Borough of Columbia, PA
Lancaster County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Adopted 1-14-1908 (Ch. 73, Art. IV, of the 1971 Code)]
A. 
No person shall occupy any street, lane, avenue or alley or any part thereof with pipes, poles, lumber, stone, bricks, mortar beds or other building material or accessories, or commence the erection, construction, re-erection or reconstruction of or excavation for any building, structure, wall, fence, pier, foundation, curb, sidewalk, gutter, conduit, post, pole or gas, water or other pipe, main or sewer in, through, on or along any street, lane, avenue or alley in the Borough of Columbia unless a proper permit shall be first obtained.
B. 
Every person, including all and every owner, agent, builder and contractor, who shall violate the provisions of this section shall, upon conviction before any District Justice, be fined a sum for the use of the Borough of Columbia not exceeding $600, plus costs of prosecution, to be recovered in like manner as other debts are by law recoverable, and, in default of payment of such fine and costs, be subject to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 30 days.
[Added 12-7-1921]
A. 
From and after the passage of this article, if any person file with the Chairman of the Highway Committee any objection to the granting of any permit for the erection, construction, reconstruction, repair or alteration of any building, the said permit shall be withheld until the matter of granting said permit shall be determined by the Borough Council.
B. 
Should any request for any permit be for any building to be erected within 20 feet of the building line of any street, or nearer the building line of said street than the majority of the buildings on the same side of the street in the same block, then the action of the Council in granting or refusing said permit shall be final.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Former § 73-27C, regarding fines and penalties, which immediately followed this subsection, was repealed 12-16-2003 by Ord. No. 726.
[Amended 11-23-1954 by Ord. No. 269]
Such permit, when the object therefor is not in violation of any ordinance, resolution or regulation of said Borough, shall be issued by the Borough Secretary/Treasurer on application in writing and after payment of the stipulated fee. Such application shall specify the character, material, location, proximity to house line and extent and character of substructures of the building; location and material of the sidewalk, curb or gutter, and the size and location of the pipes, posts or poles to be built, laid or erected and shall, in addition, set forth in detail all such measurements, data and explanation as shall or may be necessary or desirable for the proper information to determine the nature of the work and whether the same is in conformity with the law and applicable ordinances, resolutions and regulations. Such permit so issued shall not be valid or effective until countersigned by the Borough Engineer, who shall thereon certify that the applicant has obtained the proper lines and grades and that the purpose and object for which such permit is granted does not interfere or conflict with any planned or contemplated pipes, sewers or other public utilities.
Such permits shall be printed and bound in book form, each permit to be numbered consecutively and attached to a stub of like size and number by perforations, which stub shall be filed in duplicate of the permit issued and detached. Such stubs shall be delivered to the Borough auditors for audit at such time or times as other Borough books, records and accounts are audited.
[Amended 11-23-1954 by Ord. No. 269]
Such permit shall be issued upon a form furnished by the Borough.
[Amended 6-10-1931 by Ord. No. 136; 5-10-1971 by Ord. No. 477]
Fees for the following shall be as set from time to time by resolution of the Borough Council:
A. 
For issuing the several permits. All fees received for such permits shall be for the use of the Borough of Columbia and shall be turned over to the Borough Secretary/Treasurer monthly.
[Amended 9-10-1990 by Ord. No. 625]
B. 
For the erection, laying, alteration or reconstruction of every continuous curb and sidewalk and/or gutter, including corner properties, for the first 25 linear feet or fraction thereof of curb measurement.
C. 
For each additional linear foot or fraction thereof.
D. 
For the erection, alteration or reconstruction of every wall, fence or set of piers.
E. 
For excavating in streets and alleys and the laying of sewers, conduits and gas, water and other pipes and mains (base charge).
F. 
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.
[Amended 11-12-1956 by Ord. No. 307]
G. 
For every square foot of street surface opened in unsurfaced streets and avenues pursuant to the above permit, and in addition to said base charge.
[Amended 11-12-1956 by Ord. No. 307]
H. 
For excavating for the installation, substitution and/or removal of every post or pole in sidewalks and alleys.
