Borough of Columbia, PA
Lancaster County
By using eCode360 you agree to be legally bound by the Terms of Use. If you do not agree to the Terms of Use, please do not use eCode360.
Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Columbia as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Fire Department — See Ch. 24.
Police Department — See Ch. 56.
[Adopted 6-10-1991 by Ord. No. 633; amended in its entirety 12-9-1991 by Ord. No. 637 (Ch. 5 of the 1971 Code)]
The Council, finding that there has been a proliferation of installation and use of commercial and residential automatic burglar and robbery alarm systems and fire alarm systems within the Borough, that a substantial increase in the number of false alarms being reported from these systems which have required Police and Fire Department response and that the unregulated use of such alarm systems pose a substantial threat to the orderly and effective provision of emergency services by the Police and Fire Departments, hereby declares it to be necessary to provide for the greater control and more effective regulations of alarm systems, alarm businesses and users.
This article shall be known as the "Columbia Borough Alarm Ordinance."
Certain terms, when used in this article, are defined as follows, except where the context clearly indicates a different meaning:
ALARM AGENT
Any person who is self-employed in or employed by an alarm business, either directly or indirectly, whose duties include selling, maintaining, leasing, servicing, repairing, altering, replacing, moving or installing on or in any building, structure or facility any alarm system.
ALARM BUSINESS
Any business operated by any individual, including a person self-employed or a partnership, corporation or other entity which engages in the activity of selling, leasing, maintaining, servicing, repairing, altering, replacing, moving or installing any alarm system or causing to be sold, leased, maintained, serviced, repaired, altered, replaced, moved or installed any alarm system in or on any building, structure or facility or employing alarm agent(s). This definition does not include a person who engages in the manufacture or sale of an alarm system from a fixed location and who neither visits the location where the alarm system is to be installed nor designs the scheme for physical location and installation of the alarm system in a specific location.
A. 
Any mechanical or electrically operated instrument composed of sensory apparatus and related hardware which is designed or used for:
(1) 
The detection of an unauthorized entry or attempted entry into a building, structure or facility or for alerting others of the commission of an unlawful act within a building, structure or facility, or both, and which emits a sound or transmits a signal or message when activated.
(2) 
The detection of a hazardous condition resulting from fire, heat, smoke or explosion within a building structure or facility and which emits a sound or transmits a signal or message when activated.
B. 
"Alarm systems" include but are not limited to local alarm systems, audible alarms, automatic telephone devices, alarms connected directly to the communications center, central stations and certain proprietary systems as set forth in Subsection A hereof.
C. 
This definition shall not include the following devices and their related hardware:
(1) 
Devices which are not designed for and as used do not register alarms that are audible, visible or perceptible outside of the protected building, structure or facility unless police response is expected or is a result of the alarm.
(2) 
Devices which are designed for and installed upon motorized vehicles or trailers.
(3) 
Devices maintained and operated by the Borough police used for the detection of unlawful acts and sometimes known as a "portable stakeout alarm system."
ALARM USER
Any person on whose premises an alarm system is maintained which system is not specifically exempted from regulation under this article. Sanctions imposed by this article shall be determined based upon false alarms occurring per permitted location and not based upon the total number of permits possessed by an alarm user.
AUTOMATIC PROTECTION DEVICE (APD)
Any mechanical or electrically operated instrument composed of sensory apparatus and related hardware which is designated or used for the detection of an unauthorized entry into a building, structure or facility or for alerting others of the commission of an unlawful act within a building, structure or facility, or both, and which emits a sound or transmits a signal or message when activated; or the detection of a hazardous condition resulting from fire, heat, smoke or explosion within a building, structure or facility and which emits a sound or transmits a signal or message when activated. "Automatic protection devices" include but are not limited to audible alarms, automatic dialing devices, alarms connected directly to communication centers and proprietor alarms.
