Township of Cecil, PA
Washington County
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[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Cecil 5-6-2013 by Ord. No. 1-2013. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Numbering of buildings — See Ch. 78.
Construction codes — See Ch. 91.
Motor vehicle nuisances — See Ch. 155, Art. I.
Weeds and vegetation — See Ch. 235.
The International Property Maintenance Code, 2012 Edition, as published by the International Code Council, as amended herein, is hereby adopted as the Property Maintenance Code of Cecil Township.
A. 
Section 101.1 is amended to read as follows:
101.1 Title. These regulations shall be known as the "Property Maintenance Code of the Township of Cecil," hereinafter referred to as "this code."
B. 
Section 102.3 is amended to read as follows:
102.3 Application of other codes.
Repairs, additions, or alterations to a structure, or changes of occupancy shall be done in accordance with the procedures and provisions of the Uniform Construction Code of Pennsylvania, International Building Code, International Fuel Gas Code, International Mechanical Code International Fire Code and NFPA 70. Nothing in this code shall be construed to cancel, modify or set aside any provision of the Cecil Township Unified Development Ordinance[1] then and there in effect.
[1]
Editor's Note: The land development ordinances of the Township, especially Ch. 210, Subdivision and Land Development, and Ch. 240, Zoning.
C. 
The title of Section 103 is amended to read "Department of Planning, Zoning, Code Enforcement, and Building Inspection."
D. 
Section 103.1 is amended to read as follows:
[Amended 4-6-2015 by Ord. No. 1-2015]
103.1. General.
The officials who are charged with the administration and enforcement of this code shall be collectively referred to as the Code Official. For reference, the title of "Code Official" includes the Code Enforcement Officer, Zoning Officer, Code Official, any police officer or other duly authorized representative of the Township.
E. 
Section 103.5 is amended to read as follows:
103.5 Fees.
The fees for all work, permits, charges, etc., shall be paid in accordance with the fee schedule resolution in effect at the time application is made. Said fee resolution may be amended from time to time.
F. 
Section 106.3 is amended to read as follows:
[Added 4-6-2015 by Ord. No. 1-2015]
106.3. Prosecution of violation.
Any person failing to comply with a notice of violation or order served in accordance with Section 107 shall be deemed guilty of a summary offense. If the notice of violation is not complied with, the Code Official shall institute an action before the appropriate Magisterial District Judge in the same manner provided for the enforcement of summary offenses under the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure. The Township Solicitor may assume charge of the prosecution without the consent of the District Attorney as permitted by the applicable Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure.
G. 
Section 106.4 is amended to read as follows:
[Amended 4-6-2015 by Ord. No. 1-2015]
106.4. Violations and penalties.
Any person, firm, corporation, partnership or entity who shall violate any provision of this chapter or who shall fail to comply with any notice of violations herein shall, upon conviction before the appropriate Magisterial District Judge within the magisterial district, be fined not to exceed $1,000 per offense plus costs and/or be sentenced to a term of imprisonment to the extent allowed by law for the punishment of summary offenses. Each day that a violation of this chapter continues shall constitute a separate offense.
This chapter may also be enforced by the Township through an action in equity brought in the Court of Common Pleas of Washington County.
H. 
Section 107.7 is added to read as follows:
[Amended 4-6-2015 by Ord. No. 1-2015]
107.7 Notice to abate health hazard or public nuisance.
It shall be the duty of the Code Official to serve a notice upon the owner or occupant of any premises whenever the property is improperly maintained so as to constitute a health hazard, public nuisance or other violation of this chapter. The form of notice shall be governed as provided in Section 107.2. The notice will require the abatement of the health hazard or public nuisance within 20 days from the date of receipt of such notice, or such other time period as may be deemed reasonable by the Code Official and be set forth in the notice. Service of such notice shall be as provided in Section 107.3. In the event the premises constitutes an imminent danger, Section 109 shall apply.
I. 