[Amended 9-10-1990 by Ord. No. 625]
I. 
For excavating for the installation, substitution and/or removal of every house service pipe and/or stop of drain in sidewalks.
J. 
For occupancy of a street, alley or sidewalk with building material, devices or accessories, provided that the privilege of such occupancy is not included in a permit then in force, or with coal or refuse, for each period of 24 hours or fraction thereof.
[Amended 9-10-1990 by Ord. No. 625]
[Amended 11-23-1954 by Ord. No. 269]
No person to whom such permit shall be issued shall occupy with material and accessories or with earth or refuse or otherwise close or obstruct more than half of the street or sidewalk immediately in front of or nearest to such building or excavation, except if such permit is granted for or shall include the laying or relaying of a sidewalk or excavating beneath a sidewalk for substructure when the privilege of closing or obstructing the sidewalk for a period not exceeding eight days shall be included therein. On or before the eighth day of such closing or obstructing, it shall be the duty of the owner, agent, builder or contractor, and every one of them, to have erected and completed a trestled or other walk or superstructure over such excavation or sidewalk for the convenient resumption of foot traffic. Such walk or superstructure shall be not less than five feet in width and shall be provided with adequate siderails. Every person violating any of the provisions of this section shall, upon conviction thereof before any District Justice, be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $600, plus costs of prosecution, and, in default of payment of such fine and costs, be subject to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 30 days; provided that each day's continuance of a violation of any of the provisions of this section shall constitute a separate offense.
[Amended 12-16-2003 by Ord. No. 726]
Every person who shall be granted a permit for the occupancy of any street, lane, avenue or alley with building or other material and accessories or for the closing or obstructing thereof in any manner whatsoever, shall, within 1/2 hour after sunset of each day during such occupancy or obstructing, place or cause to be placed on or at such obstruction signal lights of color, size and shape as required by all applicable laws, regulations and ordinances of the Borough of Columbia, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and Pennsylvania Department of Transportation, which lights shall be of sufficient volume and number to give adequate warning to the public of the presence of such obstruction and which lights shall be kept burning until 1/2 hour before sunrise. Every person violating the provisions of this section shall, upon conviction before any District Justice, be fined a sum for the use of the Borough of Columbia not exceeding $600, plus costs of prosecution, to be recovered in like manner as other debts are by law recoverable, and, in default of payment of such fine and costs, be subject to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 30 days; and if damage or injury to persons or property results from the failure or refusal of such person to comply with the provisions hereof, such person shall be liable to the said Borough for all and every loss and damage suffered and sustained by or recovered against the Borough of Columbia by reason of such failure or refusal to comply with the provisions hereof.
No person shall build, alter or repair or excavate for any foundation or other wall, cellar entrance, coal chute, vault, arch or other substructure which does or shall extend beyond the house line of any street, lane, avenue or alley, unless such privilege shall be specifically mentioned and included in the permit. Every person violating the provisions of this section shall, upon conviction before any District Justice, be fined a sum for the use of the Borough of Columbia not exceeding $600, plus costs of prosecution, to be recovered in like manner as other debts are by law recoverable, and, in default of payment of such fine and costs, be subject to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 30 days.
No permit shall be issued for the building, altering or repairing of or excavating for any foundation or other wall, cellar entrance, coal chute, vault, arch or other substructure which does or shall extend beyond the house line of any street, lane, avenue or alley, if such substructure is or shall be higher than, or which does or shall interfere with, the grade, construction or safety of the sidewalk over or in front of such substructure. But if such substructure shall not be violation of the foregoing provisions of this section, a permit therefor, subject to the provisions of § 186-24 hereof, may and shall be issued, provided the owner of the building or lot in front of or from which such substructure is desired shall first satisfy the Committee on Highways and the Borough Engineer of the safety, sufficiency and adequacy of the construction thereof. And the person or persons who shall be the owner or owners of every such building or lot in front of or to which any such substructure shall be built or attached, at such time as any final verdict for damages may or shall be recovered against the Borough of Columbia for damage or injury to person or property by reason of the faulty or insufficient construction, repair or maintenance of such substructure, shall be liable to the said Borough for all and every loss and damage sustained by or recovered against the said Borough by reason of such damage or injury.
