazards and to promote substantial efforts to rehabilitate such vacant buildings. The provisions of this article are applicable to the owners of such vacant buildings as set forth herein and are in addition to and not in lieu of any and all other applicable provisions of the ordinances of the Township of Upper Chichester and all relevant codes and/or regulations adopted therein.
B. 
Administration and enforcement of this article shall be under the control of the Code Enforcement Officials of the Township.
For the purposes of this article, where terms are not defined, such terms shall have ordinarily accepted meanings such as the context implies. The following words shall have the meanings respectively ascribed to them as follows:
BOARDED
A building, structure or dwelling unit subject to the provisions of this article if in place of one or more exterior doors, other than a storm door, or of one or more windows, there is a sheet or sheets of plywood or similar material covering the space for such door or window.
DWELLING UNIT
A single unit providing complete, independent living facilities for one or more persons, including permanent provisions for living, sleeping, eating, cooking and sanitation.
NOTICE
Written notice of a violation or requirement under this article mailed, pursuant to first-class mail, to the last known address of the owner of the property in question.
OCCUPIED
As applied to a building or structure subject to the provisions of this article means where one or more persons actually conducts a lawful business or resides in all or any part of the building as the licensed business-occupant, or as the legal or equitable owner/occupant(s) or tenant(s) on a permanent, nontransient basis, or any combination of the same. For purposes of this article, evidence offered to prove that a building is so occupied may include, but shall not be limited to, the regular receipt of delivery of regular mail through the United States Postal Service; proof of continual telephone, electric, gas, heating, water and sewer services; a valid Township business license, or the most recent, federal, state, or Township tax statements indicating that the subject property is the official business or residence address of the person or business claiming occupancy; or proof of tenant occupied property license inspection.
OPEN
A building or structure or dwelling unit subject to the provisions of this article in which any one or more exterior doors, other than a storm door, is broken, open and/or closed, but, without a properly functioning lock to secure it, or if one or more windows is broken or not capable of being locked and secured from intrusion or any combination of the same.
OWNER
Any person, agent, operator, firm or corporation having a legal or equitable interest in the property; or recorded in the official records of the state, county or Township as holding title to the property; or otherwise having control of the property, including the guardian of the estate of any such person, and the executor or administrator of the estate of such person if ordered to take possession of real property by a court.
VACANT
As applied to a building or structure subject to the provisions of this article means no person or persons actually, currently conducts a lawfully licensed business, or lawfully resides or lives in any part of the building as the legal or equitable owner(s) or tenant-occupant(s), or owner-occupants, or tenant(s) on a permanent nontransient basis.
The requirements of this article shall be applicable to each owner of any building whether governmental, commercial, residential or institutional or owned by nonprofit or a for-profit organization in which the building in total shall have been vacant for more than 30 days. Each such owner shall cause to be filed a notarized registration statement in a form prescribed from time to time by the Township, which form shall include the street address and parcel number of each such vacant building, the names and addresses of all owners, as hereinafter described, and any other information deemed necessary by the Township Code Enforcement Officials. The registration statement and, where applicable, registration fee(s) as required by § 428-11 shall be billed by the Township and such registration statement and, where applicable, registration fee(s) shall be filed with and/or paid to the Township on or before September 15, or if September 15 falls on Saturday or Sunday by the preceding Friday, of each year. For purposes of this article, registration application(s) initially shall be due on September 15, 2012. For purposes of this section, the following shall also be applicable:
A. 
If the owner is a corporation, the registration statement shall provide the names and residence addresses of all officers and directors of the corporation and shall be accompanied by a copy of the most recent relevant filing with the Pennsylvania Department of State.
B. 
If an estate, the name and business address of the executor of the estate;
C. 
If a trust, the name and addresses of all trustees, grantors and beneficiaries;
D. 
If a partnership, the names and residence addresses for the three partners with the largest ownership interest;
E. 
If any other form of unincorporated association, the names and residence addresses for the three principals with the largest ownership interest;
F. 
If an individual person, the name and residence address of that individual person.
A. 
