Borough of Columbia, PA
Lancaster County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Adopted 9-9-1963 by Ord. No. 370 (Ch. 73, Art. II, of the 1971 Code)]
[Amended 4-9-2001 by Ord. No. 702]
A. 
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
EMERGENCY
Any unforeseen circumstance which calls for immediate action to protect or safeguard life or property.
EXCAVATION
Any activity within the Borough right-of-way of any street, which involves cutting, breaking or disturbance of the surface thereof or any and all facilities and/or appurtenances located within the street (by way of example only: curbing, sidewalk, storm sewers, utilities and traffic control devices).
OPEN
Any cutting or excavating of the surface or soil of any street, sidewalk area or public Borough property.
OPENING
For purposes of this article, activity which revises or changes in any way an ingress or egress point to any existing or proposed Borough street. By way of example only, revised or changed ingress or egress shall include construction of a new access point, physically revising an existing access point and changing the use of an existing access point.
PERMIT
A license issued by the recognized official or authoritative agency, as specified in the respective regulations, which permits the applicant to proceed with the work certified by said official or authoritative agency in the permit application.
PERMITTEE
The person obtaining a permit, or his duly authorized representative.
PERSON
Includes any natural person, partnership, firm, association or corporation.
STREET
Any Borough public street, avenue, road, square, alley, highway or other public place located in the Borough of Columbia and established for the use of vehicles.
B. 
In this article, the singular shall include the plural and the masculine shall include the feminine and the neuter.
It shall be unlawful for any person to open or to make any excavation of any kind in any street in the Borough of Columbia except in and upon those portions thereof established for the use of vehicles.
[Amended 6-14-1999 by Ord. No. 676; 4-9-2001 by Ord. No. 702]
A. 
It shall be unlawful for any person to open or make any excavation of any kind in any of the streets in the Borough without first securing a permit therefor as hereinafter provided. Such permit shall be granted through the Borough Highway Committee Chairman, or his designee, when the person applying for permit files an application with the Borough's Highway Supervisor in compliance with the provisions of this article and pays into the Borough Treasury the amounts hereinafter provided.
B. 
Permits shall only be issued to persons furnishing public utility services or owning real property adjoining the location where the opening or excavation is to be made.
C. 
The obtaining of street opening permits by Borough departments and municipal authorities shall be waived when work is to be performed completely by their own personnel.
D. 
Before the issuance of a permit, the applicant for the permit shall submit to the Borough's Highway Supervisor a plan(s) providing the level of detail required by the Borough Engineer to adequately show the proposed activities' conformance with the ordinances of the Borough of Columbia. Any such plan(s) shall be kept on the job site at all times by the applicant once the permit is granted. Any permit issued hereunder shall specify the exact location where the opening or excavation is to be made, the approximate permitted size or depth thereof and the time within which the work for which the permit is granted is to be completed.
E. 
Before the issuance of a permit, the applicant must submit to the Borough proof of general liability insurance covering the excavation or opening proposed in an amount not less than $1,000,000.
F. 
Except in emergency situations, a permit shall be issued to the applicant by the Borough Highway Committee Chairman or his designee within five working days after all requirements for the issuance thereof have been completed. If the application is disapproved, written notice of disapproval together with the reasons therefor shall be given to the applicant.
G. 
Emergency excavations.
(1) 
In the event that street openings are necessitated by emergencies, street opening permits shall be obtained within five regular business days following the emergency street opening, and said permit shall be retroactive to the date when the work began.
(2) 
A person performing street openings for an emergency must certify the emergency nature of the circumstance in writing to the Borough Highway Committee Chairman, or his designee, within five regular business days following such emergency.
(3) 
A person performing street openings for an emergency must notify the Borough Police Department (written or verbal) of the location of the emergency street opening prior to commencing the emergency operation, either en route or at the scene.