[Amended 11-23-1954 by Ord. No. 269]
No person shall hereafter place, build or erect any porch, veranda, pillar, pier, bulk or bay window, cellar door, railing or entrance or permanent stand beyond the house line and above the grade of the sidewalk so that the same shall project beyond the house line a greater distance than 4 1/2 feet; and in any street in which the distance from the curbline to the house line is eight feet or less, such porch, veranda, pillar, pier, bulk or bay window, cellar door, railing or entrance or permanent stand shall not project beyond the house line a greater distance than 1/2 the width of the sidewalk. Every person violating any of the provisions of this section shall, after 15 days' written notice from the Committee on Highways and upon conviction thereof before any District Justice, be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $600, plus costs of prosecution, and, in default of payment of such fine and costs, be subject to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 30 days; provided each day's continuance of a violation of any of the provisions of this section, after notice as provided herein, shall constitute a separate offense.
No person shall build, erect or reset a private residence, the first or ground floor of which shall be less than 12 inches above the grade of the sidewalk at the house line in front of such residence.
[Amended 11-23-1954 by Ord. No. 269]
A. 
With the exception of churches, schools and other public buildings not customarily designated by number, the main building upon every lot located within the Borough shall be assigned a proper street number or numbers. The owner or agent of the said building shall place or cause to be placed the said number or numbers conspicuously upon the said building or lots as to be plainly visible from the street or alley upon which such building faces. Such number or numbers shall and may be obtained without charge or fee on application to the Borough Engineer, whose duty it shall be within 15 days thereafter to ascertain and give to such applicant the proper number or numbers applied for. The method of ascertaining such number or numbers shall be as follows:
(1) 
A number shall be designated for every 15 lineal feet.
(2) 
Even numbers shall be used exclusively upon the south and west sides of streets and alleys, and odd numbers shall be used exclusively upon the north and east sides thereof.
(3) 
The numbering of streets and alleys extending eastwardly and westwardly shall be computed by starting at Front Street with number 100. Streets and alleys extending northwardly and southwardly shall be numbered northwardly and southwardly from Locust Street, commencing at Locust Street with number one.
(4) 
All squares shall be presumed to contain 100 numbers, and each successive square shall be commenced with the hundred next higher than the starting number of the preceding square.
(5) 
All numbers shall be maintained in a complete and legible condition by the owner or agent of the properties numbered as herein provided.
B. 
Any person who shall fail or refuse to properly number any building or to maintain the said number or numbers as herein provided shall, after 30 days' written notice from the Committee on Highways to do so, upon conviction thereof before any District Justice, be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $600, plus costs of prosecution, and, in default of payment of such fine and costs, be subject to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 30 days; provided, each week's continuance of a violation of any of the provisions of this section, after notice, shall constitute a separate offense.
[Amended 11-23-1954 by Ord. No. 269; 3-14-2005 by Ord. No. 747]
A. 
Construction of new sidewalks and curbs along existing Borough streets or state highways. The owner or owners of all land or property abutting a street located in the Borough of Columbia shall, upon written notice from the Borough of Columbia, construct a new sidewalk and/or curb within 60 calendar days from receipt of such notice. If said owner or owners shall after 60 days from receipt of such notice fail or refuse to construct such sidewalk and/or curb, of the Borough of Columbia may cause such sidewalk or curb to be constructed at the owner or owners' expense, which expense shall equal the reasonable and actual costs of labor and materials, together with a ten-percent surcharge, which costs and expenses, if not paid, shall be deemed to be municipal claims, lienable in accordance with applicable Pennsylvania law.
B. 
