Township of Lower Saucon, PA
Northampton County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Council of the Township of Lower Saucon 5-20-1998 by Ord. No. 98-12. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Uniform construction codes — See Ch. 65.
Streets and sidewalks — See Ch. 140.
A. 
The "National Electrical Code, 1996," (hereinafter "NEC"), being the model electrical regulation for the protection of public health, safety and welfare as promulgated by the National Fire Protection Association, Batterymarch Park, Quincy, Massachusetts, is hereby adopted, incorporated by reference and enacted as an ordinance for the Township of Lower Saucon, with the following modifications, deletions, additions and changes. Three copies of the code and this chapter are filed in and available for inspection at the offices of the Manager for the Township of Lower Saucon during normal business hours.
B. 
Code Enforcement Officer. The authority having jurisdiction for the enforcement of the Electrical Code for the Township of Lower Saucon shall be the Code Official as designated under the BOCA Ordinance No. 98-10[1] for the Township of Lower Saucon, or his designee, who shall have the powers, duties and responsibilities as the Code Official for this code and also as provided hereinafter.
[1]
Editor's Note: See now Ch. 65, Building Construction.
The National Electrical Code, 1996, is amended as follows:
A. 
Section 90-2(c) shall be amended to read as follows:
90-2(c). Special Permission. The Code Official may grant exception for the installation of conductors and equipment that are not under the exclusive control of the electric utilities and are used to connect the electric utility supply system to the service-entrance conductors of the premises served, provided that such installations are outside a building or terminate immediately inside a building wall.
B. 
Section 90-4 shall be amended to read as follows:
90-4. Enforcement. This code is intended to be suitable for mandatory application by governmental bodies exercising legal jurisdiction over electrical installations and for use by insurance inspectors. The Code Official will have the responsibility for making interpretations of the rules, for deciding upon the approval of equipment and materials and for granting the special permission contemplated in a number of the rules.
The Code Official may waive specific requirements in this code or permit alternate methods where it is assured that equivalent objectives can be achieved by establishing and maintaining effective safety.
This code may require new products, constructions or materials that may not yet be available at the time the code is adopted. In such event, the Code Official may permit the use of the products, constructions or materials that comply with the most recent previous edition of this code adopted by the jurisdiction.
C. 
Sections 90-10 through 90-69 shall be added and read as follows:
90-10. Existing Structures. The legal occupancy of any structure existing on the date of adoption of this code, or for which it has been heretofore approved, shall be permitted to continue without change, except as is specifically covered in this code, or as is deemed necessary by the Code Official for the general safety and welfare of the occupants and the public.
90-10.1. Whenever alterations in electrical wiring require a permit, the physical conditions and the capacity of the existing electrical service shall be reviewed and when required shall be upgraded in accordance with the requirements of the code.
90-10.2. Basement wiring shall be upgraded to conform to these minimum standards as prescribed by this chapter if, in the opinion of the inspection agency, unsafe conditions exist. This includes removing knob and tube wiring located in basements through or below the joists if tapped or spliced. All other wiring shall be corrected to meet wiring specifications contained in the National Electrical Code.
90-10.3. Whenever any provision or requirement of the regulations of the Department of Labor and Industry of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is more stringent or stricter than a provision or requirement of this chapter or code, the applicable provision or requirement of the regulations of said Department of Labor and Industry shall supersede any such provision or requirement of this chapter or code.
90-10.4. Buildings or structures moved into or within the Township shall comply with the provisions of this code for new building and structures.
90-10.5. The owner of any building or structure shall be responsible for the safety and maintenance of the electrical system and/or equipment of the building or structures at all times. Any electrician, electrical contractor or installer shall be jointly and severally responsible with the owner for the safety and maintenance of any electrical installation or modification.
90-10.6. All installed but abandoned or unusual wiring within any structure, for any type occupancy, shall be capped off and ended inside an enclosure (such as a junction box) or removed completely.
90-11. Matters Not Provided For. Any requirements that are essential for the structural, fire or sanitary safety of an existing or proposed building or structure, or for the safety of the occupants thereof, which are not specifically provided for by this code, shall be determined by the Code Official.
90-12. Partial Invalidity. In the event that any part or provision of this code is held to be illegal or void, this shall not have the effect of making void or illegal any of the other parts or provisions thereof which are determined to be legal, and it shall be presumed that this code would have been passed without such illegal or invalid parts or provisions.
90-13. Segregation of Invalid Provisions. Any invalid part of this code shall be segregated from the remainder of this code by the court holding such part invalid, and the remainder shall remain effective.
