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Township of Lower Merion, PA
Montgomery County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Commissioners of the Township of Lower Merion 12-15-1976 by Ord. No. 1780. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Building construction — See Ch. 62.
Licensing of electricians — See Ch. 72.
Licensing of plumbers — See Ch. 115.
Sewer connections — See Ch. 126, Art. I.
Openings and excavations in streets and sidewalks — See Ch. 133, Art. III.
Business privilege tax — See Ch. 138, Art. IV.
Fees — See Ch. A167.
A. 
The following words and phrases, as used in this chapter, shall have the meanings ascribed to them in this section, unless the context indicates a different meaning.
CONTRACT
An agreement, whether oral or written, and whether contained in one or more documents, between a contractor and an owner or another contractor for the performance of work, including all labor, services and materials to be furnished and performed thereunder.
CONTRACTOR
Any person, other than a bona fide employee of the owner, who undertakes or offers to perform construction, repair, reroofing, remodeling, rehabilitation, demolition, paving and any other residential or nonresidential construction or demolition work in the Township, whether as a general contractor, subcontractor, specialty contractor or home improvement contractor with respect to the owner.
DIRECTOR
The Director of Building and Planning of the Township of Lower Merion.
[Amended 1-19-2002 by Ord. No. 3631]
LICENSE YEAR
The twelve-month period beginning the first day of January of each year.
OWNER
Any property owner, tenant or other person who orders, contracts for or purchases the services of a contractor, or any person entitled to the work of a contractor pursuant to a contract, gift or otherwise.
PERSON
Any individual, partnership, limited partnership, association, corporation, trust or other legally recognizable entity.
TOWNSHIP
The Township of Lower Merion.
B. 
The masculine includes the feminine; the singular includes the plural and the plural includes the singular.
The Director or his authorized representatives shall administer and enforce the provisions of this chapter.
No person shall act as a contractor in the Township except in compliance with the provisions of this chapter. Any person, including an owner, who willfully aids a contractor or participates with a contractor in violating any provisions of this chapter is in violation of this chapter. The provisions of this chapter may not be waived by agreement.
A license issued pursuant to this chapter shall not be construed to authorize the licensee to perform any particular type of work or type of business which is reserved to qualified licensees under other provisions of state or local law.
A. 
For the license year beginning January 1, 1977, and for each license year thereafter, every person desiring to continue to engage in or hereafter to begin to engage in the business of acting as a contractor in the Township shall, on or before the first day of January of the license year or prior to commencing business in such license year, make application for a license to act as a contractor in the Township. Such application shall be made by the completion of an application furnished by the Director and the payment of a license fee as hereinafter set forth in this chapter. Each application must contain information as set forth hereafter in this chapter, and each applicant must present satisfactory proof of insurance as set forth hereafter in this chapter. Each application for a license shall be signed by the applicant, if a natural person, and in the case of an association or a partnership, by a member or partner thereof, and in the case of a corporation, by an officer thereof.
B. 
Each successful applicant shall be issued a license, which license shall be in the form of a wallet-size card and in the form of a vehicle bumper sticker. Every licensed contractor, while actually acting as a contractor in the Township, shall carry said license card with him and shall display it to the Director or his representatives upon demand to do so. Every licensed contractor shall at all times display his bumper sticker license on the rear bumper of the vehicle he primarily uses in his activities as a contractor.
C. 
All contractors' licenses shall expire at midnight on December 31 of each license year unless the license is revoked or suspended prior thereto under the terms of this chapter. A person with an unexpired license which has not been revoked or suspended during the current license year, who makes application for a license for the following license year, need not complete an application form, but must only submit the required license fee; and if he qualifies for licensing and renewal under the terms of this chapter, his license shall be renewed for the following license year and he will be issued a new license card and bumper sticker for the following license year. Any contractor carrying on the business of contractor in the Township must secure a license under the terms of this chapter for each license year during which he carries on such business.
A. 
The provisions of this chapter shall not apply to the official transactions of any authorized representative of the government of the United States, any state or commonwealth of the United States, any political subdivision of any state or commonwealth or any agency or instrumentality of the foregoing governments.
B. 
No contractor's license shall be required of any person when acting in a particular capacity or particular type of transaction as follows:
(1) 
A person who performs labor or services for a contractor for wages or salary.
(2) 
A person who is required by other state or local law to attain standards of competency or experience, and who must obtain licensing under such other state or local law, as a prerequisite to engaging in a craft or profession, and who is acting exclusively within the scope of such craft or profession for which he is currently licensed pursuant to such other law.
A. 
No contractor's license shall be issued unless the applicant files a certificate of insurance with the Director at the time of license application. The certificate of insurance shall contain a provision that coverages afforded under the policy will not be canceled until at least 15 days' prior written notice of such cancellation has been given to the Township of Lower Merion. The certificate of insurance must evidence policies of insurance, maintained at the expense of the applicant, for public liability, property damage, products liability and completed operations, each of which must have a single occurrence limit of at least $300,000. Blasting and demolition insurance shall also be required for blasting and demolition contractors, and the regional limits of such insurance shall be determined by the Director at the time of application, based on the nature and extent of the applicant's proposed operations.
[Amended 3-15-1989 by Ord. No. 3140]
B. 
All types and limits of insurance for which certificates are presented at the time of application, and based upon which a license is issued, shall be maintained throughout the license year, or the license will be suspended or revoked as hereinafter set forth in this chapter. The Director must approve the responsibility of new insurance carriers prior to a change in a carrier during a license year.
A. 
At the time of application for a new license or for the renewal of a current license, the applicant shall pay to the Director a license application fee, payable to the Township of Lower Merion, as set forth in the Township Schedule of Fees[1] as adopted and amended from time to time by the Board of Commissioners.