Maintenance of existing sidewalks and curbs. All sidewalks and curbs shall conform to the established line and grade and shall be kept and maintained in good and safe order and repair by the owner or owners. The Borough Council may, from time to time, by resolution, establish criteria to be used in evaluating the condition of sidewalks and curbs. The Borough will provide written notice to each owner or owners to repair or replace those sections of sidewalk and curb which are in violation of the Borough's maintenance criteria. The owner or owners shall make repairs within 60 calendar days from the date of such notice. If said owner or owners shall after 60 days from receipt of such notice fail or refuse to make such repairs to the sidewalks and/or curbs, the Borough Council may cause such sidewalks or curbs to be repaired at the owner or owners' expense, which expense shall equal the reasonable and actual costs of labor and materials, together with a ten percent surcharge, which costs and expenses, if not paid, shall be deemed to be municipal claims, lienable in accordance with applicable Pennsylvania law.
C. 
Exceptions to the requirements of sidewalk and/or curb installation. The Borough Council of the Borough of Columbia may, from time to time, by resolution, identify locations within the Borough of Columbia where sidewalk or curb will not be required. Attached hereto and incorporated herein as Exhibit A[1] is a map of the Borough streets identifying locations where sidewalks and curbs are not currently required.
[1]
Editor's Note: Exhibit A (Ch. 186, Art. IV) is included as an attachment to this chapter.
D. 
Replacement of sidewalk and curb by individual property owner or owners. A property owner, upon his initiative and without notice from any Borough authority, may construct, reconstruct or repair a sidewalk and/or curb in front of his property, provided that such owner shall first obtain from the Borough a permit for the same, the application for which permit shall set forth the requirements for the proper installation or replacement. Such owner shall conform to the requirements of this article and the specifications as established and amended by the Borough of Columbia from time to time regarding the installation, repair and maintenance of curbs and sidewalks. If such work is not in conformance with the Borough specifications, said owner or owners shall perform such necessary repairs so as to make the work be in compliance with the Borough specifications within 60 calendar days from the date the Borough notifies the owner or owners of the same. If said owner or owners shall, after 60 days from receipt of such notice, fail or refuse to make such repairs to the work, the Borough may cause such work to be performed at the owner or owners' expense, which expense shall equal the reasonable and actual costs of labor and materials, together with a ten-percent surcharge, which costs and expenses, if not paid, shall be deemed to be municipal claims, lienable in accordance with applicable Pennsylvania law.
E. 
Replacement of sidewalk and curb as part of the proposed street reconstruction and resurfacing project.
(1) 
Except for properties listed on Exhibit A hereto, when the Borough or PennDOT shall propose to reconstruct or resurface any street, the Borough shall serve written notice of the same to all persons owning property abutting the street about to be improved and to all utility companies operating within the Borough of Columbia. Within 60 calendar days from the delivery of such notice all notified persons shall complete or cause to be completed all necessary repairs and replacement of sidewalk and curb as directed, except if such property is listed on Exhibit A hereto. All utility companies operating within the Borough shall also complete any utility or upgrade any existing utility within the Borough right-of-way. All repairs, replacements and new installations shall be in first-class condition so that the same cannot reasonably be expected to require repair or renewal within a period of 10 years thereafter.
(2) 
Upon failure of any of the notified person or persons to comply with the notice from the Borough to make such repairs or replacements, the Borough shall be entitled to collect the cost of such renewals, repairs, caulking, removal, installation, construction, or other work from the aforesaid responsible person or persons, either by invoicing the person or persons, or, in the case of water or sewer house connections, by filing municipal liens therefor against the abutting properties benefited by such connections.
F. 
All construction, maintenance and replacement of sidewalks and curbs shall be performed in accordance with the Borough of Columbia Technical Specification Standard Details attached hereto as Exhibit B[2] and Penn DOT Standard (Publication 203—Work Zone Traffic Control), both as amended from time to time, and in accordance with all other local ordinances and applicable Pennsylvania law.
[2]
Editor's Note: Exhibit B (Ch. 186, Art. IV) is on file in the office of the Borough Clerk.
G. 
Borough financial incentive programs. From time to time the Borough Council of the Borough of Columbia may, by resolution, adopt financial incentive programs to assist property owners within the Borough of Columbia in financing the cost of curb and sidewalk installations and/or repairs; which policies and incentive programs may be on such terms as the Council may reasonably determine to be applicable and as may be amended by the Council from time to time.
