It is the intent and purpose of this chapter to adopt a modern
property maintenance code which will prescribe effective standards
and minimum requirements for the safeguarding of persons and buildings
located in the City of Lancaster ("City") and protect the public health
and safety of citizens and visitors against the hazards of inadequate,
defective or unsafe existing structures.
In accordance with Section 608 of the Optional Third Class City
Charter Law, 53 P.S. § 41608, 53 P.S. § 41101
et seq., and the Third Class City Code, 11 Pa.C.S.A. § 10101
et seq., there is hereby adopted by the City that certain 2015 International
Property Maintenance Code as published by the International Code Council,
Inc., and all of its incorporated standards and codes, if any, as
amended or republished from time to time, by the International Code
Council, Inc. (the "Property Maintenance Code"), for the purpose of
prescribing specifications and regulations to ensure the structural
safety of buildings and housing within the City, as therein and herein
provided, save and except such provisions which are in conflict with
state law. The adopted aforesaid Property Maintenance Code and its
incorporated standards and codes hereby adopted are incorporated herein
by reference as if set out at length. Copies of the Property Maintenance
Code are on file in the offices of the City Clerk and the code official,
where they are available for public examination. The provisions set
forth in this chapter of the Code of the City of Lancaster and the
Property Maintenance Code adopted herein shall be controlling within
the limits of the City.
The following sections of the 2015 International Property Maintenance
Code, as adopted herein, are added, amended or deleted as hereinafter
Section 101.1 is amended to read as follows:
101.1 Title. These regulations shall be known as
the Property Maintenance Code of The City of Lancaster, hereinafter
referred to as "this code."
Section 102.3 is amended to read as follows:
102.3 Application of other codes. Repairs, additions
or alterations to a structure, or changes of occupancy, shall be done
in accordance with the procedures and provisions of the International
Building Code, International Residential Code, International Plumbing
Code, International Fuel Gas Code, International Mechanical Code and
the National Electrical Code and any and all code referenced standards
as adopted by Pennsylvania and the City. Nothing in this code shall
be construed to cancel, modify or set aside any provisions of the
Zoning Ordinance of the City of Lancaster.
Section 102.6 is amended to read as follows:
102.6 Historic buildings. The provisions of this
code shall apply to existing buildings or structures designated as
"historic" by governmental agencies; however, the code official shall
not have the authority to waive or impose any requirement regarding
historical structures that would be in conflict with requirements
regarding historical structures as set forth in the ordinances of
the City of Lancaster.
Section 103.1 is amended to read as follows:
103.1 General. The Bureau of Code Compliance and
Inspections is responsible for enforcing the provisions of the Property
Maintenance Code, and the executive official in charge thereof is
the Director of Economic Development and Neighborhood Revitalization,
hereinafter wards known as "Director."
Section 103.2 is amended to read as follows:
103.2 Designation. The Director shall be hired
and/or designated by the Mayor of the City of Lancaster.
Section 103.3 is amended to read as follows:
103.3 Deputies and enforcement powers. In accordance
with the prescribed laws and policies and procedures applicable to
the City, with the consent of the Mayor of the City, the Director
shall have the authority to designate deputy directors, bureau chiefs,
other related technical officers, inspectors and other employees to
act as code officials and enforce the provisions of the Property Maintenance
Code. When acting within the scope of their appointment, they shall
have the power of a police officer of the City of Lancaster, Pennsylvania;
provided, however, that under no circumstances shall they have the
power of arrest.
Section 103.5 is amended to read as follows:
103.5 Fees. The fees for activities and services
performed by the Bureau of Code Compliance and Inspections in carrying
out its responsibilities under this code shall be as is set forth
in a resolution of City Council, which fees may be changed from time
to time by resolution of the City Council of the City of Lancaster.
Section 106.3 is amended to read as follows:
106.3. Prosecution of violation.
1. Any person failing to comply with a notice of violation or
order served in accordance with Section 107 shall be deemed guilty
of a criminal or civil infraction as set forth hereinafter and as
determined in accordance with applicable law, and the violation shall
be deemed a strict liability offense. If the notice of violation is
not complied with, the code official may institute the appropriate
proceeding at law or in equity to restrain, correct or abate such
violation, or to require the removal or termination of the unlawful
occupancy of the structure in violation of the provision of this code
or of the order or direction made pursuant thereto, including, without
limitation, having the unlawful occupancy cured by the staff of the
City itself. In the instance that the City performs any services to
remedy an unlawful occupancy of a structure pursuant hereto, the City
may take any and all action available at law and in equity to recover
its costs for performing the same, including imposing a lien on the
subject real estate for the costs thereof in accordance with applicable
2. In addition to any other section or remedial procedure provided,
whoever violates any provision of this code shall, upon conviction
thereof in a summary proceeding, be fined not less than $100 and not
more than $1,000 for the first offense, not less than $200 and not
more than $1,000 for the second offense, and not less than $300 and
not more than $1,000 for the third and all succeeding offenses and
costs of prosecution for each offense, to be collected as other fines
and costs are by law collectible, and in default of payment thereof
shall be imprisoned for not more than 90 days.
