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Township of Middle Smithfield, PA
Monroe County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Middle Smithfield 3-29-1984 by Ord. No. 29. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Building construction — See Ch. 85.
All buildings or structures which have any or all of the following defects shall be deemed dangerous buildings:
A. 
Those which have been damaged by fire, wind or other causes so as to have become dangerous to the life, safety, morals or the general health and welfare of the occupants or the people of the Township of Middle Smithfield.
B. 
Those which have become or are so dilapidated, decayed, unsafe, unsanitary or which so utterly fail to provide the amenities essential to decent living that they are unfit for human habitation or are likely to cause accidents, sickness or disease, so as to work injury to the health, morals, safety or general welfare of those living therein as well as other citizens of the township.
C. 
Those which have parts thereof which are so attached that they might fall and injure members of the public or adjoining property.
All dangerous buildings within the terms of § 89-1 of this chapter are hereby declared to be public nuisances and shall be repaired, vacated or demolished as hereinabove and hereinafter provided.
Whenever it shall be reported or come to the attention of any township official that any building or structure completed or in the process of construction, or any portion thereof, is in a dangerous condition, such person having knowledge thereof shall report the same to the Board of Supervisors, and the Board shall immediately cause an investigation and examination to be made of such building or structure. If such investigation or examination indicates such building or structure to be dangerous in accordance with the standards of § 89-1 of this chapter, a written report of such investigation shall be submitted to the Board of Supervisors, specifying the exact condition of such building or structure and setting forth whether or in what respect the structure is dangerous and whether the structure is capable of being properly repaired or whether it shall be removed as a dangerous structure.
The Board of Supervisors shall:
A. 
Upon receipt of a report in accordance with § 89-3 of this chapter, give written notice to the owner, occupant, mortgagee, lessee, agent and all other persons having an interest in said building as shown by land records of the Recorder of Deeds of Monroe County, to appear before the Board on the date specified in the notice to show cause why the building or structure reported to be a dangerous building should not be repaired, vacated or demolished in accordance with the statement of particulars set forth in the notice provided for herein in § 89-6C.
B. 
Hold a hearing and hear such testimony as the owner, occupant, mortgagee, lessee or any other person having an interest in said building shall offer relative to the dangerous building.
C. 
Make written findings of fact from the testimony offered pursuant to Subsection B as to whether or not the building in question is a dangerous building within the terms of § 89-1 hereof.
D. 
Issue an order based upon findings of fact made pursuant to Subsection C of this section demanding the owner, occupant, mortgagee, lessee or any other person having an interest in said building to repair, vacate or demolish any building found to be a dangerous building within the terms of this chapter.
The following standards shall be followed in substance by the Board of Supervisors in ordering repair, vacation or demolition:
A. 
If the dangerous or dilapidated building can be repaired as determined by a committee composed of the Zoning Officer and at least two members of the Board of Supervisors, so that it will no longer exist in violation of the terms of this chapter, it shall be ordered repaired.
B. 
If the dangerous or dilapidated building or structure is in such condition as to make it dangerous to the health, morals, safety or general welfare of its occupants, it shall be ordered to be vacated.
C. 
In any case where a dangerous or dilapidated building or structure cannot be reasonably repaired as determined by a committee as provided in Subsection A of this section, it shall be demolished. In cases where a dangerous or dilapidated building or structure is a fire hazard existing or erected in violation of the terms of this chapter or any statute of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, it shall be demolished.
A. 
If any structure is deemed to be a dangerous building within the standards set forth in § 89-1 of this chapter, the Board of Supervisors shall forthwith cause written notice to be served upon the owner, occupant, lessee, mortgagee, agent and all other persons having an interest in said building as shown by the deed of registration of any such dangerous building.
B. 
The notice required by this section shall be served personally upon the owner of a dangerous building if the owner resides in the township or personally upon his agent if such agent resides within the township. If personal service as required herein cannot be obtained or if the owner resides outside of the township, such notice shall be sent to the owner of a dangerous building by certified mail at the last known address thereof.
C. 
The notice shall identify the building or structure deemed dangerous and contain a statement of the particulars which made this building or structure a dangerous building and an order requiring the same to be put in such condition as to comply with the terms of the order of this chapter, provided that in any case where the notice prescribed the repair of any structure, the owner thereof shall have the option to remove such structure in lieu of making the repairs thereto within the time limits herein provided.
D. 
Such notice shall require any person notified to repair, vacate or demolish any building to commence the work or act required by the notice within 10 days of such notice and to complete such repair or removal within 30 days thereof.
E. 
The Board of Supervisors shall cause to be placed on all dangerous buildings a notice reading substantially as follows: "This building has been found to be a dangerous building by the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Middle Smithfield. This notice is to remain on this building until it is repaired, vacated or demolished in accordance with the notice which has been given to the owner, occupant, lessee, mortgagee or agent of this building. It is unlawful to remove this notice until compliance is made under the terms contained and the notice given to the above named party."
A. 
This chapter shall be enforced by action brought before a District Justice in the same manner provided for the enforcement of summary offenses under the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure. The owner, occupant, mortgagee, lessee or any other person who shall fail to comply with any notice or order to repair, vacate or demolish any such dangerous building given by any person authorized by this chapter or any regulation or order issued hereunder shall, upon conviction in a summary proceeding, be punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000 or by imprisonment for a term not exceeding 90 days. Each day or portion thereof that such violation continues or is permitted to continue shall constitute a separate offense. Each section of this chapter that is violated shall also constitute a separate offense.[1]
[1]
Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
B. 
Any person removing the notice provided for in § 89-6E shall, upon conviction in a summary proceeding, be punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000 or by imprisonment for a term not exceeding 90 days. Each day or portion thereof that such violation continues or is permitted to continue shall constitute a separate offense. Each section of this chapter that is violated shall also constitute a separate offense.[2]
[2]
Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I).
C. 
If the owner, occupant, mortgagee, lessee or any other person having an interest in said building, as shown by the land records of the Recorder of Deeds of the County of Monroe, fails to comply with any notice or order to repair, vacate or demolish any dangerous building within 30 days, the Board of Supervisors is empowered to cause such building or structure to be repaired, vacated or demolished by the township and to cause the costs of such repair, vacation or demolition, together with a penalty of 10%, to be charged against the land on which the building existed as a municipal lien or to recover such costs in a suit at law against the owner or other such person having an interest in the building, provided that the recovery of such cost and expense, together with the penalty, may be in addition to the penalty imposed in Subsection A and B of this section.
In cases wherein it reasonably appears that there exists an immediate danger to the life or safety of any person caused or created by a dangerous building, as defined herein, the Board shall cause the immediate repair, vacation or demolition of such dangerous building. The costs of such emergency repair, vacation or demolition of such dangerous building shall be collected in the same manner as provided for in § 89-7C.