[Amended 11-23-1954 by Ord. No. 269; 12-16-2003 by Ord. No. 726; 3-14-2005 by Ord. No. 747]
All sidewalks hereinafter constructed shall be constructed in accordance with and in addition to the Borough of Columbia Technical Standard Details attached hereto as Exhibit B and Penn DOT Standard (Publication 203—Work Zone Traffic Control), both as may be amended from time to time.
A. 
All sidewalks shall be paved from the house line to the curbline, except in such streets or squares thereof as are essentially residential streets in which the houses, or a majority of them, are set back from the house line a distance of 4 1/2 or more feet. In such streets or squares thereof the sidewalk may extend from the house line toward the curbline the following minimum widths:
(1) 
Nine feet in streets 70 and 80 feet in width;
(2) 
Eight feet in streets 66 feet in width;
(3) 
Seven feet in streets 50 and 60 feet in width;
(4) 
Four feet in streets 40 feet in width;
B. 
Provided, that the space between the end of the sidewalk and the curb be maintained as a lawn.
[Amended 3-14-2005 by Ord. No. 747]
Private drains or gutters shall not discharge directly onto the surface of any sidewalk. The discharge shall be directed into a minimum four-inch PVC conduit under the sidewalk or a trench drain designed to be flush with the surface of the sidewalk. The actual construction shall be under the direction of the Borough Highway Supervisor.
[Amended 3-14-2005 by Ord. No. 747]
All poles, hitching posts, fire hydrants and water, gas and other stop boxes shall be placed 12 inches outside the curbline, and all trees where the sidewalk is paved from the curbline to the house line shall be placed 18 inches outside the curbline. Where, under provisions of § 186-37 hereof, a space between the end of the sidewalk and the curb is maintained as a lawn, all approved street trees shall be placed in accordance with any plans for streetscapes approved hereinafter by the Borough and in accordance with any approvals granted by the Shade Tree Commission.
[Amended 11-23-1954 by Ord. No. 269]
All signs and awnings and all limbs and branches of trees on, along or projecting over any sidewalk lower than eight feet above the grade of such sidewalk, and all grates, covers and water, gas or other stop boxes and similar devices which shall extend or project above the grade of any sidewalk shall be deemed and regarded as a nuisance. If the owner or owners of any land or property in front of or along which such nuisance exists shall not, within 10 days after written notice from the Committee on Highways so to do, remove and abate such nuisance, the Borough shall cause such nuisance to be removed and abated and shall collect from the owner or owners of such land or property the reasonable and actual cost thereof, with an additional charge of 10% in accordance with the Acts of Assembly in such cases made and provided.
[Amended 12-16-2003 by Ord. No. 726; 3-14-2005 by Ord. No. 747]
All sidewalks and curbs shall conform to the established grade and shall be kept and maintained in good and safe order and repair by the owner or owners of the land or property abutting thereon, and if or when any sidewalk or curb does not conform to the established grade or is not, in the judgment of the Borough (or the Borough's designee which may include, but shall not be limited to, the Borough Council Highway Committee, the Borough Code Enforcement Officer and/or the Borough Manager), in good and safe order and repair, the said Code Enforcement Officer, after 60 days' written notice to such owner or owners to raise, lower, repair or reconstruct such sidewalk or curb, shall cause such raising, lowering, repairing or reconstruction to be done at the cost of such property owner, which cost shall include the reasonable cost of all labor and materials with an additional ten-percent surcharge, together with all other actual charges and expenses, which charges and expenses shall and may, if not paid, be treated as municipal claims, lienable under the applicable laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
[Amended 8-6-1912; 3-14-2005 by Ord. No. 747]
Private driveways over sidewalks and approaches across sidewalks to private alleys shall be constructed in accordance with the Borough of Columbia Technical Specifications and Standard Details, as described hereinabove, from the building line to the outer edge of the gutter and shall be subject to the same municipal control and regulation as are other sidewalks and gutters. Such driveways and approaches shall be laid and constructed in such manner and with such shape and conformity as the Borough shall in every instance determine and prescribe. Approaches across sidewalks to private alleys shall be paved and maintained jointly by the owners of all land abutting on such alley, the cost thereof to be borne and assessed in accordance with the foot-front rule. All construction within the Borough right-of-way shall be in accordance with the Borough of Columbia Technical Specifications and Standard Details.