3. In the case of a continual and uncorrected violation of the
same subsection(s) of this code, a fine, not exceeding one per month
on a single property and not less than $300 nor more than $2,000 shall
be imposed for the first two continual and uncorrected violations
and not less than $2,000 nor more than $5,000 for the third and any
subsequent continual and uncorrected violations of the same subsection
of this code on the same property, unless the violation is found to
pose a threat to the public's health, safety or property, then,
upon conviction thereof, penalties of fines shall be imposed as follows:
(a) Not exceeding one citation per five calendar
days for a continual and uncorrected violation of the same subsection(s)
of this code on the same property;
(b) Limited to not less than $600 and not more than
$2,000 for the first two continual and uncorrected violations of the
same subsection(s) of this code on the same property and not less
than $1,000 and not more than $10,000 for the third and any subsequent
continual and uncorrected violations of the same subsection(s) of
this code on the same property, or imprisonment for not more than
90 days, or both.
4. The code official may issue citations to the owners or persons
responsible for a structure or property for failure to comply with
a notice of violation following the expiration of the time established
for filing an appeal or following the hearing of an appeal by the
Board of Housing Appeals.
5. Notwithstanding the foregoing and as an additional remedy,
the City may issue an administrative ticket and follow the enforcement
provisions set forth in Ordinance No. 2-2008, adopted March 25, 2008,
Section 107.1 is amended by adding the following Section 107.1.1:
1. Notice requirements shall not apply to an owner or operator
of a rooming house, hotel, or multifamily dwelling required to be
registered and licensed by this code, when such owner or operator
has not duly registered such rooming house, hotel, or multifamily
dwelling or failed to secure the necessary City of Lancaster, Pennsylvania,
housing license. When an owner or operator of a rooming house, hotel
or multifamily dwelling has failed to register and obtain the required
license for a rooming house, hotel, or multifamily dwelling, the code
official may commence prosecution for such failure and for any other
violation of this code without issuing the notice provided for in
2. Notice requirements shall not apply to the owner or operator
of a one-family or two-family dwelling required to be registered as
rental properties by this code when such owner or operator has not
duly registered such one-family or two-family dwelling. When an owner
or operator has failed to register and obtain the required license
for a one-family or two-family dwelling as required by this code,
the code official may commence prosecution for such failure and for
any other violations of this code without issuing the notice provided
for in this section.
Section 108.4.1 is amended to read as follows:
108.4.1 Placard removal. The code official shall
authorize the owner or responsible agent to remove the condemnation
placard when all violations of this Property Maintenance Code have
been corrected or eliminated and the violator has paid to the City
the condemnation lift fee established by resolution of City Council
in accordance with the terms of this code. Any person who defaces
or removes a condemnation placard without the approval of the code
official shall be subject to the penalties for violations of this
code as provided herein.
Section 109.5 is amended to read as follows:
109.5 Costs of emergency repairs. Costs incurred
in the performance of emergency work may be paid by the City. In the
instance that emergency work is performed by the City, the City may
take any and all action available at law and in equity to recover
the same, including imposing a lien on the subject real estate for
the costs thereof in accordance with applicable law.
Section 111.1 is amended by modifying the time period for filing
an appeal from 20 days after the day the decision, notice or order
was served to "10 days after the day the decision, notice or order
The following Section 111.1.1 is hereby added:
111.1.1 Form of approval. All written appeals referenced
in Section 111.1 shall be on the forms for same provided by the Director.
The following Section 111.1.2 is hereby added:
111.1.2 Fees for filing appeals as established
by resolution of City Council in accordance with the provisions hereof
shall be paid in advance for each appeal taken hereby. Further, the
Board of Housing Appeals (the "Board") may require the party bringing
the appeal to pay any costs associated with hearing the appeal, including,
but not limited to, advertising and stenographic services (where appropriate),
whether the Board partially or fully upholds the code official's
issuance of the appealed notice of violation.
