[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Commissioners of the Township of Patterson 10-8-2015 by Ord. No. 453. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Lack of maintenance of properties, littering, and the failure to comply with rental property registration are costly problems that contribute to the deterioration of property values and general disorder in the community. These problems degrade the physical appearance of the Township, which reduces business and tax revenue inhibiting economic development. The quality of life and community pride of the citizens of Patterson Township are negatively impacted by the occurrence and existence of these activities. Recognizing these are community problems, the purpose of this chapter is to promote the health, safety, and general welfare of the Township by helping to create a clean environment for the citizens of Patterson Township. The purpose of this chapter is to provide for a mechanism by means of issuance of tickets, in addition to the penalties already provided for, to permit a citizen who believes he may have been in violation to pay the ticket rather than cause the issuance of a citation and a costly and protracted legal hearing before a judge and unnecessary appeals. The resolution in this manner is beneficial from a two-fold perspective in that it permits the Township to maintain and enforce its laws and permits a citizen, so accused, to resolve the dispute in a manner that does not unduly burden the resident by requiring the issuance of a citation and a court hearing. It also does not deprive the citizen of the right to dispute the ticket and receive the full benefit of procedural and substantive due process of law.
Violation of the following sections of the Code of the Township of Patterson, Pennsylvania shall constitute a quality-of-life violation.
Section 108.1.1, Unsafe structures.
Section 302.1, Sanitation.
Section 302.3, Sidewalks and driveways.
Section 302.4, Weeds.
Section 302.7, Accessory structures.
Section 302.8, Motor vehicles.
Section 305.4, Stairs and walking surfaces.
Section 307.1, Accumulation of rubbish or garbage.
Section 307.2.2, Refrigerators.
Upon finding a quality-of-life violation pursuant to § 175-2, any police officer of the Township of Patterson, its Zoning Officer, or its Code Enforcement Officer may issue a quality-of-life violation ticket to the owner and/or occupant of the property at issue or to the individual(s) known to have violated this chapter.
A ticket shall be served upon a violator by handing it to the violator, by handing it at the residence of the person to be served to an adult member of the household or other person in charge of the residence, by leaving or affixing the ticket to the property where the violation exists, by handing it at any office or usual place of business of the violator to his/her agent or to the person for the time being in charge thereof, or by mailing the ticket to the violator's address of record.
Each day a violation continues or is permitted to continue may constitute a separate offense for which a separate fine may be imposed.
Any person or business violating this chapter is hereby directed to satisfy the Township of Patterson and its citizens upon issuance of a quality-of-life ticket, by correcting the violation in question. A public officer is authorized and empowered to cause the violation to be corrected. The cost shall be determined by the Township Code Enforcement Officer in order that the Township shall be compensated for both direct and indirect costs and expenses incurred.
The Township of Patterson and/or its contractor, per the direction of the Township, reserves the right to abate the violation in question at the expense of the owner. If the Township has effected the abatement of the violation, the cost thereof may be charged to the owner of the property, tenant, or offending party. A bill/invoice will be generated to the violator for payment separate from the quality-of-life ticket, which will also be paid separately.
In all instances where the Township abates the violation, in addition to the fine set forth in the quality-of-life ticket, the Township is authorized to recover from the offending party, the owner of the property, or tenant, the abatement charges.
Township of Patterson cleanup. The Township reserves the right to perform any necessary work to abate any violations once 72 hours passes from the date of issuance of the quality-of-life ticket. Should the violation, at the discretion of the Code Enforcement Officer, present imminent danger and/or pose a health hazard and/or risk, the Township reserves the right to perform the abatement immediately. Where the Township performs the cleanup, the cost thereof may be charged to the owner of the property, tenant, or offending party.
Contractor cleanup. The Township reserves the right to direct a contractor to perform the abatement of the violation in question once 72 hours passes from the date of issuance of the quality-of-life ticket. Should the violation present imminent danger and/or pose a health hazard and/or risk, the Township reserves the right to direct a contractor to perform the abatement immediately. The contractor will submit a bill for its work to the Township of Patterson and the Township will forward these costs to the violator. The Township reserves the right to add a processing fee of 30% in addition to the cost of the contractor.
For the first offense of a violation of this chapter within a twelve-month period, a ticket shall be issued in the amount of $25.
For the second offense of a violation of this chapter within a twelve-month period, a ticket shall be issued in the amount of $50.
For the third offense of a violation of this chapter within a twelve-month period, a ticket shall be issued in the amount of $100.
For the fourth offense and all subsequent offenses of a violation of this chapter within a twelve-month period, a ticket shall be issued in the amount of $300.
A person in receipt of a violation ticket shall have 10 days within which time to pay the amount of the ticket. In the event that the ticket is not paid within 10 days, such failure to pay shall result in the issuance of a criminal citation for the offense as enumerated on the ticket. Any person, firm, or corporation who shall fail, neglect, or refuse to comply with any of the terms of the provisions of this chapter, or of any regulation requirement pursuant hereto, and authorized hereby, shall, upon conviction, be ordered to pay a fine of not less than $100 and not more than $1,000 on each offense.
At the discretion of the Township of Patterson, all tickets for which payment is not received within 45 days of issuance of a ticket, and monies paid by the Township of Patterson for abatement of a violation not paid within 45 days of billing, may be turned over to the Borough to a collection agency for receipt.
At the discretion of the Township of Patterson, liens may be placed upon a property against which tickets were issued for which payment is not received within 45 days of issuance of a ticket, and for monies paid by the Township of Patterson for abatement of a violation and not paid within 45 days of billing.
The penalty lien and collection provisions of this chapter shall be independent, non-mutually-exclusive, separate remedies, all of which shall be available to the Township of Patterson as may be deemed appropriate for carrying out the purposes of this chapter. The remedies and procedures provided in this chapter for violation hereof are not intended to supplant or replace to any degree the remedies and procedures available to the Township in the case of the violation of any other Township of Patterson code or codified ordinance, whether or not such code or ordinance is referenced in this chapter and whether or not an ongoing violation of such other code or ordinance is cited as the underlying ground for a finding of a violation of this chapter.