AUTOMATIC TELEPHONE DEVICE
An alarm system which is interconnected to a telephone line and is programmed to select a predetermined telephone number and transmit by prerecorded voice message or coded signal an emergency message indicating a need for emergency response.
CENTRAL STATION
Any office, except the communication center, to which remote alarm and supervisory signaling devices are connected, where operators supervise the circuits and/or where guards are maintained continuously to investigate alarm signals.
CHIEF OF POLICE
The Chief of Police of the Columbia Borough Police Department or his designated representative. Wherever in this article duties or responsibilities are assigned to the Chief of Police, he may delegate them to such person or persons with the Police Department or Columbia Borough Fire Department as he deems necessary and expedient for the effective administration of this article.
[Amended 10-22-2019 by Ord. No. 918]
COMMUNICATIONS CENTER
The radio communications room of the Columbia Borough Police Department and the Lancaster County Fire and Police Radio Network.
FALSE ALARM
An activation of an automatic protection device (APD) signal, necessitating a response by the Columbia Borough Police Department or Columbia Borough Fire Department where an emergency situation does not exist at a particular permitted location. The term does not include alarms caused by acts of nature or utility service interruptions.
[Amended 10-22-2019 by Ord. No. 918]
FIRE CHIEF
The Borough of Columbia Fire Chief.
[Amended 12-16-2003 by Ord. No. 726]
FIRE DEPARTMENT
The Columbia Borough Fire Department.
[Amended 12-16-2003 by Ord. No. 726; 10-22-2019 by Ord. No. 918]
LOCAL ALARM SYSTEM
An alarm system which is attached to the interior or exterior of a building and which, when activated, causes an audible and/or visual warning signal which can be heard and/or seen outside the building and is designed to attract attention when activated by an intrusion or other emergency requiring Police or Fire Department response.
PERSON
An individual, firm, partnership, association, corporation, company or organization of any kind, and when used in any clause prescribing and imposing a penalty, "person" includes the individual members, partners, officers and managers, or any of them, of partnerships, associations and similar entities and the officers, directors and managers, or any of them, of corporations.
PROPRIETARY SYSTEM
An alarm system which sounds within the protected premises or a control center under the supervision of the proprietor of the protected building, structure or facility. If Police or Fire Department response is expected or is a result of that proprietary alarm signal or message, it thereby becomes an alarm system as defined by this article.
RESPONSE ASSESSMENT FEE
A fee charged a permittee for each and every false alarm to which the Columbia Borough Police Department or Fire Department responds. Exemption: No fee shall be charged if:
A. 
The false alarm response is the first, second or third Police or Fire Department response per permit year.
[Amended 12-16-2003 by Ord. No. 726]
B. 
The alarm is received indicating line trouble.
C. 
The false alarm was caused by an act of nature.
D. 
The false alarm was caused by utility service interruptions.
A. 
Business permit required. No person shall engage in, conduct or carry on an alarm business at any time without first applying to the Chief of Police for and receiving an alarm business permit.
[Amended 12-16-2003 by Ord. No. 726]
B. 
Alarm agent identification required. No person shall engage in or conduct business or operate as an alarm agent without carrying and displaying, upon request to any police officer, an alarm agent identification card.
C. 
Alarm user permit required. No person shall install or use an alarm system without having applied for and been issued a current and valid alarm user permit or special interim permit that has not been suspended or revoked.
D. 
Alarm system installations without permit. No alarm business or alarm agent shall install any alarm system upon any premises unless and until an alarm user permit for such alarm system has first been issued to the alarm user.
E. 
False alarm fee. No alarm user shall fail to pay when due the false alarm fee required by § 74-9C(1) for false alarms occurring during the term of a special interim permit.
F. 
Testing prohibited without permission. No person shall conduct any test or demonstration of any alarm system designed to make direct connection to the communications center at any time without first obtaining permission from the Chief of Police. Such permission is not required where the equipment to be tested or demonstrated is connected to an intermediary and the receipt of the alarm or signal is not relayed to the Police Department or Columbia Borough Fire Department by any means.