[Amended 9-21-1977 by Ord. No. 1802]
[1]
Editor's Note: For the current schedule of fees, see Ch. A167, Fees.
B. 
No fee or portion thereof shall be returned to a successful or unsuccessful applicant.
A. 
When an application has been filed with the Director in proper form, the Director must, within a period of 30 days from the date following the date the application is received, issue or refuse to issue the appropriate contractor's license to the applicant. If issuance of a license is denied, the Director shall mail to the unsuccessful applicant a written statement setting forth the reason or reasons for the denial, within the aforesaid thirty-day period.
B. 
The application for a license shall be a printed form, provided to the applicant by the Director, and the application shall require a written answer to all questions contained thereon. Failure to answer all questions on the application form shall mean that the applicant is not entitled to consideration of his application until he has answered all questions. The application form shall be signed by the applicant under oath. The questions and information requested on the application form shall include, but shall not be limited to, the following:
(1) 
The names of owners, partners, directors and officers of the applicant, and the business address and trade names of the applicant.
(2) 
A statement as to whether or not any municipalities have refused to issue or have revoked any similar contractor's license of the applicant within two years previous to the date of the application. In the event that there has been such a denial or revocation, the applicant must explain in writing the reasons for such denial or revocation.
(3) 
A listing of all previous contractor's jobs completed or accepted by the applicant within two years prior to the application, along with a statement of the location of the jobs and the names, addresses and telephone numbers of the party or parties who contracted with the applicant for such jobs.
(4) 
A listing of all convictions within two years prior to the date of the application, for any crimes or offenses under any federal or state criminal statute or common law criminal offense, or for violation of any municipal ordinance, so long as such convictions were for crimes or offenses related to the applicant's work or contracts as a contractor. The term "conviction" shall include guilty pleas and pleas of nolo contendere. If any such convictions exist, the applicant shall give, in writing, the caption, court and term number of the proceeding leading to the conviction. The applicant shall also explain, in writing, the nature of the conviction.
(5) 
A listing of all unsatisfied civil judgments in any jurisdiction against the applicant, if such civil judgments were on a lawsuit in which it was alleged that the applicant failed to complete a contract as defined in this chapter or improperly performed a contract as defined in this chapter. The applicant shall give, in writing, the caption, court and term number of the civil action upon which any such judgments were entered, and shall explain in writing the nature of all such civil judgments.
Every contractor license shall, within 10 days after a change in ownership, directors, officers, management, address or trade name, notify the Director of such change.
No license shall be issued or renewed under the following circumstances:
A. 
If the applicant falsely answered any question or questions contained on the application form.
B. 
If the applicant has been refused a similar contractor's license or has had a similar contractor's license revoked or suspended by another municipality within two years prior to the date of application for issuance or renewal, and if the refusal, revocation or suspension by the other municipality was due to failure to comply with that municipality's building codes.
C. 
If the applicant has been convicted within two years prior to the date of the application for any crimes or offenses under any federal or state criminal statute or common law criminal offense, or for violation of any municipal ordinance, so long as such convictions were for crimes or offenses related to the applicant's work as a contractor. The term "conviction" shall include guilty pleas and pleas of nolo contendere.
D. 
If an unsatisfied civil judgment against the applicant exists in any court in any jurisdiction, and if the record of such court shows that such judgment was entered because of the applicant's failure to complete a contract as defined in this chapter or if such judgment was entered because of the applicant's failure to properly perform a contract as defined in this chapter.
[Amended 3-15-1989 by Ord. No. 3140]
The Director shall suspend or revoke any license issued under the provisions of this chapter under the following circumstances:
A. 
If the licensee falsely answered any question or questions contained on an application for licensing or renewal of licensing previously submitted to the Director.
B. 
Failure of the licensee to maintain, during the license year, the policies of insurance required under the provisions of this chapter.
C. 
If the licensee violates any of the terms or provisions of the Township of Lower Merion Building Code[1] or any terms or provisions of this chapter.
[1]
Editor's Note: See Ch. 62, Building Construction.
D. 
If the licensee violates any condition or requirement of a building permit, sewer construction permit or highway permit issued by the Township of Lower Merion.[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: For provisions pertaining to the permits enumerated, see respectively Ch. 62, Building Construction; Ch. 126, Sewers, Art. I. Connections; and Ch. 133, Streets and Sidewalks, Art. III, Openings and Excavations; Use of Streets and Sidewalks Generally.
E. 
If the licensee willfully deviates from or disregards any plans or specifications for any contracting job in any material respect without first obtaining the consent of the owner in writing to any such change and without first notifying the Director of any such change.
F. 
If the licensee does any business through any person who is subject to the licensing requirements of this chapter and who is not licensed as required by this chapter.
G. 
If the licensee conducts a contractor's business in the Township under any name other than that under which he is licensed.
H. 
If the licensee fails to comply with an order, demand or requirement lawfully made by the Director under the authority of this chapter or any other Township ordinance.
In addition to all other acts prohibited by the terms of this chapter, those acts warranting revocation of a license under this chapter shall also be prohibited acts under this chapter.
[Amended 9-21-1977 by Ord. No. 1802; 8-3-1988 by Ord. No. 3104]
In addition to refusal or revocation of a license as provided under this chapter, any person, as defined in this chapter, or any officer, agent, servant or employee thereof, who shall fail, neglect or refuse to comply with any of the terms or provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof before a District Justice, be sentenced to pay a fine or penalty of not exceeding $1,000 and costs of prosecution for each offense, to be collected as like fines or penalties and costs are now by law collectible. The fine or penalty imposed by this section shall be in addition to any other penalty imposed by this chapter.