Section 111.2 and Sections 111.2.1 through 111.5 be and hereby are
deleted and are replaced with the following Sections 111.2 and 111.2.1:
111.2 Membership Board. The Mayor shall appoint
a Board of Housing Appeals consisting of five members and an alternate
member, who shall be residents of the City. At all meetings of the
Board, a majority of the Board members and/or an alternate shall constitute
a quorum (as such, a quorum shall be three members of the Board or
two members plus the alternate). Members so appointed shall have experience
in one of the following areas: building design, construction or maintenance,
real property sales, inspection, insurance, or the provision or preservation
of housing, commercial or industrial property. In addition, an attorney
licensed with the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania is qualified for membership.
The members who are first appointed shall serve for terms of one,
two, three and four years, respectively, from the date of their appointment,
as shall be specified at the time of their appointment. Thereafter,
the term of office shall be four years. The member to serve as alternate
shall be designated at the time of appointment. A member shall hold
office until a successor has been appointed. The members shall select
among themselves a Chairman and a Vice Chairman. The alternate member
shall attend the meetings of the Board and act in the place of any
absent member, as provided by law.
111.2.1 Powers. The Board of Housing Appeals is
a board of limited powers. Although its function is primarily to provide
for reasonable interpretation of the provisions of this Property Maintenance
Code, the Board shall have the power to make variances and grant extensions
of time in cases where strict enforcement of this Property Maintenance
Code would cause undue or unnecessary hardship. The Board may, in
specific cases, authorize such variances to the provisions and requirements
of this Property Maintenance Code as will not be contrary to the public
1. In applying to the Board for such variance, the applicant
(a) That his property was acquired in good faith.
(b) That by reasons of existing topographic conditions,
or by reason of other peculiar and exceptional conditions, pertaining
to a specific piece of property, literal enforcement of the provisions
or requirements of this Property Maintenance Code would cause undue
or unnecessary hardship. A claim or even proof merely of a more profitable
use, if the variance were granted, is not in itself evidence of such
2. No variance to the provisions or requirements of this Property
Maintenance Code shall be authorized by the Board unless the Board
finds that all the following facts and conditions of unnecessary hardship
(a) The hardship arises from unique circumstances
applying to the applicant's property which are not the general
condition in the neighborhood.
(b) The hardship is not self-inflicted by the applicant.
(c) The strict application of the provisions of
this Property Maintenance Code would impose an unreasonable restraint
or unnecessary hardship on the use of the property inconsistent with
the general purpose and intent of this Property Maintenance Code.
(d) The granting of the variance will not create
or cause an adverse effect on any adjacent property.
Section 111.6 is amended to read as follows:
111.6 Board decision. In deciding the appeals brought
before it, the Board may reverse or affirm, in whole or in part, or
may modify the order, requirement, decision, or determination appealed
from and may make such order, requirement, decision or determination
as ought to be made.
Section 111.7 is amended to read as follows:
111.7 Court review. Any person aggrieved by any
decision of the Board, or any taxpayer or any officer, department
or bureau of the City, may appeal the Board's decision to the
Court of Common Pleas of Lancaster County, Pennsylvania, by a petition
duly verified setting forth that such decision is illegal in whole
or in part, specifying the grounds of illegality, which petition must
be presented to the court within 30 days after the filing of the decision
by the Board.
The following Section 111.9 is hereby added:
111.9 Additional duties. The Board shall perform
such other duties periodically assigned to it by City Council of the
City and shall perform the additional duty of hearing appeals from
initial notices of blight issued by the Lancaster Property Reinvestment
Board as provided by Ordinance 14-1991 of the City of Lancaster adopted
May 28, 1991, as amended from time to time.
Section 112.2, Issuance, is amended by adding to the end of the section:
"Service of a stop-work order shall include posting of the property
Section 112.4 is amended to read as follows:
112.4 Failure to comply. Any person who shall continue
any work after having been served with a stop-work order, except such
work as that person is directed to perform to remove a violation or
unsafe condition, shall be liable for a fine of not less than $100
nor more than $1,000. Each day that a violation continues to exist
shall be deemed a separate offense.
Section 202 is hereby amended by deleting, modifying or adding the
One or more persons related by blood (within and including the
degree of first cousin), marriage or adoption, including foster children,
living together in a single housekeeping unit and sharing all of the
facilities of that unit in common;
Not more than two unrelated persons, including persons related
to either/or both of them by blood (within and including the degree
of first cousin) or adoption, and including foster children; provided,
however, that they live together in a single housekeeping unit and
share all of the facilities of that in common.