[Amended 10-22-2019 by Ord. No. 918]
G. 
Intentional false alarm. Section 4905 of the Penal Code, Act of 1972, P.L. 1482, No. 334 (18 Pa.C.S.A. § 4905) makes it a misdemeanor of the first degree for any person to knowingly cause a false alarm of fire or other emergency to be transmitted to any organization, official or volunteer, for dealing with emergencies involving danger to life or property. Alarm users should be on notice that intentional activation of an alarm system under circumstances where the physical security of the premises or safety of the activator or other persons upon the premises is not threatened which is responded to by the Columbia Borough Police Department or Fire Department may subject the activator to prosecution for violation of the aforesaid section of the Penal Code.
H. 
Automatic dialing device prohibited. No person shall program, use or permit to be used any automatic dialing device that has been programmed to automatically transmit a request for emergency response directly to the communications center or any other Columbia Borough Police Department or Fire Department telephone number.
A. 
Applications and fees.
(1) 
Applications. Any person engaging in alarm business activities defined in this article, within 30 days of the effective date of this section, shall apply for an alarm business permit. Such application shall be signed by the individual proprietor of such business or by a partner or by the proper corporate officials as is appropriate for the form of the business seeking the permit, shall contain such information as the Chief of Police shall by regulation require as necessary to administer and enforce this article and shall be accompanied by the required fee.
(2) 
Permit fee. An annual fee as set from time to time by resolution of Borough Council shall be due and payable by January 1 of each year. The initial fee shall be due with the application. There shall be no prorating of the initial fee even though the permit has been applied for after January 1. Under no circumstances shall fees be refunded.
[Amended 12-16-2003 by Ord. No. 726]
(3) 
Expiration date. An alarm business permit shall automatically terminate and expire on December 31 next following issuance of the permit but shall be automatically renewed upon payment of the permit fee if received prior to or on the expiration date.
[Amended 12-16-2003 by Ord. No. 726]
B. 
Processing of applications.
(1) 
Time. Following completion of the application and payment of the fee, the Chief of Police shall have 30 working days to investigate the applicant, to process the application and to grant or deny a permit.
(2) 
Grounds for denial. Permits to any applicant shall be denied if:
(a) 
The applicant does not agree to comply or fails to comply with the requirements of this article and rules and regulations adopted and orders of the Chief of Police issued pursuant to this article.
(b) 
The applicant has knowingly made any false, misleading or fraudulent statement of material fact in the application or in any report or record required to be filed with the Borough.
(c) 
The applicant has had a similar type of permit previously revoked for good causes within a two-year period preceding the filing of the application, provided that after two years a permit may be issued where the applicant can show a material change in the circumstances since the date of the revocation demonstrating competency and ability to conduct business in accordance with this article.
(3) 
Denial notices. When an application for a permit is denied, the applicant shall be notified, in writing, of the denial with the basis thereof. If the reason(s) for denial are correctable, the applicant shall be so advised with suggestions on how these corrections can be made and what time limit has been set for making such corrections. The notice of denial shall inform the applicant that appeals may be made in the manner outlined in § 74-10.
(4) 
Applicability. Applicants already doing business in the Borough on the effective date of this section may continue to do business while their permit applications are being processed. An applicant not previously doing business in the Borough on the effective date of this section shall not commence doing business until his application is approved.
C. 
Alarm business responsibilities.
(1) 
Alarm businesses shall be required to:
(a) 
Alarm agent identification cards. Issue to all alarm agents connected with or in the employment of the business identification cards containing as a minimum:
[1] 
The name of the business.
[2] 
The Borough alarm business permit number.
[3] 
The name of the alarm agent and a recent photograph of the agent embossed on the identification card.
[4] 
The signature of an official of the business and agent named.
(b) 
Identify existing alarm system. Within 30 days after the effective date of this section or upon receipt of an alarm business permit, whichever first occurs, supply the Columbia Borough Police Department and Fire Department in circumstances relating to the sale or installation of fire alarms with a complete list of the names and addresses of all persons within the Borough to whom or for whom alarm systems have been sold or installed and/or who are currently under contract for service to such a system.
