[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Plymouth 2-9-1971 by Ord. No. 11-1971. Amendments noted where applicable.]
For the purposes of this chapter, the following definitions shall apply:
- BUSINESS BUILDINGS
- Any structure, whether public or private, that is adapted for occupancy, for transaction of business, for rendering of professional service, for amusement, for the display, sale or storage of goods, wares or merchandise or for the performance of work or labor, including hotels, apartment buildings, tenement houses, rooming houses, office buildings, public buildings, stores, theaters, markets, restaurants, grain elevators, abattoirs, warehouses, workshops, factories and all outhouses, sheds, barns and other structures on a premises used for business purposes.
- HEALTH OFFICE
- The Superintendent, Commissioner or Director of Health or any duly authorized representative.
- The individual, partnership or corporation that uses or occupies any business building or part or fraction thereof, whether the actual owner, agent or custodian shall have the responsibility as "occupant."
- The actual owner, agent or custodian of the business building, whether an individual, partnership or corporation. The lessee shall be construed as the "owner" for the purpose of this chapter when business building agreements hold the lessee responsible for maintenance and repairs.
- RAT ERADICATION
- The elimination or extermination of rats within buildings by any or all of the accepted measures, such as poisoning, fumigation, trapping and clubbing.
- RAT HARBORAGE
- Any condition which provides shelter or protection for rats, thus favoring their multiplication and continued existence in, under or outside of any structure.
- Applies to a form of construction to prevent the ingress of rats into business buildings from the exterior or from one business building or establishment to another. It consists essentially of treatment, with material impervious to rat gnawing, of all actual or potential openings in exterior walls, ground or first floors, basements, roofs and foundations that may be reached by climbing or by burrowing.
It is hereby ordained and required that all business buildings in the Borough of Plymouth shall be ratproofed, freed of rats and maintained in a ratproof and rat-free condition to the satisfaction of the health officer.
Upon receipt of written notice and/or order from the health officer, the owner of any business building specified therein shall take immediate measures for ratproofing the building, and unless said work and improvements have been completed by the owner in the time specified in a written notice, in no event to be less than 15 days, or within the time to which a written extension may have been granted by the health officer, then the owner shall be deemed guilty of an offense under the provisions of this chapter.
Whenever the health officer notifies the occupant or occupants of a business building, in writing, that there is evidence of rat infestation of the building, said occupant or occupants shall immediately institute rat-eradication measures and shall continuously maintain such measures in a satisfactory manner until the premises are declared by the health officer to be free of rat infestation. Unless said measures are undertaken within five days after receipt of notice, it shall be construed as a violation of the provisions of this chapter, and the occupant shall be held responsible therefor.
The owners of all ratproofed business buildings are required to maintain the premises in a ratproof condition and to repair all breaks or leaks that may occur in the ratproofing without a specific order of the health officer.
From and after passage of this chapter, the health officer is empowered to make unannounced inspections of the interior and exterior of business buildings to determine full compliance with this chapter, and the health officer shall make periodic inspections, at intervals of not more than 45 days, of all ratproofed buildings to determine evidence of rat infestation and the existence of new breaks or leaks in their ratproofing, and when any evidence is found indicating the presence of rats or openings through which rats may again enter business buildings, the health officer shall serve the owners or occupants with notice and/or orders to abate the conditions found.
Whenever conditions inside or under occupied business buildings provide extensive harborage for rats, in the opinion of the health officer, said health officer is empowered, after due notification in accordance with § 187-3, to close such business buildings until such time as the conditions are abated by ratproofing and harborage removal, including, if necessary, the installation of suitable concrete floors in basements or replacement of wooden first or ground floors with concrete or other major repairs necessary to facilitate rat eradication.
Whenever conditions inside or under unoccupied business buildings provide extensive harborage for rats, in the opinion of the health officer, said health officer is empowered to require compliance with the provisions of § 187-3 above, and in the event that said conditions are not corrected in a period of 60 days or within the time to which a written extension may have been granted by the health officer, the health officer is empowered to institute condemnation and destruction proceedings.
It shall be unlawful under the provisions of this chapter for the occupant, owner, contractor, public utility company, plumber or any other person to remove and fail to restore in like condition the ratproofing from any business building for any purpose. Further, it shall be unlawful for any person or agent to make any new openings that are not closed or sealed against the entrance of rats.
It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation hereafter to construct, repair or remodel any building, dwelling, stable or market or other structure whatsoever unless such construction, repair, remodeling or installation shall render the building or other structure ratproof in accordance with the regulations prescribed herein and hereunder. The provisions of this section apply only to such construction, repairs, remodeling or installation as affect the ratproof condition of any building or any other structure.
It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation hereafter to occupy any new or existing business buildings wherein foodstuffs are to be stored, kept, handled, sold, held or offered for sale without complying with § 187-10 of this chapter, and, unless the provisions of this section are complied with, no city license or permit to conduct or carry on such business as defined above will be issued.
All food and feed within the Borough of Plymouth for feeding chickens, cows, pigs, horses and other animals shall be stored in rat-free and ratproof containers, compartments or rooms, unless stored in a ratproof building.
Within the corporate limits of the Borough of Plymouth, all garbage or refuse consisting of waste animal or vegetable matter upon which rats may feed, and all small dead animals, shall be placed and stored until collected in covered metal containers of a type prescribed by the health officer. It is further declared unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to dump or place on any premises, land or waterway any dead animals or any waste vegetable or animal matter of any kind.
It shall be unlawful for any person to place, leave, dump or permit to accumulate any garbage, rubbish or trash in any building or on any premises, improved or vacant or on any open lot or alley in the Borough of Plymouth so that same shall or may afford food or harborage for rats.
It shall be unlawful for any person to permit to accumulate on any premises, improved or vacant, or on any open lot or alley in the Borough of Plymouth any lumber, boxes, barrels, bottles, cans, containers or similar materials that may be permitted to remain thereon unless the same shall be placed on open racks that are elevated not less than 18 inches above the ground and evenly piled or stacked.
[Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I)]
Any person, firm or corporation who or which shall violate any provision or provisions of this chapter shall be deemed guilty of a misdemeanor and, upon conviction, shall be punished by a fine of not more than $600, plus costs of prosecution, and, in default of payment of such fine and costs, by imprisonment for a period not exceeding 30 days. Each day's violation shall constitute a separate offense.
[Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I)]
Whenever the requirements of this chapter are at variance with the requirements of Chapter 185, Property Maintenance, the most restrictive, or that imposing the highest standards, shall prevail.