HOTEL. A commercial lodging establishment that
offers units for sleeping purposes to transient guests and which provides
twenty-four-hour service for receiving and assisting guests.
MULTIFAMILY DWELLING. A building containing three
or more dwelling units.
The definitions of "Housekeeping Unit" and "Sleeping Unit" are
Section 302.4 is amended to read as follows:
302.4 Weeds. All premises and exterior property
shall be maintained free from weeds or plant growth in excess of six
inches. All noxious weeds shall be prohibited. Weeds shall be defined
as all grasses, annual plants and vegetation, other than trees or
shrubs, provided; however, this term shall not include cultivated
flowers and gardens.
Upon failure of the owner or agent having charge of a property
to cut and destroy weeds after service of a notice of violation, they
shall be subject to prosecution in accordance with Section 106.3 and
as prescribed by the authority having jurisdiction. Upon failure to
comply with the notice of violation, any duly authorized employee
of the jurisdiction shall be authorized to enter upon the property
in violation and cut and destroy the weeds growing thereon, and the
costs of such removal shall be paid by the owner or agent responsible
for the property.
Section 302.8 is amended by changing the words "other regulations"
in the first sentence to "other ordinances and regulations of the
Section 302.8.1 is added as follows:
302.8.1 No off street parking of any motor vehicle
or recreational vehicle shall be permitted on an unimproved yard surface
as determined by the City Zoning Officer or Stormwater Program Manager.
The following Section 302.10 is added:
302.10 Use and storage of furniture. Other than
furniture contained within a structure, use or storage of furniture
which is not designed or constructed for exterior use is prohibited
in property exterior areas.
Section 304.14 is amended to be applicable during the period of April
1 through October 31 of each year.
Section 308.2 is amended by adding "and garbage" after the term "rubbish"
in all instances where the "rubbish" occurs.
Section 308.2.1 is deleted.
Sections 308.3 through 308.3.2 are deleted.
The first sentence of Section 602.3 is amended to read as follows:
"Every owner and operator of any building who rents, leases or lets
one or more dwelling units or sleeping units on terms, either expressed
or implied, requiring said owner or operator to furnish heat to the
occupants thereof shall supply heat during the period from October
1 to May 1 sufficient to maintain a temperature of not less than 68°
F. (20° C.) in all habitable rooms, bathrooms, and toilet rooms."
Section 602.3.3 is added as follows:
3. Portable heating appliances shall be prohibited from meeting
the heat supply requirement.
Section 604.2 is amended by replacing the reference to 60 amperes
with "100 amperes."
Section 704.2.1 is amended by deleting Exceptions 1 through 3.
Section 704.2.1.2 is amended by deleting items 1 through 3 and inserting
the following language: "1. On the ceiling or wall outside of each
sleeping area in the immediate vicinity of sleeping rooms; within
each sleeping room; on each level of the dwelling unit, including
the basement and attic spaces with stairway access; and in each habitable
room, with the exception of kitchens and bathrooms. Crawl spaces are
Section 704.2.3, Power source, is amended by adding the following
language to Exceptions 1 through 3: "All battery-operated smoke alarms
shall be ten-year tamperproof, lithium-battery operated. Smoke alarms
in basements with unfinished ceilings shall be 110-volt listed smoke
alarms with battery backup."
Chapter 7 is amended by adding the following section:
CARBON MONOXIDE ALARMS
705.1. Listed alarm devices designed to detect carbon monoxide
gas infiltration into rental dwelling units shall be installed within
180 days of date of this code adoption and maintained in compliance
with the manufacturer's installation instructions, in an operable
condition, when the following conditions are present:
1. Any time a fossil fuel appliance (gas or fuel oil) is present
in the dwelling unit.
2. Any time a dwelling unit has an attached garage.
705.2 Location. A minimum of one carbon monoxide
alarm shall be installed and maintained outside the immediate vicinity
of sleeping rooms. If sleeping rooms are on multiple levels, then
each level shall have at least one alarm device.
Nothing herein or in the herefor adapted International Property
Maintenance Code of 2015 or in any incorporated codes or standards
shall be construed to affect any suit or proceeding pending in any
court or any rights acquired, or liabilities occurred, or any case
or courses of action acquired or existing, by any act or ordinance
repealed hereby, nor shall any just or legal right or remedy of any
character be lost, impaired or affected by this chapter.