Town of Elsmere, DE
New Castle County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Mayor and Council of the Town of Elsmere as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Building construction — See Ch. 76.
Lawn care companies — See Ch. 123.
Dumping of yard waste and refuse — See Ch. 127.
Solid waste — See Ch. 187.
Streets and sidewalks — See Ch. 192.
Abandoned vehicles — See Ch. 211.
[Adopted 10-14-1999 by Ord. No. 377]
It shall be the responsibility of each property owner whose property adjoins a public street to properly maintain the property and vegetation in the right-of-way next to that public street on the side thereof adjoining or constituting part of such owner's property.
The maintenance required by this article shall be that required to have the property meet the standards provided for by the code adopted under Chapter 76, Building Construction, Article II, Adoption of Building, Residential, Plumbing, Mechanical and Fuel Gas Standards, and Chapter 171, Property Maintenance, Article II, Adoption of Standards, of the Code of the Town of Elsmere.
Notwithstanding any of the other provisions of this article, nothing in this article shall preclude any property owner from seeking reimbursement from another party for expenses incurred by him or her to comply with this article.
[Amended 9-18-2003 by Ord. No. 420]
Any person violating the provisions of this article shall, upon conviction, be subject to a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $300 or imprisonment for not more than 30 days, or both.
[Adopted 9-18-2003 by Ord. No. 420; amended in its entirety 3-9-2017 by Ord. No. 625]
A certain document, three copies of which are on file in the Code Enforcement Office of the Town of Elsmere, being marked and designated as the "International Property Maintenance Code, 2012 Edition," as published by the International Code Council, is hereby adopted as the Property Maintenance Code of the Town of Elsmere, in the State of Delaware, for regulating and governing the conditions and maintenance of all property, buildings and structures; by providing the standards for supplied utilities and facilities and other physical things and conditions essential to ensure that structures are safe, sanitary and fit for occupation and use; and the condemnation of buildings and structures unfit for human occupancy and use, and the demolition of such existing structures as herein provided; providing for the issuance of permits and collection of fees therefor; and each and all of the regulations, provisions, penalties, conditions and terms of said Property Maintenance Code on file in the Code Enforcement Office of the Town of Elsmere are hereby referred to, adopted, and made a part hereof, as if fully set out in this legislation, with the additions, insertions, deletions and changes, if any, prescribed in § 171-6 of this article.
The following sections of the 2012 Property Maintenance Code are hereby revised or amended as follows:
A. 
Section 101, General, 101.1: by deleting the word "International" in this section and inserting the words "The Town of Elsmere" where it says "[NAME OF JURISDICTION]."
B. 
Section 103.2, Appointment: by deleting 103.2 in its entirety and inserting a new 103.2 to read as follows:
103.2 Appointment.
The Code Enforcement Department and its Code Enforcement Officers, the Chief of whom shall be the Town Manager, are hereby designated as the primary department charged with enforcing the provisions of this Code and shall also be known as the "Code Official(s)."
C. 
Section 103.3, Deputies: by deleting 103.3 in its entirety and inserting a new 103.3 to read as follows:
103.3 Deputies.
The Code Enforcement Officers shall be appointed under the authority of the Town Manager. The Town Manager shall have the authority to employ and/or appoint a third-party company or individual to serve with or in place of other Code Officials.
D. 
Section 103.5, Fees: by deleting 103.5 in its entirety and inserting a new 103.5 to read as follows:
103.5 Fees.
The fees for activities and services performed by the Department in carrying out its responsibilities under this code shall be indicated in the Code of the Town of Elsmere or as may be set by resolution of the Town Council.
E. 
Section 109.6, Hearing: by deleting the words "appeals board" and inserting in their place the words "Board of Adjustment."
F. 
