[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Commissioners of the Township of Shaler 7-8-2014 by Ord. No. 1925. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Brush, grass or weeds — See Ch. 87.
Flood damage prevention — See Ch. 130.
Grading excavating and fill — See Ch. 140.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 171.
Rights-of-way — See Ch. 176.
Swimming pools — See Ch. 199.
Zoning — See Ch. 225.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- A barrier of wooden posts, wire, iron or other material erected for the purpose of enclosing a piece of land or to divide a piece of land into distinct portions or to separate two contiguous estates or which is used as a boundary or means of protection or confinement.
- A screen or barrier made of living plants; any self-supporting barrier of living vegetation that encloses, screens or separates areas. A dense row of bushes, shrubs or small trees planted close together, forming a fence or boundary.
- In the case of buildings, the vertical distance from the mean level of the ground surrounding the building to the top of the highest roof beams of a flat roof or the mean level of the highest gable or slope of a hip roof. When the building faces on more than one street, the height shall be measured from the average of the grades at the center of each street front. Retaining walls shall be measured from the lowest level of grade to the top of the wall. In case of other structures, the height shall be the vertical distance from the mean level of the ground surrounding the structure to the highest point of the structure.
- Opaque or having such qualities as to constitute a complete visual barrier to persons outside the perimeter of the sight-obscuring object. A fence which partially obscures sight shall not be considered sight-obscuring if the distance or open space between boards, slats, rails, stanchions or balusters (which shall not exceed four inches in width) equals or exceeds the width of said boards, slats, etc., measured at 90° angles.
- Any man-made object having an ascertainable stationary location on or in land or water, whether or not affixed to the land.
- VISIBILITY TRIANGLE or CLEAR SIGHT TRIANGLE
- An imaginary area created by measuring back from the intersecting point of the two property lines parallel to the intersecting streets a minimum distance of 20 feet and drawing an imaginary line across these two points, for the purpose of traffic safety, and on which all landscape plantings, structural barriers, shrubs, trees, fences, walls, structures or other objects, temporary or permanent, shall permit completely unobstructed vision within a clear sight triangular area between the heights of 2 1/2 feet and nine feet above the crown of the streets, drives or driveways. The visibility triangle or clear sight triangle shall provide a clear sight triangle of at least 20 feet as measured along the center line from the intersecting roads or such greater distance as determined by the Township Engineer and the Township Code Enforcement Officer contingent on unusual site topography, proposed site design features and other unique circumstances pertaining solely to the site and surrounding properties so as not to constitute a traffic or pedestrian safety hazard.
- A continuous, vertical, linear, unroofed structure, usually constructed of wood, stone, concrete or masonry, that encloses or divides an area for the purpose of delineating a boundary or functioning as a barrier, including but not limited to enclosure walls and retaining walls. An upright structure, raised to some height and intended for purposes of providing protection, security or enclosure.
It is unlawful for any person to erect, maintain or permit any fence or wall to exist that is electrically charged in any manner, or that has barbed, concertina or razor wire in or on it, in any residential zoning district.
It is unlawful for any person to erect, maintain or permit a fence or wall to exist that has in it or on it barbs, projections, broken glass, any other hazardous or dangerous materials or anything reasonably capable of causing harm to persons or animals.
It is unlawful for any person to erect, maintain or permit any fence or wall to exist that obstructs access to a utility box, manhole or other public apparatus for maintaining utilities, and the owner shall be required to remove such obstructing fence or wall at his expense.
No person shall install, place, construct, erect, maintain or allow the installation, planting, placing, constructing, erecting or maintaining of any wall, deck or swimming pool upon, on or protruding over any public right-of-way or public property that the Township owns or has an easement over, under, around or through, except after entering into a license agreement with the Township, approved by the Township Board of Commissioners and recorded in the Department of Real Estate of Allegheny County.
Where a wall, deck or swimming pool is to be placed upon, on or over such a utility easement containing underground utilities, the owner or occupant shall agree to release and indemnify the Township from any damages for removal of the wall, deck or swimming pool as a result of the need to repair or replace said utilities. The owner shall remove and rebuild the wall, deck or swimming pool at the owner's expense.
The owner of a wall, deck or swimming pool shall be responsible for the design, construction and maintenance of the wall, deck or swimming pool, and such construction shall not interfere with any utility line or normal drainage.
Permission to build, construct or erect a wall, deck or swimming pool upon, on or over a utility easement does not remove the obligation of the owner to remove such wall, deck or swimming pool upon demand of the Township or a utility company. The owner shall remove and rebuild the wall, deck or swimming pool at the owner's expense.
No person shall install, plant, place, construct, erect, maintain or allow the installation, planting, placing, constructing, erecting or maintaining of any fence, wall, hedge, vegetation or other planting or structure on any lot in such a manner as to create a traffic hazard. Failure of the owner, agent or occupant to remove such traffic hazard within seven days after receipt of notice to do so is a violation of this chapter.
It shall be unlawful to install, plant, place, erect, maintain or to allow the installation, planting, placing, erecting or maintaining of any fence, wall, hedge or other structure or planting in any clear sight triangle or visibility triangle, which by obstructing the view of any driver constitutes a traffic hazard, and it is the duty of the owner of any real property to remove from the property any tree, plant, shrub, fence, wall, hedge or other similar obstruction, or part thereof, which by obstructing the view of any driver constitutes the traffic hazard. See 75 Pa.C.S.A. § 6112.
Upon request by the Township, all fences or walls constituting a safety hazard shall be removed and all trees, shrubs and hedges shall be removed or trimmed by the owner or occupant of building, lot or premises so that the fence, wall, tree, shrub or hedge does not materially restrict the line of sight of drivers or constitute a traffic hazard.
From and after the effective date of this chapter, the Board of Commissioners of the Township of Shaler may order the removal of existing or future fences, trees, shrubbery, underbrush, posts or any other obstruction or structure within the legal right-of-way of any public street or highway situate within the Township of Shaler deemed by the Board of Commissioners of the Township of Shaler to be necessary in order to provide for easy and convenient traveling upon the public street or highway of the Township of Shaler. Such removal shall be in accordance with Section 2070 of the First Class Township Code, Act of June 24, 1931, P.L. 1206, Art. XX, as amended, 53 P.S. § 57070.
Upon the failure, neglect or refusal of any owner or occupant so notified to correct the thing, hazard or condition which may have a tendency to imperil the health, safety and welfare of the residents of the Township within seven days after receipt of the written notice provided for in Subsection A above, or three days after the date of such notice in the event that the same is returned unserved, said Township Code Enforcement Officer or his designee is hereby authorized and empowered to order the correction of such condition, using Township funds or Township personnel to accomplish such correction, and may charge the costs thereof to the violator. Collection of such costs by the Township may be made by lien or otherwise as authorized by law.
Any person who violates any of the provisions of this chapter shall be subject to a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $600, plus the costs of proceedings for each offense, the same to be collected in the name of the Township of Shaler by summary proceeding, and in default of payment of the fine and costs, such person shall be committed to the Allegheny County Jail for a period not to exceed 90 days. The continuance of any violation of this chapter for each period of 24 hours after notice of the same by the Administrator shall be deemed a separate and distinct offense for each twenty-four-hour period. Nothing contained herein shall be deemed to preclude the Township of Shaler to seek other relief or avail itself of any remedy that may be at law or in equity to prevent continuing violation of the terms of this chapter or to restrain or abate such violation.