90-14. Decisions Involving Existing Structures. The invalidity of any provision in any section of this code as applied to existing buildings and structures shall not be held to affect the validity of such section in its application to buildings and structures hereafter erected.
90-15. Appointment. The Code Official shall be appointed in accordance with procedure under the BOCA Ordinance No. 98-10.[1]
90-16. Organization. The Township Manager shall appoint such number of officers, technical assistants, inspectors and other employees as shall be necessary for the administration of this code and as authorized by the Township Council.
90-17. Deputy. The Township Manager is authorized to designate an employee as deputy who shall exercise all the powers of the Code Official during the temporary absence or disability of the Code Official.
90-18. Restriction of Employees. An official or employee connected with the Building Inspector or inspection agency, except one whose only connection is that of a member of the Board of Appeals established under the provisions of Section 90-69, shall not be engaged in or directly or indirectly connected with the furnishing of labor, materials or appliances for the construction, alteration or maintenance of a building or the preparation of construction documents thereof unless that person is the owner of the building; nor shall such officer or employee engage in any work that conflicts with official duties or with the interests of the department.
90-19. Relief from Personal Responsibility. The Code Official, officer or employee charged with the enforcement of this code, while acting with good faith and without actual malice for the jurisdiction, shall not thereby be rendered liable personally and is hereby relieved from all personal liability for any damage accruing to persons or property as a result of any act required or permitted in the discharge of official duties. Any suit instituted against an officer or employee because of an act performed by that officer or employee, with good faith and without actual malice in the lawful discharge of duties and under the provisions of this code, shall be defended by the legal representative of the jurisdiction until the final termination of the proceedings. The Code Official or any subordinate shall not be liable for costs in any action, suit or proceeding that is instituted, in pursuance of the provisions of this code, acting in good faith and without malice, and shall be free from liability for acts performed under any of its provisions or by reason of any act or omission in the performance of official duties in connection therewith. Nothing herein shall be construed to waive any immunity for the Township or its agents or employees.
90-20. Official Records. An official record shall be kept of all business and activities of the department specified in the provisions of this code, and all such records shall be open to public inspection at all appropriate times and according to reasonable rules to maintain the integrity and security of such records.
90-21. General. The Code Official shall enforce all of the provisions of this code and shall act on any question relative to the mode or manner of construction and materials to be used in the erection, addition to, alteration, repair, removal and demolition or installation of service equipment of all buildings and structures, except as otherwise specifically provided for by statutory requirements or as provided for in Sections 90-22 through 90-28.
90-22. Applications and Permits. The Code Official, or his designee, shall receive applications and issue permits for the electrical installation and alteration of buildings and structures, inspect the premises for which such permits have been issued and enforce compliance with the provisions of this code.
90-23. Notices and Orders. The Code Official shall issue all necessary notices or orders to ensure compliance with this code.
90-24. Inspections. The Code Official shall review and approve all reports of inspection by approved agencies or individuals. All reports of such inspections shall be in writing and be certified by a responsible officer of such approved agency or by the responsible individual. The Code Official is authorized to engage such expert opinion as deemed necessary to report upon unusual technical issues that arise, subject to the approval of the appointing authority.
All inspections required under this code for compliance with these regulations shall be performed by an inspection agency or individual fully qualified and designated and approved by the Manager. The permit holder may select an approved inspection agency or individual from an approved list with the approval of the Code Official. However, in the event of disagreement with the permit holder on the selection of the approved inspection agency or individual, the Code Official shall be responsible to select the appropriate inspection agency or individual with consideration of all circumstances involved in the project.
90-25. Identification. The Code Official and/or approved agency or individual shall carry proper identification when inspecting structures or premises in the performance of duties under this code.
90-26. Rule-making authority. The Code Official, with the approval by Council, shall have authority as necessary in the interest of public health, safety and general welfare to adopt and promulgate rules and regulations to interpret and implement the provisions of this code to secure the intent thereof and to designate requirements applicable because of local climatic or other conditions. Such rules shall not have the effect of waiving structural or fire performance requirements specifically provided for in this code or of violating accepted engineering practice involving public safety.
90-27. Department Records. The Code Official shall keep official records of applications received, permits and certificates issued, fees collected, reports of inspections and notices and orders issued. Such records shall be retained in the official records as long as the building or structure to which they relate remains in existence, unless otherwise provided for by other regulations.
90-28. Annual Report. At least annually, any individual appointed pursuant to Section 90-15 shall submit to the Manager a written statement of operations in the form and content as shall be prescribed by the Manager.