If none of the persons listed in§ 428-10 is shown at an address within the state, the registration statement also shall provide the name and address of a person who resides within the state and who is authorized to accept service of process on behalf of the owners and who shall be designated as a responsible, local party or agent, both for purposes of notification in the event of an emergency affecting the public health, safety or welfare and for purposes of service of any and all notices or registration statements as herein authorized and in connection herewith.
B. 
Registration shall be required for all vacant buildings, whether vacant and secure, vacant and open or vacant and boarded, and shall be required whenever any building has remained vacant for 30 consecutive days or more. In no instance shall the registration of a vacant building and the payment of registration fees be construed to exonerate the owner, agent or responsible party from responsibility for compliance with any other Township code or ordinance requirement. One registration statement may be filed to include all vacant buildings of the owner so registering.
C. 
The owner of the vacant property as of September 15 of each calendar year shall be responsible for the filing of his/her registration statement and, where applicable, registration payment of the nonrefundable registration fee. Said fee shall be billed by the Township and shall be established from time to time by resolution of the Board of Commissioners.
D. 
Upon the registration of a property, the Township Code Enforcement Officials may conduct an inspection of the property to determine if it complies with the applicable Township codes and ordinances. If the inspection finds violations of Township codes or ordinances, the Township shall issue a notice of violation as per the requirements of those Township codes or ordinances and give notice to the owner to comply.
Registration fees shall become dedicated to a line item in the budget for the Township's enforcement and administration of the vacant property registration requirements within this article. Fines for violations of this article shall go to the Township's general fund.
The owner shall have the right to appeal the imposition of the registration fees to the Board of Commissioners upon filing an application in writing to the Township Secretary no later than 15 calendar days after the date of the billing statement. On appeal, the owner shall bear the burden of providing satisfactory objective proof of "occupied" status as defined in this article.
A six-month waiver of the registration fee may be granted by the Board of Commissioners upon application of the owner and upon review and advice of the Township Code Enforcement Officials within 15 calendar days of the date of the bill for the registration fee, if the owner:
A. 
Demonstrates with satisfactory proof that he/she has submitted valid architectural plans, based on the Township's permits and planning application procedures, and otherwise has shown good faith efforts to efficiently rehabilitate, demolish, or otherwise substantially repair or improve said vacant building; or
B. 
Demonstrates with satisfactory proof that he/she is actively marketing the property for sale/lease. "Actively marketing" will be defined as an owner has placed a "for sale" or a "for lease" sign on the property with accurate contact information, which is also provided and has done at least one of the following:
(1) 
Engaged the services of a real estate licensee, whose name, address, telephone number and e-mail will be provided in the multiple-listing service (MLS);
(2) 
Placed weekly advertisements in print or electronic media;
(3) 
Distributed printed advertisements.
Within 60 days after the waiver application is received by the Township Secretary, the Board of Commissioners shall grant or deny the waiver in writing, and dispatch the written decision by mail to the owner.
After the owner is given notice of the amount of the registration fee due, except for those owners that have properly perfected and pursued to successful result, an appeal pursuant to § 428-13 of this article and the owner fails to pay the amount due, said amount shall constitute a debt due and owing to the Township, and the Township may enter a lien on the property as provided by law.
If the status of the registration information changes during the course of any calendar year, it is the responsibility of the owner, responsible party or agent for the same to contact the Township within 30 days of the occurrence of such change and advise the Township in writing of those changes.
The failure or refusal for any reason of any owner, or agent of an owner acting on behalf of the owner, to file a registration statement or to pay any fees required to be paid pursuant to the provisions of this article, within 30 days after notice, shall constitute a violation punishable upon conviction thereof by a fine in the amount of not less than $300 nor more than $1,000 for the first two continual and uncorrected failures or refusals to register, or for each failure or refusal to pay and not exceeding $5,000 for the third and any subsequent continual and uncorrected failure or refusal to register or for each subsequent failure or refusal to pay, together with the costs of prosecution, and, in default of such fine and costs, by imprisonment for any term not exceeding 30 days or both. Unpaid fines shall be registered as a lien against the violating building.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).