(c) 
Investigation of false alarms. At the direction of the Chief of Police, investigate false alarms transmitted from any alarm system they have installed or presently service where the Police or Fire Department have been unable to determine the cause of a recent false alarm, and thereafter submit a written report of their findings within 15 days of being directed to conduct the investigation unless the time to report has been extended by the Chief of Police for good cause shown.
(2) 
Statistical data. In addition to any other information that may be required to be supplied by the provisions of this article, the Chief of Police may require an alarm business to furnish him with such statistical data as may be reasonably available relative to specified periods of operation.
(3) 
Furnish instructions to alarm users. Every alarm business selling, leasing or furnishing to any alarm user an alarm system shall furnish the user with written instructions that provide information to enable the user to operate the alarm properly and to obtain service for the alarm system at any time.
D. 
Grounds for suspension or revocation.
(1) 
In addition to any penalties which may be imposed for the violation of provisions of this article, an alarm business permit may be suspended or revoked by the Chief of Police for any of the following reasons:
(a) 
The violation of any of the provisions of this article.
(b) 
The failure to comply with rules or regulations adopted and orders of the Chief of Police issued pursuant to this article.
(c) 
Where the applicant or permit holder has knowingly made any false, misleading or fraudulent statement of material fact in the application for a permit or in any report or record to be filed with the Chief of Police.
(2) 
Alarm permits solely for fire alarm systems shall not be subject to suspension or revocation.
E. 
Suspension or revocation procedure.
(1) 
Notice. Prior to the suspension or revocation of an alarm business permit becoming effective, the Chief of Police shall notify the permittee, in writing, of the suspension or revocation, the reasons therefor and his right to a hearing before the Chief of Police, if desired, and that unless a request for a hearing before the Chief of Police is filed, in writing, within 15 days of the date of the notice of suspension or revocation, the suspension or revocation shall then become effective without further action. Such notice shall be served upon the permittee by delivering the same personally or by leaving the notice at the place of business or residence of the permittee in the custody of a person of suitable age and discretion. In the event that the permittee cannot be found and the service of the notice cannot be otherwise made in the manner herein provided, a copy of such notice shall be mailed, registered mail, postage fully prepaid, addressed to the permittee at his or her place of business or residence as shown on the permit application.
(2) 
Hearing. If a hearing is requested before the Chief of Police, it shall be conducted by the Chief of Police or his designee within 10 days of the request and shall be conducted in accordance with the Local Agency Law (2 Pa.C.S.A. § 105). If following the hearing the suspension or revocation is upheld, the reasons therefor shall be set forth, in writing, and delivered to the permittee by ordinary mail. A decision upholding or sustaining the suspension or revocation shall result in such suspension or revocation becoming effective and not subject to further stay except upon order of court.
A. 
Discontinue automatic dialing devices. Within 90 days after the effective date of this section, all automatic dialing devices that have been programmed to automatically transmit a request for emergency response directly to the communications center or any other Columbia Borough Police Department or Fire Department telephone number shall be disconnected.
B. 
Local alarm systems. Local alarm systems shall be equipped with a timing mechanism that shall disengage the audible and/or visual alarm after a maximum period of 30 minutes. Audible alarms without such a time mechanism, other than fire alarms, shall be unlawful in the Borough and shall be disconnected by the user within 60 days from the effective date of this section.
C. 
Inspections. Every premises upon which an alarm system is installed shall be subject to inspection at reasonable times by authorized personnel of the Columbia Borough Police Department or Fire Department, such inspection to be limited to such areas as are necessary to inspect the installation and operation of the alarm system.
A. 
Permit required. Any alarm user or any person desiring to use an alarm system shall, within 60 days of the effective date of this section, file an application for an alarm user permit for each system in use with the Chief of Police; thereafter no person shall install or use an alarm system without having applied for and been issued a current and valid alarm user permit or special interim permit that has not been suspended or revoked. A separate permit shall be required for each protected location.