90-29. Permit Application. An application shall be submitted to the Code Official for the following activities, and these activities shall not commence without a permit being issued in accordance with Section 90-35:
(a)
Installation, repair and/or replacement of electrical conductors or service equipment.
(b)
Removal of electrical conductors or service equipment.
90-30. Form of Application. The application for a permit shall be submitted in such written form as the Code Official prescribes and shall be accompanied by the required fee as prescribed in Section 90-44.
90-31. By Whom Application is Made. An application for a permit shall be made only by a certified or licensed electrician to install any or all of the electrical system. The applicant shall meet all qualifications established by rules promulgated with this code or otherwise by ordinance, resolution or statute. The full names and addresses of the owner and of the electrician, contractor or installer shall be stated in the application.
90-32. Description of Work. The application shall contain a general description of the proposed work, the location of the proposed work, the occupancy of all parts of the building or structure and such additional information as required by the Code Official.
90-32.1. Plans and Specifications. The inspection agency may require the submission and approval of plans and specifications in duplicate showing the nature and extent of the proposed work before a permit is issued. If, in the course of the work, it is found necessary to make any change from the approved plans and specifications on which a permit has been issued, amended plan and specifications shall be submitted, and, if approved, a supplementary permit shall be issued to cover the change.
90-32.2. Amendments. Subject to limitations of Subsection 90-32.1 hereof, amendments to a plan, application or other records accompanying the same may be filed at any time before the completion of the work for which the permit is sought or issued; and such amendments shall be deemed part of the original application and shall be filed therewith.
90-33. Engineering Details. The Code Official shall require to be filed adequate details of electrical work, including computations, and other essential technical data. All engineering plans and computations shall bear the signature and seal of the engineer or architect responsible for the design.
90-34. Time Limitation of Application. An application for a permit for any proposed work shall be deemed to have been abandoned six months after the date of filing, unless such application has been diligently prosecuted or a permit shall have been issued; except that the Code Official shall grant one or more extensions of time for additional periods not exceeding 90 days each if there is reasonable cause.
90-35. Action on Application. The Code Official shall approve or disapprove all applications for permits and amendments thereto within 90 days after filing, provided that the application was submitted with full payment of all fees required under Section 90-45. If the application or the construction documents do not conform to the requirements of all pertinent laws, the Code Official shall reject such application, in writing, stating the reasons therefor and the manner in which the application can be corrected and/or modified to obtain required approval. If the Code Official is satisfied that the proposed work conforms to the requirements of this code and all laws and ordinances applicable thereto, the Code Official shall issue a permit within 90 days of filing.
90-36. Suspension of Permit. Any permit issued shall become invalid if the authorized work is not commenced within six months after issuance of the permit or if the authorized work is suspended or abandoned for a period of six months after the time of commencing the work, provided that the Code Official upon good cause shown may extend the permit for an additional six months.
90-37. Previous Approvals. This code shall not require changes in the construction documents, construction or designated use group of a building for which a lawful permit has been heretofore issued or otherwise lawfully authorized and the construction of which has been actively prosecuted within 90 days after the effective date of this code and is completed with dispatch.
90-38. Signature to Permit. The Code Official's signature shall be attached to every permit, or the Code Official shall authorize a subordinate to affix such signature thereto.
90-39. Revocation of Permit. The Code Official shall revoke a permit or approval issued under the provisions of this code in case of any false statement or misrepresentation of fact in the application or on the plans on which the permit or approval was based.
90-40. Posting of Permit. A weather-proofed and true copy of the building permit shall be posted on the site of operations, open to public inspection during the entire time of prosecution of the work and until the completion of the same.
90-41. Payment of Fees. A permit shall not be issued until the fees prescribed in Section 90-44 have been paid.
90-42. Compliance with Code. The permit shall be a license to proceed with the work and shall not be construed as authority to violate, cancel or set aside any of the provisions of this code or other applicable Township ordinance/regulation.
90-43. Compliance with Permit. All work shall conform to the approved application.
90-44. General. A permit to begin work for new construction, alteration, removal, demolition or other building operation shall not be issued until the fees prescribed in this section shall have been paid to the Township, nor shall an amendment to a permit necessitating an additional fee be approved until the additional fee has been paid.
90-45. Fee Schedule. A fee for each permit shall be paid in accordance with the schedule attached hereto. The Township may amend by resolution the Fee Schedule.[2]
90-46. Account of Fees. The Code Official shall keep an accurate account of all fees collected; and such collected fees shall be deposited monthly in the jurisdiction treasury or otherwise disposed of as required by law.