[Amended 12-16-2003 by Ord. No. 726]
Any person who shall desire to make any opening or excavation in any of the streets in the Borough of Columbia shall make application to the Code Enforcement Officer in writing for the purpose. Such application shall be made upon blanks to be furnished by the Borough and shall set forth the name of the applicant, the exact location of the proposed opening or excavation and the approximate size or depth thereof, and shall contain an agreement on the part of the applicant that the work shall be done in full compliance with the ordinances of the Borough and the laws of the Commonwealth in relation thereto and that the applicant shall well and truly save, defend and keep harmless the Borough from and indemnify it against any and all actions, suits, demands, payments, costs and charges for or by reason of the proposed opening or excavation, and all damages to persons or property resulting in any manner therefrom, or occurring in the prosecution of the work connected therewith or from any other matter, cause or thing relating thereto.
[Amended 6-4-1999 by Ord. No. 676; 7-9-2001 by Ord. No. 702]
A. 
Before any permit shall be issued to open or excavate any street in the Borough, the applicant shall pay to the Borough a permit fee as set from time to time by resolution of the Borough Council for any opening or excavation, regardless of size, within the Borough limits. This fee will cover the cost of inspection and other services in connection therewith. This permit fee may be changed from time to time by resolution of the Borough Council.
[Amended 3-21-2006 by Ord. No. 764]
B. 
When application shall be made to open or excavate any longitudinal opening in a Borough street, before any permit shall be issued so to open or excavate, the applicant shall pay to the Borough a trench fee established by resolution of the Borough Council, which fee may be changed from time to time by resolution of the Borough Council.
[Amended 3-21-2006 by Ord. No. 764]
C. 
The applicant shall pay to the Borough upon receipt of a permit to open or excavate a street in the Borough a degradation fee to defray a percentage of the costs for resurfacing and reconstruction of Borough streets associated with street openings and excavations. The degradation fee shall be in accordance with the degradation fee schedule attached hereto (see Exhibit A[1]) or any such schedule then in effect as may be adopted by resolution of Borough Council from time to time.
[1]
Editor's Note: Exhibit A (Ch. 186, Art. II) is on file in the office of the Borough Clerk.
D. 
Public utility companies desiring to open or excavate a street shall provide the Borough with a bond of indemnity by a reputable surety company licensed to do business in the commonwealth, in the amount of $50,000 in one calendar year, which amount shall be the same for each year thereafter unless changed by resolution of Council. A bond of indemnity shall be furnished separately for each calendar year by a public utility company and shall be in effect for 36 months. All other persons or entities, including contractors performing work for the Borough, desiring to open or excavate a street shall furnish to the Borough a properly executed surety bond. All such bonds furnished shall be executed by a reputable surety company licensed to do business in the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. All such bonds shall cover street opening or excavating work performed during one calendar year and shall be in effect for a thirty-six-month period. The amount of the surety bond shall be $5,000 unless any street excavation and restoration work for a single project exceeds such amount. In that case, a person must secure additional bonding in an amount equal to $25 per square yard opened or excavated. The bonding amount may be changed by resolution of Council adopted from time to time.
[Amended 6-4-1999 by Ord. No. 676; 4-9-2001 by Ord. No. 702]
A. 
Any person who shall open or excavate any street in the Borough shall thoroughly and completely refill the opening or excavation with flowable backfill material, as to prevent any settling thereafter, and shall restore the surface and appurtenances (appurtenances include, but are not limited to, curbs, sidewalks, storm sewers, utilities and traffic control devices) to no worse condition than they were before the opening or excavation, with such restoration to be in accordance with the Borough of Columbia Technical Specifications Standard Details attached hereto as Exhibit B (which exhibit shall be kept on file in the Borough offices) and to the satisfaction of the Borough Highway Supervisor and the Borough Engineer. As restored, and unless otherwise provided for in the said Borough of Columbia Technical Specifications Standard Details, the surface shall conform to the proper grade and be of the same surface covering as the part of the thoroughfare immediately adjoining the opening.
[Amended 3-21-2006 by Ord. No. 764]
B. 
If, within five years after the restoration of the surface or appurtenance as herein provided, defects shall appear therein resulting from defective workmanship by the applicant, the applicant shall reimburse the Borough for the cost of all necessary repairs to the restored surface or appurtenances.
[Amended 8-10-2015 by Ord. No. 864]
C. 
All work in connection with the permit as described above (including all items shown on the plans and specifications submitted to obtain the permit and any and all incidental work required to compete the work to the satisfaction of the Borough Highway Supervisor and Borough Engineer) shall be done by or for the person to whom the permit has been issued at his or its expense.