B. 
Applications and annual fee.
(1) 
Required information. The alarm user permit application shall, in addition to such information as is required by the Chief of Police to administer and enforce this article, contain the following information:
(a) 
The applicant's name, address and telephone number.
(b) 
The address of the residence or business in or upon which the alarm system has been or shall be installed.
(c) 
The type of alarm system installed or to be installed and the name of the primary manufacturer of the system or its major components.
(d) 
The name, address and alarm business permit number of the alarm business, seller, installer and/or alarm business who shall service or monitor the alarm system.
(e) 
The names, addresses and telephone numbers of at least two persons, three in the case of corporations, who are authorized to respond to an emergency and gain access to the premises where the alarm system is installed.
(2) 
Permit fee. An annual fee as set from time to time by resolution of the Borough Council shall be due and payable by January 1 of each year. The initial fee shall be due with the application. There shall be no prorating of the initial fee even though the permit has been applied for after January 1. Under no circumstances shall fees be refunded.
[Amended 12-16-2003 by Ord. No. 726]
(3) 
Expiration date. An alarm business permit shall automatically terminate and expire on December 31 next following issuance of the permit but shall be automatically renewed upon payment of the permit fee if received prior to or on the expiration date.
[Amended 12-16-2003 by Ord. No. 726]
(4) 
Response assessment fee. A person that owns, uses or possesses an alarm device or automatic dialing device may not, after causing or permitting three false alarms to occur in a consecutive twelve-month period, cause or permit a subsequent false alarm to occur in the same consecutive twelve-month period. A person that violates this subsection commits a summary offense and shall, upon conviction, be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $300 pursuant to 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 7511.
[Amended 12-16-2003 by Ord. No. 726]
(5) 
Exemption from fees. The following persons are exempt from fees:
(a) 
Alarm users who are over the age of 65 and are the primary residents of the residence; and where no business is conducted in said residence.
(b) 
The United States government, the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, counties, municipal corporations, departments thereof and other governmental entities are exempt from the fees required in this article.
C. 
Processing of applications. Following completion of the application and payment of the required fee, the Chief of Police shall have 15 working days to investigate the applicant, to process the application and to grant or deny a permit.
D. 
Denial of permits.
(1) 
Grounds for denial. Alarm user permits to any applicant shall be denied if:
(a) 
The applicant does not agree to comply or fails to comply with the requirements of this article and rules and regulations adopted pursuant to this article.
(b) 
The applicant has knowingly made any false, misleading or fraudulent statement of a material fact in the application or in any report or record required to be filed under this article.
(c) 
The applicant has had a similar type of permit previously revoked for good cause in the past unless the applicant can show a material change in the circumstance since the date of revocation through acceptable conduct under a special interim permit.
(2) 
Notice of denial. When an application for a permit is denied, the applicant shall be notified, in writing, of the denial with the basis thereof. If the reason(s) for denial are correctable, the applicant shall be so advised with suggestions on how these corrections can be made and what time limit has been set for making such corrections. The notice of denial shall inform the applicant that appeals may be made in the manner outlined in § 74-10.
E. 
Display of permit. An alarm user permit, including a special interim permit, shall be kept on the premises where the alarm system is located and shall be produced and displayed to any police officer or member of the Columbia Borough Fire Department upon request.
[Amended 10-22-2019 by Ord. No. 918]
F. 
Maintain current information. Applicants for business permits shall agree, in writing, and as a condition for receiving and keeping permits to notify the Police Department or Fire Department in circumstances regarding fire alarms, in writing, within 10 days of any changes in the application currently on file, i.e., ownership, management or persons to be notified in the event of an alarm activation.
A. 
Grounds.
(1) 
General. An alarm user permit may be suspended or revoked by the Chief of Police for any of the following:
(a) 
The violation of any of the provisions of this article.
