[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of Falls Township 7-5-1973. Section 125-6 amended at time of adoption of Code; see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I. Other amendments noted where applicable]
Excavations in streets — See Ch. 188. Streets and sidewalks, Art. III.
The owner, tenant or person occupying any land in Falls Township, Bucks County, Pennsylvania, which is located in any area zoned residential or farming-mining on the Township Zoning Map and upon which there is excavated, contained or maintained any quarry or other excavation containing water in excess of five feet in depth at any point which is located adjacent to or within 500 feet of any other property line, school, church, road, street, highway, park, playground or private or public dwelling, shall place, install and maintain a protective fence at least six feet in height, of a kind and quality which shall resist the elements for at least 25 years, around such quarry or excavation, for a distance of 1,000 feet from the nearest residence. The fence shall be of such strength and construction as to withstand the weight or force of any person from walking beyond, under, between or through the fence and such as will prevent and protect any person from accidentally falling into the excavation. No apertures in such fencing shall be greater than six inches, except gates for entrance and exit, which shall be kept closed and securely locked at all times when unattended.
Editor's Note: The Zoning Map is on file in the office of the Township Secretary.
The owner, tenant or person occupying any such land upon which there is such a quarry or other excavation as set forth in § 125-1 shall likewise place, install and maintain conspicuous notices, warning of the dangerous condition of the aforesaid premises, on said fence at intervals of 200 feet.
The location of such fence shall be within 10 feet of the right-of-way line of all public roads abutting the properties or within 10 feet of the boundary line of all abutting properties.
Any person, owner, tenant or occupier may, in lieu of erecting a fence as hereinbefore required, remove the hazardous condition by forthwith draining the water from the quarry or excavation as aforesaid, or, within 90 days, by filling in such quarry or excavation, or by so grading the excavation as to meet the slope requirements of § 125-5 next; provided, however, that he may not drain and/or fill in only a portion of such quarry or other excavation in order to have the undrained or unfilled-in remainder of such quarry or other excavation more than 500 feet from any other property line, school, church, road, street, highway, park, playground or dwelling, but in all such cases the entire quarry or other excavation must be so drained and/or filled in.
In the event that any owner, tenant or occupant of premises affected by this chapter shall require additional time to fulfill whichever of the above requirements he has elected, he shall so notify the Secretary of the Board of Supervisors of Falls Township and such additional period shall be given as may in the discretion of the Board of Supervisors seem just and equitable. The failure or neglect of such owner, tenant or occupant of such premises to drain and/or fill in such quarry or other excavation or to properly grade same (whichever option be has elected) within such additional period as allotted to him by the aforesaid Board of Supervisors shall require the fencing and notices as hereinbefore set forth without any additional notice whatsoever; the failure of such owner, tenant or occupant of the premises to advise the said Board of Supervisors of a need for additional time as aforesaid shall operate as a waiver of any request for such additional time to drain or fill in or grade the aforesaid quarry or other excavation and shall further operate to require the fencing and notices as hereinbefore set forth.
Any person hereinafter digging or excavating any quarry or other excavation upon any premises in Falls Township shall so dig the same that the banks of such excavation shall have a slope which shall be one foot vertical to 1 1/2 feet horizontal from the surrounding surface of adjacent land to the bottom of the aforesaid excavation, continuing below the water line should it be such an excavation as to have water accumulated therein; provided, however, that in any case where any such digging or excavation is done or used in connection with any manufacturing operation on the same premises and such quarry or other excavation is completely enclosed by a fence and gate or gates, whether such fencing is around the perimeter of said excavation or encloses a larger tract of land, and such land containing such excavation is under the continuous supervision of a watchman or watchmen or a guard or guards, then and under these circumstances this requirement as to slope is waived.
[Amended 12-1-1977 by Ord. No. 77-9; 7-28-1988 by Ord. No. 88-13; 1-25-2001 by Ord. No. 2001-1]
Any person, firm or corporation who violates or permits a violation of this chapter shall be guilty of a summary violation and, upon conviction, shall be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $1,000, plus all court costs, including reasonable attorney's fees, incurred by the Township in the enforcement of this chapter. Each day a violation exists shall constitute a separate offense. In default of the payment of any fine, the defendant shall be sentenced to imprisonment to the extent allowed by law for the punishment of summary offenses. Further, the appropriate officers or agents of the Township are hereby authorized to file a citation for such summary violation and seek any other available relief at law or equity, including injunction to enforce compliance with this chapter.
In addition to the above, the Board of Supervisors of Falls Township shall have the additional right to institute appropriate proceedings in any court of record against any owner, tenant or occupant of any land in Falls Township on which there is now located or on which there is presently being excavated any quarry or other excavation, seeking injunctive or other equitable relief in the event of any violation of the terms of this chapter.