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Borough of Liberty, PA
Allegheny County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Ord. 348, 9/6/1978, § 1]
1. 
All buildings or structures which have any or all of the following defects shall be deemed "dangerous buildings":
A. 
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.
B. 
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 nonsupporting enclosing or outside walls or covering.
C. 
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.
D. 
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 Borough of Liberty.
E. 
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.
F. 
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 live therein.
G. 
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.
H. 
Those which have parts thereof which are so attached that they may fall and injure members of the public or property.
I. 
Those which because of their condition are unsafe, unsanitary, or dangerous to the health, morals, safety or general welfare of the people of this Borough.
[Ord. 348, 9/6/1978, § 2]
1. 
The following standards shall be followed in substance by the Zoning Officer and the Borough Council in ordering repair, vacation, or demolition:
A. 
If the dangerous building can reasonably be repaired so that it will no longer exist in violation of the terms of this Part, it shall be ordered repaired.
B. 
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.
C. 
In 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 Part, 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 Part or any ordinance of the Borough or statute of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, it shall be demolished.
[Ord. 348, 9/6/1978, § 3]
All "dangerous buildings" within the terms of § 4-101 of this Part are hereby declared to be public nuisances, and shall be repaired, vacated or demolished as hereinbefore and hereinafter provided.
[Ord. 348, 9/6/1978, § 4]
1. 
The Zoning Officer shall:
A. 
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 Part.
B. 
Inspect any building, wall or structure reported (as hereinafter provided for) by the Police Department of this Borough as probably existing in violation of the terms of this Part.
C. 
Inspect, in his discretion, any or all buildings in the Borough of Liberty to determine whether they are "dangerous buildings" within the terms of § 4-101 of this Part.
D. 
Notify in writing the owner, occupant, lessee, mortgagee, agent and all other persons having an interest in any building found by him to be a dangerous building within the standards set forth in § 4-101 of this Part, that:
(1) 
The owner must vacate, or repair, or demolish said building in accordance with the terms of the notice and this Part.
(2) 
The occupant or lessee must vacate said building or may have it repaired in accordance with the notice and remain in possession.
(3) 
The mortgagee, agent, or other persons having an interest in said building, may, at their 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.
E. 
Set forth in the notice provided for in Subsection 1D hereof, a description of the building, or structure deemed unsafe, a statement of the particulars which make the building or structure a dangerous building and an order requiring the same to be put in such condition as to comply with the terms of this Part within such length of time, not exceeding 30 days, as is reasonable.
F. 
Report to the Borough Council and noncompliance with the "notice" provided for in Subsections 1D and E hereof.
G. 
Appear at all hearings conducted by the Borough Council, and testify as to the condition of dangerous buildings.
H. 
Place a notice on all "dangerous buildings" reading as follows:
"This building has been found to be a dangerous building by the Zoning Officer. This notice is to remain on this building until it is repaired, vacated, or demolished in accordance with the notice which has been given to the owner, occupant, lessee, mortgagee or agent of this building, and all other persons having an interest therein. It is unlawful to remove this notice until such notice is complied with."
[Ord. 348, 9/6/1978, § 5]
1. 
The Council of the Borough of Liberty shall:
A. 
Upon receipt of a report of the Zoning Officer, as provided for in § 4-104, Subsection 1F, hereof, give written notice to the owner, occupant, mortgagee, lessee, agent, and all other persons having an interest in a dangerous building, to appear before Council 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 Zoning Officer's notice provided for herein in § 4-104, Subsection 1E.
B. 
Hold a hearing and hear such testimony as the Zoning Officer, or the owner, occupant, mortgagee, lessee, or any other person having an interest therein shall offer relative to the "dangerous building."
C. 
Make written findings of fact from the testimony offered pursuant to Subsection 1B as to whether or not the building in question is a dangerous building within the terms of § 4-101 hereof.
D. 
Issue an order based upon findings of face made pursuant to Subsection 1C commanding the owner, occupant, mortgagee, lessee, agent, and all other persons having an interest therein, to repair, vacate, or demolish any building found to be a dangerous building within the terms of this Part and provided that any person so notified, except the owners, shall have the privilege either of vacating or repairing said dangerous building; or any person not the owner of said dangerous building but having an interest in said building may demolish said dangerous building at his own risk to prevent the acquiring of a lien by the Borough against the land upon which said dangerous building stands, as provided in Subsection 1E hereof.
E. 