(b) 
The failure to comply with rules and regulations adopted pursuant to this article.
(c) 
Where the applicant or permit holder has knowingly made any false, misleading or fraudulent statement of material fact in the application for a permit or in any report or record to be filed with the Chief of Police or Borough agency.
(d) 
Where the applicant or permit holder has had a similar type of permit previously revoked for a good cause in the past unless the applicant can show a material change in the circumstances since the date of revocation through acceptable conduct under a special interim permit.
(2) 
False alarms. Upon receipt of the fifth false alarm in a twelve-month period, the alarm user's permit shall be suspended for the balance of the permit year. The user may apply for an interim permit which may be issued by the Chief of Police or his designee, after payment of an interim permit fee as set from time to time by resolution of the Borough Council.
(3) 
Intentional false alarms. An alarm user permit shall be revoked in the event of the intentional activation of a knowingly false alarm by the alarm user or by members of his family over 12 years of age, his employees or agents.
[Amended 12-16-2003 by Ord. No. 726]
(4) 
Automatic suspension and citation. After the 10th false alarm response per permit year, the alarm user's permit will be revoked and will be enforced by the issuance of a citation for violation of compliance with this article. The user may apply for a permit renewal for the next permit year, which shall begin January 1 of the next calendar year.
(5) 
Nonpayment as grounds for suspension. Nonpayment by the permit user of the fees assessed within 15 days of their receipt will constitute a suspension or revocation of the alarm user permit.
(6) 
Newly installed APD's. On newly installed or recently modified APD's, the Chief of Police may grant up to a thirty-day grace period for user familiarization and/or adjustment of mechanical malfunctions, during which time the false alarm activation will not be counted and response assessment fees will not be changed.
(7) 
Alarm user permits solely for fire alarm systems shall not be subject to suspension or revocation.
B. 
Procedure.
(1) 
Notice. Prior to the suspension or revocation of an alarm user permit's becoming effective, the Chief of Police shall notify the permittee, in writing, of the suspension or revocation, the reasons therefor, including if action is being taken pursuant to Subsection A(2) or (3) hereof, the dates of false alarms and the reasons they are considered false alarms, his right to a hearing before the Chief of Police, if desired, and that unless a request for a hearing before the Chief of Police is filed, in writing, within 15 days of the date of the notice of suspension or revocation, the suspension or revocation shall then become effective without further action. Such notice shall be served upon the permittee by delivering the same personally or by leaving the notice at the place of business or residence of the permittee in the custody of a person of suitable age and discretion. In the event that the permittee cannot be found and the service of such notice cannot be otherwise made in the manner herein provided, a copy of the notice shall be mailed, registered mail, postage fully prepaid, addressed to the permittee at his or her place of business or residence as shown on the permit application.
(2) 
Hearing. If a hearing is requested before the Chief of Police, it shall be conducted by the Chief of Police or his designee within 10 days of the request and shall be conducted in accordance with the Local Agency Law (2 Pa.C.S.A. § 105). If, following the hearing, the suspension or revocation is upheld, the reasons therefor shall be set forth, in writing, and delivered to the permittee by ordinary mail. A decision upholding or sustaining the suspension or revocation shall result in such suspension or revocation becoming effective and not subject to further stay except under order of court.
(3) 
Special provisions for false alarms. Any false alarm occurring while suspension or revocation of an alarm user permit has been stayed pending the expiration of the time permitted to request a hearing before the Chief of Police or his designee, shall:
(a) 
In the event that the suspension or revocation is upheld, be considered a violation of this article.
(b) 
In the event that the hearing results in reversing the initial suspension or revocation notice, be counted as a false alarm for purposes of Subsection A(2) hereof.
(4) 
Liability of Borough limited. Where the Chief of Police orders that an APD be disconnected, no liability shall incur to the Borough or its employees through such action.
A. 