Section 111, Means of Appeal. Section 111 shall be deleted in its entirety and a new Section 111 shall be inserted in its place to read as follows:
[Amended 3-8-2018 by Ord. No. 633]
SECTION 111
MEANS OF APPEAL
111.1 Application for appeal.
Any person directly affected by a decision of the Code Official or a notice or order issued under this code shall have the right to appeal to the Board of Adjustment of the Town of Elsmere, provided that a written application for appeal is filed within 20 days after the day the decision, notice or order was served. An application for appeal shall be based on a claim that the true intent of this code or the rules legally adopted thereunder have been incorrectly interpreted or the provisions of this code do not fully apply. Additionally, an application for appeal may be based on a claim that an action other than what is required by the code: 1) provides the same or better protections than what the code requires; and 2) will not cost the Town of Elsmere any more money than enforcing the code as written. If the appellant proves that an action other than what is required by the code meets these two requirements, the Board of Adjustment may, in its discretion, either enforce the code as written or permit the proposed alternative action.
111.2 Notice of meeting.
Once an appeal has been properly filed, a date shall be set for when the Board of Adjustment shall hear the appeal. If on the date the appeal was filed there are more than 14 days before the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Board, the appeal shall be heard at that meeting. However, if there are fewer than 14 days before the next regularly scheduled meeting of the Board, the date for the appeal hearing shall be the fourth Tuesday of the month following the month in which the appeal was filed.
These requirements shall not prohibit the scheduling of the appeal hearing from being held at any other public meeting of the Board, provided that the provisions of this section are waived by mutual agreement by both the appellant and the Town Manager in a written agreement.
111.3 Open hearing.
All hearings before the Board of Adjustment shall be open to the public. The appellant, the appellant's representative, the Code Official and any person who has been called as a witness or whose interests are affected shall be given an opportunity to be heard.
111.4 Procedure.
The Board of Adjustment shall set and make available the procedures under which a hearing will be conducted. The procedures shall not require compliance with strict rules of evidence, but shall mandate that only relevant information be received.
111.5 Postponed hearing.
Either the appellant or the appellant's representative shall have the right to request a postponement of the hearing.
111.6 Board decision.
After hearing the evidence provided at the hearing, the Board of Adjustment shall modify or reverse the decision of the Code Official only by a concurring vote of a majority of Board members present.
111.7 Records and copies.
The decision of the Board shall be recorded. Copies shall be furnished to the appellant and to the Code Official.
111.8 Administration.
The Code Official shall take immediate action in accordance with the decision of the Board of Adjustment.
111.9 Court review.
Any person, whether or not a previous party to the appeal, shall have the right to apply to the appropriate court for a writ of certiorari to correct errors of law. Application for review shall be made in the manner and time required by law following the decision of the Board of Adjustment.
111.10 Stays of enforcement.
Appeals of notice and orders (other than imminent danger notices) shall stay the enforcement of the notice and order until the appeal is heard by the Board of Adjustment.
G. 
Section 112.4, Failure to comply: by adding where the first [AMOUNT] appears $500, and by adding where the second [AMOUNT] appears $1,000.
H. 
Section 301.2, Responsibility: by adding a new sentence at the end of the existing paragraph to read as follows: "Additionally, the owner of the premises shall be responsible for maintaining all common areas of the structure and ensuring that the entire structure and exterior property is free of infestation."
I. 
Section 302.4, Weeds:
(1) 
By deleting "[JURISDICTION TO INSERT HEIGHT IN INCHES]" and replacing that phrase with the following: "eight inches."
(2) 
By deleting the words "other than trees or shrubs provided" as they appear in the fifth and sixth lines of the first paragraph and replacing that phrase with the following: "all unrestrained or unmanicured shrubs, hedges, brush and undergrowth, any rotten, dead, diseased or decaying tree, plant or other vegetation as well as any shrubs, hedges, brush, undergrowth or other vegetation which expands beyond the property line of the owner or creates a nuisance to any adjoining property or to the neighborhood."
J. 
Section 302.10, Outdoor furniture or appliances: by adding a new Section 302.10 to read as follows:
302.10 Outdoor furniture or appliances.
The outdoor storage or use of any equipment, materials, furnishings or appliances which are not specifically designed or manufactured for exterior placement is prohibited. Items which are specifically designed or manufactured for outdoor use such as lawn furniture, barbeque grills, garden tools and children's outdoor play equipment may be stored outside, provided that they are maintained in good condition and stored in an orderly fashion.
K. 
Section 303.3, Additional regulations: by adding a new Section 303.3 to read as follows:
303.3 Additional regulations.
These regulations shall be in addition to those established in Chapter 171, Property Maintenance, of the Code of the Town of Elsmere. Should these regulations be in conflict with those in Chapter 171 the provisions of Chapter 171 of the Code of the Town of Elsmere shall prevail.