90-47. Return of Fees. In the case of a revocation of a permit or abandonment or discontinuance of a building project, the portion of the work actually completed shall be computed, and any excess fee for the incompleted work shall be returned to the permit holder upon written request. All plan examination and permit processing fees and all penalties that have been imposed on the permit holder under the requirements of his code shall first be collected.
90-48. Required Inspections. After issuing a permit, the Code Official and/or Inspection Agency shall conduct inspections from time to time during and upon completion of the work for which a permit has been issued. A record of all such examinations and inspections and of all violations of this code shall be maintained by the Code Official and/or Inspection Agency.
90-48.1. Approved Inspection Agencies. The Code Official shall accept reports of inspection agencies approved in accordance with BOCA Ordinance No. 98-10,[3] provided that such agencies satisfy the requirements as to qualifications and reliability.
90-48.2. Inspection Request. Inspection requests shall be made by the permit holder or his authorized agent to the inspection agency. Except for unusual or uncontrollable circumstances, the inspection agency shall conduct personally or provide inspection in conformance with the provisions of this code within five working days for rough inspections and seven working days for final inspections after an inspection request has been made. In no event, however, shall it be assumed that the work for which a permit has been issued has been inspected, tested or approved until written notice of said inspection, test or approval has been given by the inspection agency.
90-48.3. Rough Inspection. No installation or work for which a permit is required under the provisions of this code shall be covered, enclosed or in any other way concealed until such a work has been inspected, tested and approved, in writing, by the inspection agency.
90-48.4. Other Inspections. The inspection agency shall, in addition to these required inspections, conduct additional inspections and/or tests as may be necessary to assure the compliance with the provisions of this code.
90-49. Final Inspection. Upon completion and before issuance of the certificate of occupancy, a final inspection shall be made. All violations of the application and permit shall be noted, and the holder of the permit shall be notified of the discrepancies.
90-49.1. Approval. After the prescribed tests and/or inspection indicate the work or portion thereof complies in all respects with this code, a written notice of approval shall be issued by the inspection agency.
90-50. Right of entry. The Code Official and/or inspection agency shall have the authority to enter at any reasonable time any structure or premises for which a permit has been issued but has not received a certificate of occupancy.
For all other structures or premises, when the Code Official has reasonable cause to believe that a code violation exists, the Code Official is authorized to enter the structure or premises at reasonable times to inspect, subject to constitutional restrictions on unreasonable searches and seizures. If entry is refused or not obtained, the Code Official is authorized to pursue recourse as provided by law.
90-51. General. All work shall be conducted, installed and completed in a workmanlike and acceptable manner so as to secure the results intended by this code.
90-52. Unlawful Acts. It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to erect, construct, alter, extend, repair, remove, demolish or occupy any building, structure or equipment regulated by this code, or cause same to be done, in conflict with or in violation of any of the provisions of this code.
90-53. Notice of Violation. The Code Official shall serve a notice of violation or order on the owner and/or person responsible for the erection, construction, alteration, extension, repair, removal, demolition or occupancy of a building or structure in violation of the provisions of this code, or in violation of a detail statement or a plan approved thereunder, or in violation of a permit or certificate issued under the provisions of this code. Such order shall direct the discontinuance of the illegal action or condition and the abatement of the violation.
Such notice shall be deemed properly served if a copy thereof is delivered to the owner personally; or sent by certified or registered mail addressed to the owner at the last known address with the return receipt requested. If the certified or registered letter is returned showing that the letter was not delivered, a copy thereof shall be posted in a conspicuous place in or about the structure affected by such notice. Service of such notice in the foregoing manner upon the owner's agent or upon the person responsible for the structure shall constitute service of notice upon the owner.
90-54. Prosecution of Violation. If the notice of violation is not complied with promptly, the Code Official shall request the Solicitor to institute the appropriate proceeding at law or in equity to restrain, correct or abate such violation, or to require the removal or termination of the unlawful occupancy of the building or structure in violation of the provisions of this code or of the order or direction made pursuant thereto.
The cost, including engineering and legal fees for the proceedings shall be borne by the owner. The Solicitor shall collect all costs, including engineering and attorney's fees, from the owner together with an administrative fee of 10% of the same, and the cost unpaid within 20 days shall without further notice become a municipal lien and recoverable as provided by law for the collection of municipal claims or by action in assumpsit.
90-55. 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 Code Official, or of a permit or certificate issued under the provisions of this code, shall be guilty of a summary offense punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000 or by imprisonment to the extent allowed by law for the punishment of summary offenses, or both such fine and imprisonment. Each day that a violation continues after due notice has been served shall be deemed a separate offense.
