Borough of West Chester, PA
Chester County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Council of the Borough of West Chester 4-21-2004 by Ord. No. 9-2004. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Electrical standards — See Ch. 54.
Fire prevention — See Ch. 57.
Housing and property maintenance — See Ch. 66.
Mechanical standards — See Ch. 72.
Numbering of buildings — See Ch. 75.
Plumbing — See Ch. 82.
Zoning — See Ch. 112.
Except as specified in § 43-5 of this chapter, Chapter 43 of the Code of the Borough of West Chester titled, "Building Construction," is hereby repealed and deleted in its entirety and replaced with the provisions adopted herein.
A. 
The Borough hereby elects to administer and enforce the Act and the regulations promulgated under the Act which are found at 34 Pa. Code Chapters 401 through 405 (the regulations), as the same are amended from time to time, as the Borough's Building Code. The Borough shall notify the Department within 30 days of adoption of this chapter that the Borough has elected to administer and enforce the Act in accordance with this chapter.
B. 
By electing to adopt, administer and enforce the Act, the Borough hereby adopts and incorporates as fully as if set out at length herein Chapters 1 to 29 and 31 to 35 of the International Building Code, 2003 Edition, (IBC 2003) as now and as hereafter supplemented, reissued, amended and revised and its successor building codes, as published by the International Code Council, Inc., as the Borough's Building Code. If any provision in Chapter 1 of the IBC 2003 which governs administration of the Building Code is inconsistent with the regulations, the provisions in the regulations shall govern the administration and enforcement of the Building Code. Three copies of the IBC 2003 are filed in the Office of the Department of Building, Housing and Codes Enforcement and may be examined there without charge.
C. 
The Borough hereby adopts and incorporates as fully as if set out at length the following appendixes, as now and as hereafter supplemented, reissued, amended and revised and its successor appendices as published by the International Code Council, Inc.:
(1) 
Appendix C titled "Group U Agricultural Buildings";
(2) 
Appendix E titled "Supplementary Accessibility Requirements";
(3) 
Appendix G titled " Resistant Construction";
(4) 
Appendix H titled "Signs."
The following sections of the IBC 2003 are hereby amended and revised as follows:
A. 
Section 101.1 is amended by the insertion of "the Borough of West Chester" in the [NAME OF JURISDICTION] blank.
B. 
Section 108.2 is amended to read as follows:
"Section 108.2 Schedule of permit fees. The Borough Council shall, by resolution, adopt a schedule of fees which shall be kept on file by the Borough Secretary and shall be reviewed and revised as necessary by the Borough Council."
C. 
Section 112, Board of Appeals, shall be amended to read as follows:
[Amended 8-15-2012 by Ord. No. 15-2012; 9-16-2015 by Ord. No. 13-2015]
"Section 112 Board of Appeals. The Borough, along with five other municipalities in Chester County, is a member of the West Chester Area Council of Governments (WCACOG) pursuant to an intergovernmental cooperation agreement to create the West Chester Area Council of Governments dated the 1st day of April, 2003. The WCACOG has formed a Board of Appeals for the members in the WCACOG, which Board shall hear and decide appeals of orders, decisions or determinations made by the respective municipalities' building official relative to the application and interpretation of the municipalities' building code and all other related codes that are referenced in Chapter 35 of the IBC 2003. The Board of Appeals shall be appointed by the WCACOG and shall be governed by rules and regulations adopted by the WCACOG pursuant to the agreement. The Board of Appeals shall adopt rules of procedure for conducting its business."
D. 
Section 113.4 "Violation penalties" is amended to read as follows:
"Section 113.4 Violation penalties. Any person who shall violate a provision of this code or shall fail to comply with any of the requirements thereof or who shall erect, construct, alter or repair a building or structure in violation of an approved plan or directive of the Codes Enforcement Officer or of a permit or use and occupancy permit issued under the provisions of this code shall be guilty of a summary offense, punishable by a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $1,000 per day, plus costs and attorney's fees, and, upon default of the payment of the fine and costs, imprisonment not exceeding 30 days. Each day that a violation continues shall be deemed a separate offense."
E. 
Section 1612.3 is amended by the insertion of "Borough of West Chester" in the [NAME OF JURISDICTION] and "October 6, 1988" in the [DATE OF ISSUANCE] blanks.
F. 
Section 3410.2 is amended by the insertion of "June 13, 1973" in the [DATE TO BE INSERTED BY THE JURISDICTION] blank.
Section 403.102(l)(8) of the regulations allows a municipality to revise certain provisions in the regulations regarding the administration and enforcement of the Act. Pursuant to such authority, the Borough elects to make the following revisions to the regulations:
A. 
The exemption in Section 403.62(c)(1)(xvii) of the regulations shall be deleted. The Borough shall require a building permit for the installation of an uncovered deck regardless of the height of the floor of the deck.
B. 