L. 
Section 304.14, Insect screens: by deleting the words "During the period from [DATE to [DATE],".
M. 
Section 308.4, Placement for collection: by adding a new Section 308.4 to read as follows:
308.4 Placement for collection.
It is the responsibility of every occupant of a structure or dwelling unit to place out for collection on the regularly scheduled collection day any container which contains any amount of rubbish or garbage.
N. 
Section 308.5, Time limits for placement for collection: by adding a new Section 308.5 to read as follows:
308.5 Time limits on placement for collection.
No occupant of a structure or dwelling unit shall place out for collection any container before 6:00 p.m. on the night before the scheduled collection date, and any container placed out for collection shall be returned to an approved storage location by no later than 8:00 p.m. on the regularly scheduled collection day.
O. 
Section 308.6, Approved storage location: by adding a new Section 308.6 to read as follows:
308.6 Approved storage location.
The only approved storage location for containers shall be at a point on the property which is located in the side or the rear of the property.
P. 
309.2 Owner: Insert a new Section 309.2 to read as follows:
309.2 Owner responsible.
The owner of any structure shall be responsible for the extermination of the entire structure as frequently as may be required to avoid or address any infestation.
Q. 
Section 404.4.1, Room area: by adding a new sentence at the end of the paragraph to read as follows: "Except that in all units constructed prior to March 8, 2003, every room occupied for sleeping purposes by one person shall contain at least 50 square feet of floor area."
R. 
Section 602.3, Heat supply: by deleting the words "During the period from [DATE to [DATE],".
S. 
Section 602.4, Occupiable work spaces: by deleting the words "During the period from [DATE to [DATE],".
T. 
Section 603.7, Carbon monoxide detectors: by inserting a new Section 603.7 to read as follows:
603.7 Carbon monoxide detectors.
In all residential occupancy buildings, a single-station carbon monoxide alarm in conformity with UL 2034 regulations shall be provided on all levels with sleeping rooms. In multifamily dwellings with more than one dwelling unit on each level, each dwelling unit shall be provided with a carbon monoxide alarm.
A. 
Any person who violates the Property Maintenance Code of the Town of Elsmere, as adopted pursuant to § 171-5 of Chapter 171, shall be subject to and liable for a civil penalty in the amount of $100. This civil penalty shall be paid within 30 days of the date of the citation (the "payment deadline"), even if the violation is cured by such date. If it is not paid by the payment deadline, then the civil penalty imposed under this section shall give rise to a lien pursuant to Title 25, Chapter 29, of the Delaware Code. Each seventy-two-hour period that the condition giving rise to the issuance of a citation continues after a citation has been issued shall be considered a new and separate offense and as such will be subject to a separate citation and an additional civil penalty in the amount of $100.
B. 
Any citation issued for failure to comply with this article shall be mailed to the owner of the property that is the subject of the citation.
C. 
The owner of a property aggrieved by any civil penalty imposed pursuant to this section may appeal to the Board of Adjustment pursuant to § 171-6F of this article.
D. 
This section shall apply and remain valid despite any determination that it is inconsistent with any other section of the Property Maintenance Code of the Town of Elsmere.
E. 
Waiver of fines for a first offense. Whenever a citation is issued pursuant to this chapter and the owner, person, firm, company, or corporation who is receiving the citation has not received any other citation or violation of any kind from the Town within the twelve-month period immediately preceding the issuance date of the citation being issued, the fine portion of the citation may be waived if the following conditions have been met. The waiving of the fine shall only occur once and only if whoever received the citation meets the requirements of Subsection E(1) and (2) below.
(1) 
Within 48 hours of receiving the citation the person receiving it takes the required corrective action to abate the situation which gave rise to the issuance of the citation and brings proof that the abatement has been completed to the Code Enforcement Office; and
(2) 
Once the Code Enforcement Officer determines that the situation has been properly abated, either by the evidence brought to the Code Office or the Code Officer visiting the site, the fine shall be waived. However, the record of the violation occurring at the property shall remain and the violation shall be considered a first offense. The property will still be subject to all other fines, including a fine for a repeated public nuisance.