General. A special interim permit may be issued to any alarm user who has been given notice that his alarm user permit has been suspended or revoked. The special interim permit may be applied for and issued even though the notice of suspension or revocation is not yet final. The special interim permit shall be issued upon compliance with the following conditions:
(1) 
Application. An application shall be filed containing such information as shall be required by the Chief of Police.
(2) 
Fee and report. The application shall be accompanied by:
(a) 
A fee as set from time to time by resolution of the Borough Council.
(b) 
A report detailing the steps the applicant has taken and shall take to reduce and eliminate false alarms.
(3) 
Review by Chief of Police. The Chief of Police shall determine that the alarm system to be used has been properly installed and serviced and deficiencies therein corrected and is satisfied that the steps outlined by the applicant in his report shall tend to reduce or eliminate false alarms.
B. 
Term of permit. A special interim permit shall be valid for a period of six months from the date of issuance and shall only be subject to renewal upon refiling of an application therefor and compliance with Subsection A(1) through (3) hereof; provided, however, that if during the term of the special interim permit no false alarms are received from the alarm system subject to the permit, the alarm user shall be eligible to reapply for an alarm user permit.
C. 
False alarms. In the event of a false alarm from any alarm system that occurs during the term of a special interim permit, the alarm user shall:
(1) 
False alarm fee: Pay a false alarm fee of not more than $300 pursuant to 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 7511. False alarm fees shall be payable within 15 days of an alarm user being invoiced for such fee by the Chief of Police or his designee. (All fees shall be deposited in the Borough general fund.)
[Amended 12-16-2003 by Ord. No. 726]
(2) 
Report required: Submit a written report to the Chief of Police within 15 days of the false alarm setting forth the cause for the false alarm and the corrective steps taken to prevent recurrence.
(3) 
Bar to obtaining alarm user permit: Be ineligible to reapply for an alarm user permit upon the expiration of the special interim permit term but shall be required to renew the special interim permit.
D. 
Renewal limitation. A special interim permit may not be renewed for more than three consecutive terms, except that there shall be no limitation for alarm users who are required by law to have and maintain alarm systems. Any alarm user who becomes ineligible for renewal of a special interim permit shall be required to cease use of the alarm system; provided, however, that nothing herein shall prohibit an alarm user from converting the alarm system to and using it as a proprietary alarm.
A. 
Time and manner; appeal fee. Within 30 days after denial of an application for or renewal of any permit by the Chief of Police or action by the Chief of Police suspending or revoking a permit becoming final, any person so affected may appeal such action to the Board of Appeals by filing a notice of appeal, in writing, with the Chief of Police setting forth the specific grounds upon which the appeal is based, together with an appeal fee as set from time to time by resolution of the Borough Council.
B. 
Hearing and decision. Upon the filing of an appeal, the Chief of Police shall set a time and place for hearing before the Board of Appeals and shall notify the appellant thereof. The hearing shall be set within 30 days of the filing of the appeal. The hearing shall be conducted in accordance with the requirements of the Local Agency Law (2 Pa.C.S.A. § 105). The appellant and any other interested party shall be given a reasonable opportunity to be heard in order to show cause why the determination of the Chief of Police should not be upheld. In all cases the burden of proof shall be upon the appellant to show that there was no substantial evidence to support the decision of the Chief of Police. The decision of the Board of Appeals shall be in writing and shall state the reasons therefor.
C. 
Appeal not a stay. The filing of an appeal hereunder shall not operate to stay the action or decision of the Chief of Police which is the subject of the appeal.
D. 
Board of Appeals. The Board, for the purposes of this article, shall be the Building Board of Housing Appeals and Revisions of the Borough, which Board shall have full authority to carry out the duties of the Board of Appeals as set forth in this article.
The Chief of Police may promulgate such regulations as are necessary for the administration and enforcement of this article. Before becoming effective, any such regulations shall be approved by resolution of the Council and thereafter shall be available for public inspection.
The information furnished and secured pursuant to this article shall be confidential in character and shall not be disclosed except in accordance with law or order of court or if required in connection with the administration and enforcement of this article.
