Township of Bethlehem, PA
Northampton County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Commissioners of the Township of Bethlehem 8-17-1998 by Ord. No. 5-98 (Ch. 10, Part 3, of the 1988 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Vector control — See Ch. 247.

§ 265-1 Short title.

This chapter shall be known and entitled the "Bethlehem Township Weed and Noxious Vegetation Ordinance."

§ 265-2 Exercise of power.

This chapter is enacted pursuant to § 1502(XXVI) of the First Class Township Code, 53 P.S. § 56526, entitled "Nuisances."

§ 265-3 Definitions.

The following words and terms shall, for the purposes of this chapter, have the meanings set forth herein:
NOXIOUS VEGETATION
Ragweed, goldwood, poison ivy, poison oak, poison sumac and similar vegetation producing contact or airborne allergies, and all bamboo species, including but not limited to Bambusa, Phyllostachys, and Pseudosasa, and including common bamboo, golden bamboo and arrow bamboo (collectively, "bamboo").
[Amended 9-8-2015 by Ord. No. 15-15B]
OCCUPANT
Any person residing in or otherwise in actual possession of real property.
OPERATOR
Any person who has charge, care or control of real property which is let or offered for occupancy by others.
OWNER
Any person having a legal or equitable interest in real property or recorded in the Office of the Recorder of Deeds of Northampton County, Pennsylvania, as holding legal or equitable title to real property, including the guardian of the estate or the executor or administrator of the estate of any such person.
PERSON
Any individual, corporation, partnership, trust or other entity, including the officers of corporations and partners or partnerships.
WEED
Any vegetation in excess of eight inches in height, including all annual and perennial grasses and plants but excluding:
A. 
Trees.
B. 
Shrubbery.
C. 
Flowers and ornamental plants in cultivated gardens and planting beds.
D. 
Plants grown for use as a food for domestic animals or humans.

§ 265-4 Weeds and noxious vegetation prohibited.

[Amended 8-16-2010 by Ord. No. 03-10]
It shall be unlawful, and deemed a nuisance, for any owner, occupant or operator of real property within the Township of Bethlehem to:
A. 
Fail, neglect or refuse to maintain said real property and the land area between the lot lines of said real property and the cartway edge of any abutting alley or street, free at all times of weeds and noxious vegetation.
B. 
Except as set forth in Subsection C below, fail, neglect or refuse to remove all cuttings and other accumulations of weeds and noxious vegetation from said real property and land area.
[Amended 9-8-2015 by Ord. No. 15-15B]
C. 
Growing or maintaining of bamboo in such a manner that the bamboo spreads, invades or grows on an adjoining or neighboring property. Any property owner or resident who has planted or maintains bamboo (bamboo property owner) shall be required to take such measures that are reasonably expected to prevent such bamboo from invading or growing onto adjoining or neighboring properties. Such measures shall include, but not be limited to, installation of sheathing comprised of metal or other material impenetrable by bamboo at sufficient depth within the property line or lines where the running bamboo is planted or growing to prevent the growth or encroachment upon adjoining or neighboring property by the bamboo.
[Added 9-8-2015 by Ord. No. 15-15B]

§ 265-5 Notice of violation.

[Amended 8-16-2010 by Ord. No. 03-10]
Any Township Code Enforcement, Zoning or police officer may give a notice of violation to any owner, occupant or operator of real property which is in violation of § 265-4. The notice shall be dated and in writing and may be served by hand delivering the notice to said owner, occupant or operator at the real property or mailing the notice to the last known address of said owner, occupant or operator by both certified and first class United States mail, postage prepaid. If service is made by mail as aforesaid and both the certified and first-class mail are returned by the United States Postal Service as undelivered, the notice may be served by posting the notice at the real property in a conspicuous location. The notice shall inform the recipient that the real property is in violation of § 265-4, shall identify the real property by street address or Northampton County Uniform Parcel Identifier Number and shall require said person to correct the violation within seven days of the date of the notice.

§ 265-6 Township to correct.

[Added 8-16-2010 by Ord. No. 03-10]
If the violation is not corrected within the said seven days as set forth in § 265-5, the Township Code Enforcement Officer is empowered to enter upon the real property and may engage all labor and furnish all materials necessary to correct the violation.

§ 265-7 Lien on real property.

[Added 8-16-2010 by Ord. No. 03-10]
The Township shall collect the costs expended by the Township to correct the violation, together with a penalty of 10%, and may file a lien against the real property in the Court of Common Pleas of Northampton County in the amount of the costs and penalty and shall proceed to collect the same as other municipal claims collectable by law. Proceedings by the Township pursuant to this section shall be in addition to and not in lieu or derogation of summary proceedings and the imposition of fines or penalties for any violation as provided in § 265-8.

§ 265-8 Violations and penalties.

[Amended 8-16-2010 by Ord. No. 03-10[1]]
A. 
Any person who shall violate any provision of this chapter shall, upon conviction therefor in a summary proceeding, be sentenced to pay a fine or penalty to the Township as follows:
(1) 
For a first offense, the sum of $100 plus costs.
(2) 
For a second offense, the sum of $300 plus costs.
(3) 
For a third offense, the sum of $600 plus costs.
(4) 
For all subsequent offenses, the sum of $1,000 plus costs.
B. 
Provided, nevertheless, that in the event a person who has been convicted hereunder fully complies with the provisions of this chapter for a period of 24 consecutive months, then all previous convictions shall be disregarded for the purpose of determining the number of offenses and any next offense shall be a first offense for purposes of this section. In default of payment of said fine and penalty, such person shall be sentenced to a term of imprisonment not to exceed 90 days.
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also provided for the renumbering of former § 265-6 as § 265-8.