Procedures for handling nuisances. The Health Officer, upon receiving a complaint of the existence within the Borough of Columbia of a nuisance which may affect the public health or is or may be so offensive to the senses of a person of normal sensibility as to interfere with the comfort or enjoyment of life or when the probable existence of any such nuisance comes to his attention, shall make an immediate and thorough investigation; and if such nuisance exists, he shall take all measures within his power and authority to secure its abatement.
The Health Officer shall make or cause to be made such surveys, investigations, inspections and visits as he may deem necessary to ascertain the existence of a nuisance within the Borough of Columbia or to prevent the occurrence of a nuisance within the Borough by securing compliance with the provisions of this health code.
The Health Officer shall collect or cause to be collected and shall analyze or cause to have analyzed all samples, specimens, materials or substances from any premises whatsoever wherein or whereon a nuisance is suspected to exist for the purpose of determining the existence of a nuisance or noncompliance with this health code.
Authority of the Health Officer.
Whenever any nuisance, source of filth, or cause or probable cause of sickness shall be found by the Health Officer to exist on any private or public property within the Borough of Columbia in violation of this health code, which violation injuriously affects or may affect the health and/or welfare of the residents of the Borough of Columbia, the Health Officer shall order the owner, occupant or user thereof, by appropriate action, at the expense of such owner, occupant or user, to correct and remove such nuisance, source of filth or cause or probable cause of sickness within such reasonable time as the Health Officer shall determine. Service of such order shall be as follows:
By delivery personally to the owner, occupant or user, whichever one is the responsible party, or by leaving the notice at the usual abode of the owner, occupant or user with a person of suitable age and discretion; or
By certified or registered mail addressed to the owner, occupant or user at his last-known address with postage prepaid thereon; or
By posting and keeping posted for 24 hours a copy of the notice in placard form in a conspicuous place on the premises in violation.
Whenever the Health Officer finds that an emergency exists which requires immediate action to protect the public health, he may issue an order, prior to notice herein required, reciting the existence of such an emergency and requiring that such action be taken as he deems necessary to meet the emergency.
Except as set forth in Article V, § 126-20, any person or entity who is aggrieved by the action of the Health Officer or the Board of Health taken pursuant to this chapter of the Code of the Borough of Columbia may appeal that action to the Borough Council of the Borough of Columbia. Borough Council shall, in writing, within 45 days of receipt of the written appeal, hold a hearing thereon in accordance with the rules and regulations of the Local Agency Law of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
Editor's Note: See 2 Pa.C.S.A. § 105 et seq.
Every person who shall provide a toilet for the use of employees, patrons or members, or available to the public, shall maintain such toilet at all times in a clean, well-lighted, ventilated and sanitary condition. An adequate supply of clean toilet paper, hand-washing soap and single-use towels shall be provided at all times. The floor of any such toilet room shall be impervious to moisture and properly drained. No drinking cup, towel, hairbrush or comb shall be provided for common user in any such toilet or in a washroom, restroom or looker room adjacent thereto. The owner of the building or his agent in charge thereof, wherein two or more tenants shall have common use of a toilet or shower, shall be responsible for the maintenance or repair of such toilet or shower and keep it in a clean and sanitary condition.
Definitions. As used in this section, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- A permanent construction consisting of at least three side walls and a roof.
- COMMERCIAL USE
- Operation of a business or enterprise which provides a service or product for sale to the public. For the purposes of this article, "commercial use" shall include but not be limited to animal hospitals, veterinarian establishments, pet grooming salons, pet stores, laboratories and zoological gardens.
- A building commonly used to keep fowl.
- An unroofed, enclosed area in which animals are habitually confined.
- A small enclosure.
- A roofed or partially roofed area providing protection from the elements.
- SMALL ANIMAL
- Dog or cat or other animal weighing under 100 pounds.
General requirements. No person may keep an animal, fowl or reptile in or on any premises in which such keeping is prohibited by law or ordinance of the Borough or is prohibited as a use of property by the Zoning Ordinance of the Borough of Columbia or is prohibited by a regulation adopted and promulgated by any appropriate authority of the Borough of Columbia including the Building Code Official, Fire Marshal, or any governmental authority having competent jurisdiction.
Location of buildings and structures. No person may erect a building or shelter or enclosure for animals or fowl without securing a permit from the Code Enforcement Officer of the Borough of Columbia. No person shall keep and maintain within the limits of the Borough any buildings, shelters or corrals for any animals or domestic fowl unless said buildings, shelters or corrals shall be so located on the property as to be at least 20 feet from any building used for human habitation, and at least 100 feet from any food-service establishment.
Health and sanitation. Every stable or other building wherein any animal is kept shall be constructed of such material and such manner that it can be clean and sanitary at all times.
The Health Officer may require such other measures to be taken as may be necessary to insure proper protection of the public health and safety and compliance with this health code.
All structures, corrals, pens or yards wherein small animals or fowl are kept shall be maintained in a clean and sanitary condition, devoid of all rodents or vermin, free from objectionable odors. No manure shall be allowed to accumulate nor shall be dumped on any open area or lot in the Borough of Columbia. The Health Officer, upon the complaint of any person, shall inspect such structure or premises and issue any such order as may be necessary to carry out the provisions of this health code.
No person owning, harboring, keeping or in charge of any dogs shall cause or allow such dog to defecate upon any other person's private property without the permission of such other person or upon any public property. Where such person shall immediately remove all feces deposited by the animal and dispose of the same in a sanitary manner, the nuisance created by defecation shall be considered abated and such person shall not be in violation of this article.
Guide dogs accompanying a blind person, dogs used to assist any other physically handicapped persons or animals used in any police or fire activity shall be exempt from the provisions of this article.
The provisions of this article shall be enforced by the Health Officer, his duly authorized representatives, and any other officer having police power within the Borough of Columbia.
In undertaking the enforcement of this article the Borough of Columbia is assuming only to promote the general welfare. The Borough of Columbia is not assuming, nor is it imposing on any of its officers or employees, an obligation for breach of which it is liable and money damages to any person who claim that any breach approximately caused injury.
Violation of this article shall not be considered negligent per se.
Except as provided in Subsection D(2) below, any citizen may commence a civil action on its own behalf against any person except the Borough, commonwealth, or United States, or any department or agency thereof, to enforce the provisions of this article.
No action may be commenced under this subsection:
Prior to 30 days after the plaintiff has given written notice of the alleged violation to the Health Officer and to the alleged violator; or
If the Borough of Columbia has commenced and is diligently prosecuting a civil or criminal proceeding against the alleged violator that incorporates the citizen's cause of action.
For the purposes of this subsection the term "citizen" means any person or persons having an interest which is or may be adversely affected.