90-56. Abatement of Violation. The imposition of the penalties herein prescribed shall not preclude the Solicitor from instituting appropriate action to prevent unlawful construction or to restrain, correct or abate a violation, or to prevent illegal occupancy of a building, structure or premises or to stop an illegal act, conduct, business or occupancy of a building or structure on or about any premises and collect the cost of all proceedings, including legal fees, from the violator(s).
90-57. Notice to Owner. Upon notice from the Code Official that work on any building or structure is being prosecuted contrary to the provisions of this code or in an unsafe and dangerous manner, such work shall be immediately stopped. The stop-work order shall be in writing and shall be given to the owner of the property involved or the owner's agent or to the person doing the work and shall state the conditions under which work will be permitted to resume.
90-58. Unlawful Continuance. Any person who shall continue any work in or about the structure after having been served with a stop-work order, except such work as that person is directed to perform to remove a violation or unsafe condition, shall be liable to a fine not to exceed $1,000 or imprisonment for not more than 90 days, or both, excluding work that the person is directed to perform to remove a violation or unsafe condition. Each day that a violation continues after due notice has been served shall be deemed a separate offense.
90-59. General. A certificate of occupancy, indicating completion of the work for which a permit was issued, shall be obtained prior to any occupancy of a structure.
90-60. Imminent Danger. When, in opinion of the Code Official, there is imminent danger which endangers life, because of a violation of this code, the Code Official is hereby authorized and empowered to order and require the occupants to vacate the same forthwith. The Code Official shall cause to be posted at each entrance to such structure a notice reading as follows: "This structure is unsafe and its occupancy has been prohibited by the Code Official." It shall be unlawful for any person to enter such structure except for the purpose of making the required repairs or of demolishing the same.
90-61. Temporary Safeguards. When, in the opinion of the Code Official, there is imminent danger due to an unsafe condition, the Code Official shall cause the necessary work to be done to render such structure temporarily safe, whether or not the legal procedure herein described has been instituted.
90-62. Closing Streets. When necessary for the public safety, the Code Official shall temporarily close structures and close, or order the authority having jurisdiction to close, sidewalks, streets, public ways and places adjacent to unsafe structures and prohibit the same from being used.
90-63. Emergency Repairs. For the purposes of this section, the Code Official shall employ the necessary labor and materials to perform the required work as expeditiously as possible.
90-64. Costs of Emergency Repairs. Costs incurred in the performance of emergency work shall be paid by the Township on approval of the Code Official. The Solicitor shall institute appropriate action against the owner of the premises where the unsafe structure is or was located.
The cost, including engineering and legal fees, for the proceedings shall be borne by the owner. The Solicitor shall collect all costs, including engineering and attorney's fees, from the owner together with an administrative fee of 10% of the same; and the cost unpaid within 20 days shall without further notice become a municipal lien and recoverable as provided by law for the collection of municipal claims or by action in assumpsit.
90-65. Unsafe Equipment. Equipment deemed unsafe by the Code Official shall not be operated after the date stated in the notice unless the required repairs or changes have been made and the equipment has been approved, or unless an extension of time has been secured from the Code Official in writing.
90-66. Authority to Seal Equipment. In the case of an emergency, the Code Official shall have the authority to seal out of service immediately any unsafe device or equipment regulated by this code.
90-67. Unlawful to Remove Seal. Any device or equipment sealed out of service by the Code Official shall be plainly identified in an approved manner. The identification shall not be tampered with, defaced or removed except by the Code Official and shall indicate the reason for such sealing.
90-68. Application for Appeal. Any person shall have the right to appeal a decision of the Code Official to the Board of Appeals. An application for appeal shall be based on a claim that the true intent of this code or the rules legally adopted thereunder have been incorrectly interpreted, the provisions of this code do not fully apply or an equivalent form of construction is to be used.
90-69. Means of Appeal. The procedure for appeal, establishment of appeal boards, qualification for members, hearing notice and procedure, together with decisions of the board and appeals thereof, shall be governed by procedure as set forth under Section 121.0 of the BOCA National Building Code, Thirteenth Edition, 1996, as adopted and amended by Ordinance No. 98-10.[4]
[1]
Editor's Note: See now Ch. 65, Building Construction.
[2]
Editor's Note: The current Fee Schedule is on file at the Town Hall.
[3]
Editor's Note: See now Ch. 65, Building Construction.
[4]
Editor's Note: See now Ch. 65, Building Construction.