Section 111, entitled "Means of Appeal," is hereby deleted in its entirety. Section 111, Means of Appeal, is added to read as follows:
[Amended 4-6-2015 by Ord. No. 1-2015]
SECTION 111. MEANS OF APPEAL
111.1 Application for appeal. Any person directly affected by the decision of the Code Official or a notice or order issued under this chapter shall have the right to appeal to the Board of Appeals, provided that a written application for appeal is filed with the Township within 20 days after the day the decision, notice or order was served. An application for appeal shall be based on a claim that: 1) the true intent of this chapter or the rules adopted hereunder have been incorrectly interpreted; 2) the provisions of this chapter do not fully apply; 3) the requirements of this chapter are adequately satisfied by other means; or 4) this chapter is invalid.
111.1.1. Filing fee. Any application for appeal must be accompanied by a filing fee in the amount of $200 per appeal payable to Cecil Township to defray the costs of the requested hearing. The Board of Supervisors may amend this fee by resolution. The filing fee is in addition to appellant's responsibility for any costs associated with the hearing being stenographically recorded and a full and complete record of the proceeding being kept, if requested by appellant.
111.1.2 Contents of application. Appellant shall set forth in a signed writing: 1) the property's address and tax identification number; 2) the appellant's name, mailing address, phone number and e-mail address; 3) the property owner's name, mailing address, phone number and e-mail address (if different from appellant); 4) evidence of appellant's authority to act for property owner (if applicable); 5) whether appellant requests: i) a stenographic record of the hearing and agrees to pay any costs associated with the hearing being stenographically recorded and a full and complete record of the proceeding being kept; or ii) whether appellant requests that the record be made by electronic recording for which no such court reporter fee will be charged; 6) a brief statement of argument or justification for the appeal; and 7) other information set forth on a form published by the Township, if any. A copy of the decision of the Code Official shall be attached to the application.
111.2 Membership of the Board of Appeals. The Board of Appeals shall consist of a minimum of three members and a maximum of five members. The members shall be selected by the Township's Board of Supervisors from a pool consisting of members of the Planning Commission, Zoning Hearing Board, Board of Supervisors and the general public who are residents of the Township. Township employees are not eligible to be members of the Board of Appeals. The Code Official shall be an ex-officio member but shall have no vote on any matter before the Board of Appeals. The Board of Supervisors may, but are not required to, appoint a standing Board of Appeals.
111.2.1 Chairperson. The Board of Appeals shall select one of its members to serve as Chairperson.
111.2.2 Disqualification. Any person with a personal, professional or financial interest in any appeal shall be disqualified from serving as a Board member.
111.2.3 Alternate members. The Board of Supervisors may appoint two alternate members who shall be called by the Board of Appeals' Chairperson to hear appeals during absence or disqualification of a member. Alternate members shall possess the qualifications required for Board of Appeals membership.
111.3 Notice of meeting. Upon receipt of an application for appeal, the Board of Supervisors shall coordinate with the Board of Appeals and then give notice as to the date, time and location of the meeting to hear the appeal. The appeal shall be heard within 30 days of the next regular Board of Supervisors monthly meeting following the filing of the application for appeal. However, the Board of Supervisors may, in its discretion, extend this deadline. Appellant shall be provided at least 10 days' notice of the meeting.
111.4 Open hearing. All hearings before the Board of Appeals shall be open to the public. The appellant, the appellant's representative, the Code Official and any other person whose interests are affected shall be given an opportunity to be heard. A quorum shall consist of a minimum of three Board of Appeals members.
111.4.1 Procedure. Hearings and appeal proceedings shall be conducted in accordance with the provisions of the Pennsylvania Local Agency Law, 2 Pa.C.S.A. §§ 551 et seq. and 751 et seq., and in accordance with the applicable requirements of the Pennsylvania Sunshine Act, 65 Pa.C.S.A. § 701 et seq. The Board of Appeals will only accept evidence that is relevant to the appeal but will not require strict compliance with the rules of evidence.
111.5 Board decision. The Board shall modify or reverse the decision of the Code Official only by concurring vote of a majority of the Board of Appeals members.
111.5.1 Records and copies. The decision of the Board of Appeals shall be recorded, and copies shall be furnished to the appellant and to the Code Official. All hearings not stenographically recorded shall be electronically recorded. Appellant may request that the hearing be stenographically recorded and that a full and complete record of the proceeding be kept if appellant agrees to pay the costs thereof (e.g., court reporter appearance fee). If appellant does not request that the hearing be stenographically recorded, the Township may, but is not required to, have all testimony stenographically recorded and have a full and complete record of the proceedings be kept. Costs of a transcript of a stenographically recorded hearing or copy thereof will be paid by the requesting party.
