Township of New Garden, PA
Chester County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the Township of New Garden 4-6-1998 by Ord. No. 126. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Unsafe buildings — See Ch. 64.
Open burning — See Ch. 68.
Uniform construction codes — See Ch. 75.
Floodplain management — See Ch. 96.
Lot alterations — See Ch. 112.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 136.
Sewers — See Ch. 152.
Streets and sidewalks — See Ch. 167.
Towing and storage of vehicles — See Ch. 189.
Zoning — See Ch. 200.
This chapter shall be known as the "New Garden Township Nuisance Ordinance of 1998."
A. 
The following words, when used in this chapter or any accompanying resolution, shall have the meaning ascribed to them in this section, except in those incidences where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
ABANDONED OR JUNKED MOTOR VEHICLES
Any vehicle in a nonserviceable or nonoperational condition, or without having both a current inspection sticker and current registration plate.
NUISANCE
The unreasonable, unwarrantable, or unlawful use of or activity on any public or private property which causes injury, damage, hurt, inconvenience, annoyance or discomfort to any person or resident in the legitimate enjoyment of his reasonable rights of person or property. This shall include any activity, condition, structure or improvement which shall constitute a threat or potential threat to the health, safety, or welfare of the citizens of the Township.
OWNER
The actual person owning, leasing, occupying or having charge of any premises within the Township, whether individual, partnership, association or corporation.
PERSON
Every natural person, association, partnership, firm, club, society, company, corporation or any organization of any kind. Whenever used in connection with prescribing or imposing a penalty, or both, the term as applied to a partnership shall include the individual partners, or any of them, and as applied to corporations or associations shall include the individual officer(s) thereof.
SUPERVISORS
The Board of Supervisors of New Garden Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania.
TOWNSHIP
New Garden Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania.
B. 
For the purposes of this chapter, the single shall include the plural, and the masculine shall include the feminine and the neuter.
It shall be unlawful for any person to create or maintain any condition, activity or use upon their property which could directly or indirectly cause a nuisance or health hazard to residents of the Township. While not intended to be a comprehensive list, the establishment, maintenance, operation or continuance of any of the following, at any time within the Township, is hereby declared to be a nuisance under the terms of this chapter:
A. 
The maintenance, storage or accumulation of the following:
(1) 
Garbage or rubbish;
(2) 
Junk material, including, but not limited to, unused or abandoned machinery, equipment or appliances, and all forms of waste and refuse of any type of materials, including scrap metal, glass, industrial waste or other similar materials; and
(3) 
Any other materials which are conducive to the harboring of vermin, or otherwise cause a potential health hazard or nuisance.
B. 
The maintenance, storage or accumulation of one or more abandoned or junked motor vehicles.
C. 
The ownership or maintenance of abandoned or neglected buildings, structures, sidewalks or premises which shall pose or constitute any of the following conditions or hazards:
(1) 
A fire hazard;
(2) 
A danger of infestation by vermin;
(3) 
An area, building or condition which is or which might potentially serve as an area of play or general attraction for children, or the public in general;
(4) 
Buildings, structures, sidewalks or premises, or parts thereof, which have been damaged by fire, wind or other causes so as to become dangerous to life or safety of the occupants or to others in the vicinity;
(5) 
Buildings, structures, sidewalks or premises, or parts thereof, which have become or are so dilapidated, decayed or unsafe that they are unfit for human habitation or are likely to cause injury to occupants or to others in the vicinity;
(6) 
Buildings or structures having inadequate facilities for egress in case of fire or panic, or those having insufficient stairways, fire escapes or other means of access and egress;
(7) 
Buildings, structures, sidewalks or premises, or parts thereof, which are in such condition that they may fail, collapse, break down, or otherwise cause damage to property or injury to members of the public;
(8) 
Allowing or permitting any excavation, material excavated or obstruction on or joining any highway, street or road, to remain opened or exposed without the same being secured by a suitable barricade, a temporary fence or other protective materials; and
(9) 
Any other condition which the Supervisors shall deem to be a health hazard, potential health hazard, or nuisance.
D. 
The draining or flowing, or allowing to drain or flow, whether natural or artificial, of any foul or offensive water or drainage from any dwelling, sink, bathtub, wash stand, lavatory, water closet, swimming pool, privy, or cesspool of any kind or nature whatsoever, or any foul or offensive drainage of any kind, from any property into or upon any adjoining property, or onto or along any public highway, road, street, avenue, lane or alley.
E. 
The burning of garbage, tires or other tar products.