D. 
The Borough of Columbia Technical Specifications Standard Details referred to in this Code may be changed from time to time by resolution of the Borough Council.
[Added 3-21-2006 by Ord. No. 764]
A. 
All other work in connection with openings in any street, including excavation, protection and refilling, shall be done by the applicant at his expense, and all such work shall be subject to the provisions of this article and to the supervision and approval of the Borough Engineer or the Borough foreman, provided that the Borough Engineer or the Borough foreman may require that cutting of the surface of improved streets and the backfilling of all excavations therein shall be done by the Borough, and the charge therefor shall be paid by the applicant on the basis of actual cost of the work plus 20%.
B. 
In addition, for every square foot of street surface opened in surfaced streets and avenues pursuant to the above permit, and in addition to said base charge, shall be fees as set from time to time by resolution of the Borough Council.
[Amended 6-4-1999 by Ord. No. 676; 4-9-2001 by Ord. No. 702]
A. 
All work in Borough streets governed by this article and for which the permit has been issued in accordance herewith shall be done in accordance with and pursuant to the Borough of Columbia Technical Specifications Standard Details attached hereto and incorporated herein as Exhibit B.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Exhibit B (Ch. 186, Art. II) is on file in the office of the Borough Clerk.
B. 
Any work authorized by a permit issued pursuant hereto and subject to all provisions of the Act of December 10, 1974, P.L. 852, No. 287 et seq.,[2] as amended or supplemented from time to time. It shall be the applicant's responsibility to contact the utilities that have recorded their facilities in compliance with said act. A partial list of utilities providing services in the Borough and their office addresses may be obtained from the Lancaster County Recorder of Deeds.
[2]
Editor's Note: See 73 P.S. § 176 et seq.
C. 
Any person performing work pursuant to a permit issued hereunder shall at all times comply with all applicable federal, state and local laws, rules, regulations, provisions, and policies governing health and safety, including without limitation the Federal Construction Safety Act (Public Law 91-54), Federal Register, Chapter XVII, Part 1926 of Title 29 Code of Federal Regulations, Occupational Safety and Health Regulations for Construction, and subsequent publications updating these regulations.
D. 
No opening or excavation in any street shall extend from the curbline into the highway a distance greater than one foot beyond the center line of the street before being refilled and the surface of the highway shall be restored to a condition safe and convenient for travel.
E. 
No more than 500 feet longitudinally shall be opened in any street at any one time.
F. 
The work of excavation shall be so conducted as not to interfere with any existing underground utility line or lateral or aboveground utility line without first contacting the owner of such utility.
G. 
No tunneling shall be allowed without the express approval of the Borough Engineer and permission therefor endorsed upon the permit. The backfilling of a tunnel excavation shall be made only in the presence of the Borough Engineer or an inspector designated by him, and shall be done only in a method approved by him. Tunneling does not include current trenchless technology procedures such as boring, jacking, or other suitable techniques.
H. 
All openings and excavations shall be backfilled promptly. All such work shall be performed in accordance with and pursuant to the Borough of Columbia Technical Specifications Standard Details attached hereto as Exhibit B.
I. 
In accordance with and in addition to the Borough of Columbia Technical Specifications Standard Details attached hereto as Exhibit B, during the making of any excavation in any street, every necessary and reasonable precaution shall be taken by the applicant and the parties making the same to keep the street in a safe and passable condition, both day and night, by flag persons, barricades, lights, signs, drums and all other devices as required and in accordance with the most current manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices, MUTCD and PADOT standards (Publication 203 - Work Zone Traffic Control) and all excavating permits are granted under and subject to the express condition that the person to whom the same is issued shall indemnify, save and keep harmless the Borough from any loss in damages or otherwise whatsoever which may or shall be occasioned at any time by the said excavation or by any leak, explosion or other injury from any pipes, apparatus, conduit or any other matter placed in the said excavation.
J. 
The applicant shall notify the Borough Highway Supervisor when the opening or excavation is ready for backfilling before commencing any backfilling in the case of unimproved streets and before temporary paving in the case of improved streets; such notifications to allow for inspections to be made.
K. 