This article shall be enforced by the Columbia Borough Police Department and Fire Department acting through the Chief of Police or his designated representative.
A. 
General. Except as specifically provided above, whoever violates any provision of this article or of the regulations promulgated hereunder shall, upon conviction thereof in a summary proceeding, be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $600 for each and every offense, plus costs of prosecution, to be collected as other fines and costs are by law collectible, and, in default of payment of such fine and costs, shall be imprisoned for not more than 30 days. Each day during which any person violates any provision of this article shall constitute a separate offense.
[Amended 12-16-2003 by Ord. No. 726]
B. 
Payment of fees no bar to prosecution. The payment of any fees required shall not be a bar against prosecution for any violation under this article.
C. 
No limitation of remedies. Institution of a prosecution for the imposition of the foregoing penalties shall not be construed to limit or deny the right of the Borough to such equitable or other remedies as may be allowed by law.
D. 
Written notice of false alarm and response assessment fees. A written notice, in ticket form, advising of said false alarm and indicating an appropriate response assessment fee due shall be issued in the name of and served upon the permittee or any person connected with the alarm system.
[Adopted 12-11-2017 by Ord. No. 891]
The following structures shall be equipped with a key lock box at or near the main entrance or such other location required by the Fire Chief of the Borough of Columbia:
A. 
Commercial or industrial structures protected by an automatic alarm system or automatic suppression system, or such other structures that are constructed in a manner that restricts access during an emergency as shall be determined from time to time by the Fire Chief.
B. 
Multifamily residential structures that have a common entrance for two or more rental units.
[Amended 8-13-2019 by Ord. No. 917]
C. 
Governmental structures and nursing care facilities.
All newly constructed structures subject to this article shall have the key lock box installed and operational prior to the issuance of an occupancy permit. All structures in existence on the effective date of this article and subject to this article shall have one year from the effective date of this article to have a key lock box installed and operational.
The Fire Chief of the Borough of Columbia shall designate the type of key lock box system to be implemented within the Borough of Columbia and shall have the authority to require all structures subject to this article to use the designated system.
The owner or operator of a structure required to have a key lock box shall, at all times, keep a key in the lock box that will allow for access to the structure by the Fire Chief, and emergency fire personnel, Police Chief of the Borough of Columbia, and police personnel.
The Fire Chief shall be authorized to implement rules and regulations for the use of the key lock box system, which rules and regulations shall be posted on the website of the Borough of Columbia.
[Amended 8-13-2019 by Ord. No. 917]
The Fire Chief will determine the type of key and size of the key lock box.
[Amended 8-13-2019 by Ord. No. 917]
The key lock box shall be installed at a location designated by the Fire Chief and shall be identified in a manner described by the Fire Chief, or in the alternative, designated and identified by the Fire Chief’s designee.
[1]
Editor’s Note: Former § 74-22, Required dimensions, was repealed 8-13-2019 by Ord. No. 917.
[Amended 8-13-2019 by Ord. No. 917]
The owner or operator of the facility shall update the appropriate documents within the key lock box on an annual basis or more frequently when deemed necessary by the Fire Chief and/or Code Official and shall send the Fire Chief all of the updated material, including an updated copy of the emergency and hazardous chemical inventory form, which shall be placed in the key lock box as well as disseminated among the Codes Department and emergency response personnel, including members of the Police Department.
A. 
Whoever violates any provision of this article regarding key lock box requirements shall, upon conviction in a summary proceeding, be sentenced for each violation to pay a fine of not more than $600, together with costs of prosecution for each violation, and, in default of the payment of such fine and costs, to undergo imprisonment for not more than 30 days. Each violation of any provision of this article, and each day that such violation shall exist, shall constitute a separate violation and offense.
B. 
Any person who violates any provision of this article may have their permit to use an outdoor fire device suspended or revoked by Columbia Borough Council, in the Council's sole discretion.