A. 
The alignment of curblines and all streets or parts thereof to be opened and in all streets or squares thereof in which sidewalks have not been laid, and in all streets or squares thereof which shall or may be paved with brick, asphalt or other similar material shall be in such dimensions as directed from time to time by the Borough Engineer and/or by resolution of Borough Council.
[Amended 3-14-2005 by Ord. No. 747]
B. 
Provided, that in streets in which a railway track has been located, the width of the driveway shall in no instance be less than 36 feet.
[Amended 11-23-1954 by Ord. No. 269; 12-16-2003 by Ord. No. 726]
Every new sidewalk and every sidewalk which shall be relaid or reconstructed shall be provided with concrete curbing, which shall be placed, laid or erected in conformity with such specifications as Council shall from time to time adopt as standard. If any sidewalk shall be laid, relaid or reconstructed in violation of any of the provisions of this section, the Committee on Highways, after 90 days' written notice to the owner or owners of the land abutting on such sidewalk, shall cause a proper curb to be placed, laid and constructed, and the Borough shall collect from such owner or owners the reasonable and actual cost of all labor and materials, with 10% advance thereon, together with all charges and expenses, in accordance with the Acts of Assembly in such cases made and provided.
[Amended 12-16-2003 by Ord. No. 726; 3-14-2005 by Ord. No. 747]
All curbing hereafter constructed shall be constructed in accordance with and in addition to the Borough of Columbia Technical Specifications Standard Details attached hereto as Exhibit B and Penn DOT Standard (Publication 203—Work Zone Traffic Control), both as amended from time to time.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Former § 73-50, Curbing of cement concrete; specifications, and § 73-51, Gutters along sidewalks, which immediately followed this section, were repealed 12-16-2003 by Ord. No. 726.
[Amended 11-23-1954 by Ord. No. 269]
All poles, stepping-stones, hitching posts and other obstructions erected, projecting or existing beyond the curbline of any street shall be deemed and regarded as a nuisance. If the owner or owners of any land or property in front of or along which such nuisance exists shall not, after 10 days' written notice from the Committee on Highways so to do, remove and abate such nuisance, the said Committee on Highways shall cause such nuisance to be removed and abated and the Borough shall collect the reasonable and actual cost thereof, with 10% advance thereon, from such owner or owners in accordance with the Acts of Assembly in such cases made and provided.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: Original § 73-53, Openings in street, as amended, which immediately followed this section, was repealed 12-16-2003 by Ord. No. 726.
[Amended 11-23-1954 by Ord. No. 269]
No person, firm or corporation shall, for any length of time or for any purpose whatsoever, by ditches or openings or by the deposit or placement of earth or other material, thing or matter, close or obstruct more than 2/3 of the width of the driveway of any street, or close or obstruct the intersection of any two or more streets in such manner that vehicles or pedestrians are denied a safe and continuous course on and to any of such intersecting streets. Every person or corporation who shall violate any of the provisions of this section shall, upon conviction thereof before any District Justice, be fined a sum not exceeding $600, plus costs of prosecution, and, in default of payment of such fine and costs, be subject to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 30 days.
[Amended 11-23-1954 by Ord. No. 269]
No person, firm or corporation shall discharge or cause to be discharged on the surface or into the surface drainage of any street or alley by means of a direct or sheltered pipe or covered, buried or protected drain or in any other direct manner any heated water or other liquids issuing from or poured, pumped or emptied out of any steam or other boiler, water heater, wash machine or any other machine or apparatus wherein or whereby water or other liquids are heated. Every person, firm or corporation who or which shall violate the provisions of this section shall, for every such offense, upon conviction before any District Justice, be fined a sum for the use of the Borough of Columbia not exceeding $600, plus costs of prosecution, to be recovered in like manner as other debts are by law recoverable, and, in default of payment of such fine and costs, be subject to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 30 days.