In the event that any work performed by or for a permit holder shall, in the opinion of the Borough Engineer or Highway Supervisor, be unsatisfactory and the same shall not be corrected in accordance with his instructions within the time fixed by him, or, in the event that the work for which the permit was granted is not completed within the time noted on the permit, the Borough may proceed to correct such unsatisfactory work or complete any such work not completed and charge the cost thereof, plus 20%, to the applicant.
L. 
The permission herein granted does not confer on the permit holder or its contractors the right to cut, remove or destroy trees or shrubbery within the legal right-of-way except under specifications, regulations, and conditions as the Highway Supervisor or Borough Engineer may prescribe.
M. 
If at any time in the future the roadway is widened, reconstructed or the alignment or grades are changed, the permit holder further agrees to change or relocate all or any part of the structures covered by this permit which interfere with the improvements of the roadway at the permit holder's own cost and expense.
[Amended 3-21-2006 by Ord. No. 764]
In the case of any leak, explosion or other accident in any subsurface pipe, line, construction or apparatus, it shall be lawful for the person owning or responsible for such pipe, line, construction or apparatus to commence an excavation to remedy such condition before securing a permit, provided that application for a permit shall be made immediately, and not later than the next business day thereafter, and that all other provisions of this article are fully complied with. Failure to apply for the road opening permit within the specified time period will result in a penalty established by the Borough Council and may be changed from time to time by resolution of the Borough Council. And if any such emergency condition shall not be immediately attended to by the owner or person responsible for such pipe, line, construction or apparatus, the Borough Engineer, after such notice as he shall deem necessary under the circumstances of the particular case, shall proceed to do the work necessary and required by such emergency and charge the same on the basis of cost plus 20% to such owner or person.
[Amended 4-9-2001 by Ord. No. 702]
The Borough Highway Committee Chairman or his designee shall give timely notice to all persons owning property on or abutting to any street within the Borough about to be resurfaced or reconstructed, and to all public utility companies operating in the Borough, and all such persons and utility companies shall make all water, gas or sewer connections as well as any repairs thereto which would necessitate excavation of the said street within 30 days from the giving of such notice, unless such time is extended in writing for cause shown by the Highway Committee Chairman. New paving shall not be opened for a period of 10 years after the completion thereof except in the case of emergency. If it is sought to excavate upon or open a street within 10 years after the completion of the paving thereof for any other reason than an emergency, the applicant shall make written application to the Borough Council, and a permit for such opening shall only be issued after express approval of Council.
[Amended 6-14-1999 by Ord. No. 676; 4-9-2001 by Ord. No. 702]
No new water, sewer, steam or gas main or electric, telephone or other utility shall hereafter be laid or constructed, and no such main or existing line shall be extended, in any of the streets of the Borough until the exact location hereto and the plan therefor shall have first been approved by Borough Council. Borough Council shall not approve the locating of any such main or line at a depth of less than 30 inches from the surface of the street unless it shall be convinced that locating the same at a depth of more than 30 inches from the surface is impossible or impractical.
[Amended 6-14-1999 by Ord. No. 676; 4-9-2001 by Ord. No. 702]
Payment for all work done by the Borough under the provisions hereof shall be made by the person made liable therefor under the provisions hereof within 30 days after a bill therefor is sent to such person by the Borough. Upon failure to pay such charges within such time, the same shall be collectible by the Borough by an action in assumpsit, in the manner provided by law for the collection of municipal claims, or in any other manner allowable at law.
[Amended 6-14-1999 by Ord. No. 676; 4-9-2001 by Ord. No. 702]
In addition to the remedies set forth in § 186-17 of the Code of the Borough of Columbia, Pennsylvania, any person, firm, or corporation who shall violate any provision of this article shall, upon conviction thereof, be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $1,000, or suffer imprisonment not exceeding two years, or both, in the discretion of the court. Every day that a violation of this article continues shall constitute a separate offense.
[Amended 4-9-2001 by Ord. No. 702]
A. 
Refer to Article IV, General Provisions for Streets, Sidewalks and Buildings, for information regarding the installation of sidewalks, curb, and poles.
B. 
Refer to Borough of Columbia Technical Specifications Standard Details Exhibit B[1] for specifications regarding the construction of curb and sidewalks.
[1]
Editor's Note: Exhibit B is on file in the office of the Borough Clerk.