F. 
Permitting or allowing any well or cistern to be, or remain, uncovered.
G. 
Permitting the growth of any grass, weed, noxious weeds or any vegetation whatsoever, to conceal any rubbish, garbage, trash or any other violation of this chapter.
H. 
Pushing, shoveling or otherwise depositing snow upon the cartway or traveled portion of any public highway, road or street which is maintained by the Township or by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, and allowing the same to remain thereon.
I. 
The establishment, maintenance, carrying on or permitting of any use or activity which is dangerous, injurious, offensive or damaging to the property of others, or which prevents the reasonable use, comfort or enjoyment of the property of others by reason of flames, odor, smoke, fumes, dust, gas, noise, dirt, vibration or emission of electromagnetic waves. In determining the offensive or damaging nature of any of the aforesaid items, the Township is not required to make quantitative measurements by instrumentation or other testing, but, instead, may utilize the reasonable and substantial determinations of affected individuals, property owners or occupiers, as well as testimony of the Supervisors, or other persons authorized by the Township.
J. 
The setting, maintenance, operation, conduct or permitting of the establishment and maintenance of fire, combustion or manufacturing, or commercial or other process which is or shall be accompanied by constant, periodic or occasional emission of smoke, odor, sparks, ash particles, burned sawdust and debris, or the creation and spreading of ash, debris, poison and like materials on surrounding or adjacent property to the annoyance, disturbance or detriment of surrounding property owners, residents, passersby or the traveling public.
K. 
The storing of gasoline, kerosene or other petroleum products in excess of 5,000 gallons, except by gasoline service stations or petroleum products companies.
L. 
Removing or altering the embankment of a stream so as to alter the natural flow of the stream.
M. 
Interfering with the flow of a stream, creek or other waterway, by means of a dam, construction or otherwise.
N. 
The permitting, growth or maintenance of ragweed, chicory, thistle, goldenrod, poison ivy, poison oak, sumac, or other similar vegetation, in such a manner that it extends or borders upon or overhangs any street, roadway, sidewalk or other public place.
O. 
The permitting, growth or maintenance of any grass, weeds or other such vegetation, not edible or planted for some useful or ornamental purpose, so as to exceed a height of six inches. Excluded from this subsection are wooded areas and open fields or acreage to within 100 feet of any building or structure.
Whenever a condition constituting a nuisance or health hazard is permitted or maintained, the Supervisors, or persons authorized by the Township, may give the owner of the property in which said nuisance is located, and any other person permitting the maintenance of such a nuisance, written notice to completely remove, repair or abate the same. Said notice shall require such removal, repair, or abatement within 15 days of the date of such notice. Said notice shall be served in one of the following matters:
A. 
By personal delivery;
B. 
By certified mail, return receipt requested, to the last known address of the owner;
C. 
By posting a copy of the notice upon the premises; or
D. 
By publishing a copy of the notice in a local paper of general circulation within New Garden Township, Chester County, Pennsylvania, once a week for three consecutive weeks.
Any person who, after delivery, posting or publication of notice as provided for in § 121-4, continues the maintenance of the conduct, activity or condition declared to be a nuisance, or who fails to take action to completely remove, repair or abate said nuisance when directed to do so, shall be determined to be guilty of a violation of this chapter and, upon conviction thereof before a District Justice by a summary proceeding, be sentenced to pay a fine not to exceed $1,000, plus costs of prosecution, including reasonable attorney's fees, or sentenced to undergo imprisonment for a period not exceeding 90 days, or both. Each day that a violation of this chapter continues shall constitute a separate offense.
[1]
Editor's Note: Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
In addition to, or instead of, invoking the penalties set forth in the preceding section, the Township, or persons authorized by the Township, may, in the event of any continued violations of this chapter, enter upon the offending premises and remove, repair or alter any nuisance, hazard or dangerous structure or condition on such property, or otherwise abate any identified nuisance or health hazard. Further, the Township may collect the costs of such removal or abatement, together with any penalty and costs as granted in summary proceedings, from the owner of the property or premises. The actual costs of such removal, together with the penalties, costs and reasonable attorney's fee, shall be a lien upon such premises, and may be enforced against the property and recovered by the Township in the manner prescribed for the levying and collecting of municipal liens under appropriate law.
The Township may, by means of a complaint in equity or other appropriate filing, compel the owner of a structure or premises declared a nuisance to comply with the terms of any notice of violation, or seek any other appropriate relief, including an injunction, from any court of competent jurisdiction.