The exemption in Section 403.62(c)(1)(x) shall be deleted, except that for properties located in the Historic District Overlay, the installation and replacement of windows shall require a building permit.
Pursuant to Act 13 of 2004, which was enacted on February 19, 2004, which amended certain provisions in the Act, municipalities may elect to require a more stringent standard for stairway treads and risers than the standard which is provided in Section 1 of Act 13, provided that such standard was in effect prior to July 1, 1999. Pursuant to such authority, the Borough elects to adopt the following standards for stairway tread and risers, which standards were first enacted on May 10, 1989 in Ordinance No. 11-1989:
A. 
Riser height. The maximum riser height shall be 7 3/4 inches (196 mm). The riser shall be measured vertically between leading edges of the adjacent treads. The greatest riser height within any flight of stairs shall not exceed the smallest by more than 3/8 inch (9.5mm).
B. 
Tread depth. The minimum tread depth shall be 10 inches (254 mm). The tread depth shall be measured horizontally between the vertical planes of the foremost projection of adjacent treads and at a right angle to the tread's leading edge. The greatest tread depth within any flight of stairs shall not exceed the smallest by more than 3/8 inch (9.5 mm). Winder treads shall have a minimum tread depth of 10 inches (254 mm) measured as above at a point 12 inches (305 mm) from the side where the treads are narrower. Winder treads shall have a minimum tread depth of six inches (152 mm) at any point. Within any flight of stairs, the greatest winder tread depth at the twelve-inch (305 mm) walk line shall not exceed the smallest by more than 3/8 inch (9.5mm).
C. 
Profile.
(1) 
The radius of curvature at the leading edge of the tread shall be no greater than 9/16 inch (14.3 mm). A nosing not less than 3/4 inch (19mm) but not more than 1 1/4 inch (32 mm) shall be provided on stairways with solid risers. The greatest nosing projection shall not exceed the smallest nosing projection by more than 3/8 inch (9.5 mm) between two stories, including the nosing at the level of floors and landings. Beveling of nosing shall not exceed 1/2 inch (12.7 mm). Risers shall be vertical or sloped from the underside of the leading edge of the tread above at an angle not more than 30 (0.51 rad) degrees from the vertical. Open risers are permitted, provided that the opening between treads does not permit the passage of a four-inch diameter (102 mm) sphere.
(2) 
Exceptions:
(a) 
A nosing is not required where the tread depth is a minimum of 11 inches (279 mm).
(b) 
The opening between adjacent treads is not limited on stairs with a total rise of 30 inches (762 mm) or less.
Except for appeals which shall be heard and adjudicated by the WCACOG Board of Appeals, the building code shall be administered and enforced by the Department of Building, Housing and Codes Enforcement.
Pursuant to Section 104(d)(1) of the Act, the Borough may keep in full force and effect any provisions of the Borough's existing building code which were in effect on or before July 1, 1999, or reenactments of simultaneously repealed ordinances which were originally adopted before July 1, 1999, provided that such provisions meet or exceed the Act. Under such authority, the Borough intends to keep in full force and effect the following provisions of its existing building code, which provisions meets or exceeds the standards in the Act:
A. 
Section [F]907.2.9. of the IBC 2003 shall be deleted in its entirety and replaced with the following.
"[F]907.2.9 Group R-2. All new and existing Group R-2 occupancies shall be protected with a manual and automatic fire alarm system."
B. 
Section [F]907.2.10.1.2 of the IBC 2003 shall be deleted in its entirety and replaced with the following:
"[F]907.2.10.1.2 All new and existing Groups R-2, R-3, R-4 and I-1 occupancies. Single- or multiple-station smoke alarms shall be installed and maintained in all new and existing Groups R-2, R-3, R-4 and I-1 occupancies regardless of occupant load at all of the following locations:
1.
On the ceiling or wall outside of each separate sleeping area in the immediate vicinity of bedrooms.
2.
In each room used for sleeping purposes.
3.
In each story within a dwelling unit, including basements but not including crawl spaces and uninhabitable attics. In dwellings or dwelling units with split levels and without an intervening door between the adjacent levels, a smoke alarm installed on the upper level shall suffice for the adjacent lower level, provided that the lower level is less than one full story below the upper level."
C. 
The Borough shall keep in full force and effect the following requirements in its building code which provisions were in effect as of July 1, 1999:
[Added 10-20-2004 by Ord. No. 23-2004]
(1) 
All repairs and alterations to residential buildings shall comply with the Borough's building code adopted on April 21, 2004, and any successor code adopted by the Borough pursuant to Act 45 of 1999.
(2) 
Construction, alteration, enlargement, replacement, repair, removal and demolition of utility and miscellaneous use structures which are greater than 500 square feet in area shall comply with the Borough's building code adopted on April 21, 2004, and any successor code adopted by the Borough pursuant to Act 45 of 1999.