If the owner, occupant, mortgagee, or lessee fails to comply with the order provided for in Subsection 1D hereof, within 10 days, the Borough Council shall cause such building or structure to be repaired, vacated or demolished as the facts may warrant, under the standards hereinbefore provided for in § 4-102 of this Part, and shall, with the assistance of the Borough 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 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 this Borough, the Borough Council shall notify the Borough Solicitor to take legal action to force the owner to make all necessary repairs or demolish the building.
F. 
Report to the Borough Solicitor the names of all persons not complying with the order provided for in Subsection 1D thereof.
[Ord. 348, 9/6/1978, § 6; as amended by Ord. 423, 9/9/1987, § 4-106; and by A.O.]
Any person, firm or corporation who shall violate any provision of this Part, or remove the notice from a building, upon conviction thereof in an action brought before a magisterial district judge in the manner provided for the enforcement of summary offenses under the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure, shall be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $1,000 plus costs and, in default of payment of said fine and costs, to a term of imprisonment not to exceed 90 days. Each day that a violation of this Part continues or each section of this Part which shall be found to have been violated shall constitute a separate offense.
[Ord. 348, 9/6/1978, § 7; as amended by Ord. 423, 9/9/1987, § 4-107]
1. 
The Borough Solicitor shall:
A. 
Prosecute all persons failing to comply with the terms of the notices provided for herein § 4-104, Subsection 1D and E, and the order provided for in § 4-105, Subsection 1D.
B. 
Appear at all hearings before Borough Council in regard to "dangerous buildings."
C. 
Bring suit to collect all municipal liens, assessments, or costs incurred by the Borough Council in repairing, or causing to be vacated or demolished "dangerous buildings."
D. 
Take such other legal action as is necessary to carry out the terms and provisions of this Part.
[Ord. 348, 9/6/1978, § 8]
In cases where it reasonably appears that there is immediate danger to life or safety of any person unless a dangerous building as defined herein, is immediately repaired, vacated, or demolished, the Zoning Officer, shall report such facts to the Borough Council, and the Borough Council shall cause the immediate repair, vacation or demolition of such "dangerous buildings." The cost of such emergency repair, vacation or demolition of such dangerous building shall be collected in the same manner as provided in § 4-105, Subsection 1E, hereof.
[Ord. 348, 9/6/1978, § 9]
In cases, except emergency cases, where the owner, occupant, lessee, or mortgagee is absent from the Borough, all notices or orders provided for herein shall be sent by certified mail to the owner, occupant, mortgagee, lessee and all other persons having an interest in a dangerous building, 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. Where desirable, the notices and orders provided for herein may be served in the same manner a summons is served in the courts of general jurisdiction.
[Ord. 348, 9/6/1978, § 10]
No officer, agent or employee of the Borough of Liberty 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 Part. Any suit brought against any officer, agent, or employee of the Borough of Liberty as a result of any act required or permitted in the discharge of his duties under this Part shall be defended by the Borough Solicitor until the final determination of the proceedings therein.
[Ord. 348, 9/6/1978, § 11]
All employees of the Police Department shall make a report in writing to the Zoning Officer of any building or buildings which are, may be, or are suspected to be "dangerous buildings" within the terms of this Part. Such reports must be delivered to the Zoning Officer within 24 hours of the discovery of such buildings by any employee of the Police Department.
[Ord. 483, 6/6/2001, § 1]
From and after the enactment of this Part, all property owners, tenants or occupiers of any residential, commercial or industrial properties in the Borough of Liberty, including apartment complexes, shall display the street number or address of such residential, commercial or industrial property in a conspicuous and prominent place which shall be visible from the street directly in front of said property, and which street number shall be easily readable by passersby or emergency vehicles on said street.
[Ord. 483, 6/6/2001, § 2; as amended by A.O.]
Any property owner, tenant or occupier of any residential, commercial or industrial property or building within the Borough of Liberty, or any person, firm or corporation who is owner of said property, and who shall violate any provision of this Part, upon conviction thereof in an action brought before a magisterial district judge in the manner provided for the enforcement of summary offenses under the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure, shall be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $1,000 plus costs and, in default of payment of said fine and costs, to a term of imprisonment not to exceed 90 days. Each day that a violation of this Part continues or each section of this Part which shall be found to have been violated shall constitute a separate offense.
[Ord. 483, 6/6/2001, § 3; as amended by A.O.]
The Zoning Officer of the Borough of Liberty and the Liberty Borough Police Department shall have concurrent jurisdiction to enforce the provisions of this Part, and the Zoning Officer of the Borough of Liberty or any Police Officer of the Borough of Liberty shall have sufficient authority to prosecute such offenses in the name of the Borough of Liberty and to file complaints for violations of the same before the appropriate magisterial district judge.