111.5.2 Administration. The Code Official shall take immediate action in accordance with the decision of the Board of Appeals.
111.6 Court review. Any person aggrieved by an adjudication of the Board of Appeals or who has a direct interest in such adjudication shall have the right to appeal therefrom to the court vested with jurisdiction of such appeals by or pursuant to Title 42 (relating to judiciary and judicial procedure).
111.7 Stays of enforcement. Appeals of notice and orders (other than imminent danger notices) shall stay the enforcement of the notice and order until the appeal is heard by the Board of Appeals.
J. 
Section 202, entitled "General Definitions," is hereby amended to include the following additional definitions:
OCCUPIED. As applied to a building or portion thereof shall be construed as though followed by the words "or intended, arranged or designed to be occupied, or having a certificate of use and occupancy."
PUBLIC NUISANCE. Includes the following:
1.
The physical condition or use of any premises regarded as a public nuisance at common law; or
2.
Any physical condition, use or occupancy of any premises or its appurtenances considered an attractive nuisance to children, including, but not limited to, abandoned wells, shafts, basements, excavations and unsafe fences or structures; or
3.
Any premises which has unsanitary sewerage or plumbing facilities; or
4.
Any premises designated as unsafe for human habitation or use; or
5.
Any premises which is manifestly capable of being a fire hazard, or is manifestly unsafe or unsecured as to endanger life, limb or property; or
6.
Any premises from which the plumbing, heating, electricity and/or facilities required by this chapter have been removed, or from which utilities have been disconnected, destroyed, removed or rendered ineffective, or the required precautions against trespassers have not been provided; or
7.
Any premises which is unsanitary, or which is littered with rubbish or garbage, or which has an uncontrolled growth of weeds; or
8.
Any structure or building that is in a state of dilapidation, deterioration or decay; faulty construction, overcrowded, open, vacant or abandoned; damaged by fire to the extent as not to provide shelter, in danger of collapse or failure, and dangerous to anyone on or near the premises
K. 
Section 301 is hereby amended to include the following additional subsection:
301.2.1 Properties abutting public right-of-way.
If a property abuts a public right-of-way, such property owner shall be responsible for the maintenance of the area between the property line and the cartway, including the curb, the sidewalk and grass areas between the curb and the property line.
L. 
Section 302.4, Weeds, is hereby amended to include the following terms of grass and noxious vegetation: insert "eight inches."
M. 
Section 302.8, Motor Vehicles, is hereby amended to include the following:". . . Motor vehicle nuisances are governed by Ordinance No. 1-88 of Cecil Township, as may be amended from time to time."
N. 
Section 302.8 is hereby amended to include the following additional subsection:
302.8.1 Used vehicle parts and tires.
No person shall place, deposit or permit the placement or depositing of used vehicle parts or tires outside of an enclosed structure on any property. (Exception: commercial business establishments engaged in the repair of motor vehicles.)
O. 
Section 302 is hereby amended to include the following additional section:
302.10 Fire hydrant obstruction. Unobstructed access to fire hydrants shall be maintained at all times. The Fire Department shall not be deterred or hindered from gaining immediate access to fire protection equipment or fire hydrants.
302.10.1 Clear space around fire hydrants. A three-foot clear space shall be maintained around the circumference of fire hydrants except as otherwise required or approved.
P. 
Section 304.3, entitled "Premises identification," is hereby deleted in its entirety. Section 304.3, Premises identification, is added to read as follows:
304.3 Premises identification.
Buildings and structures shall have address numbers which are governed by Ordinance No. 10-1994 of Cecil Township, as may be amended from time to time.
Q. 
Section 304.14 is amended to substitute "April 1st" for the first reference of "[DATE]," and "October 31st" for the second reference of "[DATE]."
R. 
Section 602.3 is amended to substitute "October 1st" for the first reference of "[DATE]," and "May 31st" for the second reference of "[DATE]."
S. 
Section 602.4 is amended to substitute "October 1st" for the first reference of "[DATE]," and "May 31st" for the second reference of "[DATE]."