Borough of Hellertown, PA
Northampton County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Hellertown 5-17-2004 by Ord. No. 663. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Code enforcement — See Ch. 153.
Nuisances — See Ch. 278.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 310.
Vehicles and traffic — See Ch. 425.

§ 430-1 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
NUISANCE
It shall be unlawful for any person, owner or lessee to maintain a motor vehicle nuisance outside of an enclosed structure on the private grounds of such person, owner or lessee within the Borough of Hellertown or upon any public grounds owned by the Borough of Hellertown. A motor vehicle nuisance shall include, but is not limited to, any vehicle which is unable to move under its own power and has any of the following physical defects:
[Added 8-21-2006 by Ord. No. 694]
A. 
Broken windshields, mirrors, or other glass with sharp edges.
B. 
One or more flat or open tires or tubes which would permit vermin harborage.
C. 
Missing doors, windows, hood, trunk, or other body parts which could permit animal harborage.
D. 
Any body part with sharp edges, including holes resulting from rust.
E. 
Missing tires resulting in unsafe suspension of the motor vehicle.
F. 
Upholstery which is torn or open which could permit animal and/or vermin harborage.
G. 
Broken headlamps or taillamps with sharp edges.
H. 
Disassembled chassis parts apart from the motor vehicle, stored in a disorderly fashion or loose in or on the vehicle.
I. 
Protruding sharp objects from the chassis.
J. 
Broken vehicle frame suspended from the ground in an unstable manner.
K. 
Leaking or damaged oil pan or gas tank which could cause fire or explosion.
L. 
Exposed battery containing acid.
M. 
Inoperable locking mechanisms for doors or trunk.
N. 
Open or damaged floorboards, including trunk and fire wall.
O. 
Damaged bumpers pulled away from the perimeter for the vehicle.
P. 
Broken grill with protruding edges.
Q. 
Loose or damaged metal trim and clips.
R. 
Broken communications equipment antenna.
S. 
Suspended or unstable supports.
T. 
Such other defects which could threaten the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of the Borough of Hellertown.
U. 
Given its current state of repair, is not capable of being used for the principal purpose(s) for which it is constructed or maintained and which condition would permit vermin harboring and/or such other condition to constitute a detriment to the health, safety and welfare of any person.
[Added 3-20-2017 by Ord. No. 817]
V. 
Be in a state of major disassembly, disrepair or in the process of being stripped, dismantled or restored, which shall include any portions of disassembled vehicles and/or assembled or disassembled vehicle parts and which condition would permit vermin harboring or other such condition to constitute a detriment to the health, safety and welfare of any person.
[Added 3-20-2017 by Ord. No. 817]
VEHICLE
An article designed for travel by the use of wheels, treads, runners, propellers or slides, the principal purpose of which is to transport persons, property and/or goods on or through a medium and shall include, without limitation, automobiles, trucks, trailers, motorcycles, tractors, snowmobiles and boats or other items of mechanical conveyance.
VEHICLE, ABANDONED
A vehicle (other than a pedalcycle) shall be presumed to be abandoned under any of the following circumstances:
[Added 3-20-2017 by Ord. No. 817]
A. 
The vehicle is physically inoperable and is left unattended on a highway or other public property for more than 48 hours.
B. 
The vehicle has remained illegally on a highway or other public property for a period of more than 48 hours.
C. 
The vehicle is left unattended on or along a highway or other public property for more than 48 hours and does not bear all of the following:
(1) 
A valid registration plate.
(2) 
A current certificate of inspection.
(3) 
An ascertainable vehicle identification number.
D. 
The vehicle has remained on private property without the consent of the owner or person in control of the property for more than 24 hours.
VEHICLE, JUNKED
A vehicle, as defined in this chapter, which meets the definition of "nuisance" and which has been stored on the premises outside of an enclosed structure, which shall be defined as having four walls and a roof, or covered by an opaque tarp, for a period in excess of 15 days.
[Amended 8-21-2006 by Ord. No. 694; 3-20-2017 by Ord. No. 817]

§ 430-2 Storage of junked vehicles prohibited.

[Amended 8-21-2006 by Ord. No. 694; 9-17-2012 by Ord. No. 775; 3-20-2017 by Ord. No. 817]
A. 
It shall be deemed a violation of this chapter for the owner or legal tenant of any property or premises to park or store (in the open) outside of an enclosed structure, defined as having four walls and a roof or covered by an approved opaque covering, any junked vehicle or vehicles or to permit another to park or store in the open any junked vehicle or vehicles or to permit another to park or store in the open any junked vehicle or vehicle when such use constitutes a nuisance and/or poses a threat to the health, safety or welfare of the public.
B. 
When a law enforcement officer and/or Code Enforcement Officer of the Borough shall determine that a junked vehicle (as defined in § 430-1 of this chapter) is being maintained on a property in violation of the terms of this chapter, said officer and/or Code Enforcement Officer shall notify the owner of the subject property by certified mail and shall order said owner to abate the violation and come into full compliance with the terms of this chapter within 15 days from the receipt of the notification. Should the certified mail be returned or unclaimed the law enforcement officer and/or Code Enforcement Officer shall notify the owner by regular first class mail.
C. 
Permit. Any property owner who shall desire to cover a vehicle in disrepair with an opaque cover shall obtain a permit from the Borough Code Enforcement Officer. The Borough Code Enforcement Officer shall review the nuisance criteria to ensure the vehicle to be covered by an opaque covering is not a nuisance or that the opaque covering removes the vehicle from being a nuisance as defined in this chapter. Said permit shall be valid for a period of 12 months from issuance. The permit shall be renewed every 12 months by the property owner.

§ 430-3 Abandoned vehicles on public streets or on private property without consent.

[Added 3-20-2017 by Ord. No. 817[1]]
A. 
This section is enacted under authority of § 6109(a)(22) of the Vehicle Code, 75 Pa.C.S.A. § 6109(a)(22), and gives authority to the Borough to remove and impound those abandoned vehicles which are parked on a public street, or private property without the consent of the property owner.
B. 
When a law enforcement officer of the Borough and/or Borough Code Enforcement Officer shall determine that an abandoned vehicle as defined in § 430-1 is being maintained on public property, or upon private property without the consent of the property owner in violation of the terms of this chapter, said officer shall notify the owner of the vehicle by certified mail. The notice shall order said owner to remove the vehicle from the public street, or private property of a nonconsenting property owner, and to come into full compliance with the terms of this chapter within 72 hours from receipt of notification that the vehicle is in violation of the chapter. Should the certified mail be returned unclaimed the law enforcement officer shall notify the owner of the vehicle by regular first class mail. Upon notification or upon the regular mail not being returned within 15 days the law enforcement officer shall cause to be affixed to the vehicle notice setting forth the registration or VIN number, state, location of the vehicle, date and time of placement of the notice of violation and maximum fine, and of the right of the Borough to impound the vehicle at the owner's expense if the abandoned vehicle is not moved within 72 hours from receipt of notice as set forth in this section.
C. 
In the event the owner of the abandoned vehicle shall not comply with the requirements of this chapter the Borough shall have the authority to remove and impound an abandoned vehicle. The Borough shall comply with the provisions of this chapter and the provisions of the Vehicle Code for the removal and impoundment of abandoned vehicles.
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also redesignated former § 430-3 as § 430-4.

§ 430-4 Violations and penalties.

[Amended 9-17-2012 by Ord. No. 775; 3-20-2017 by Ord. No. 817]
A. 
Any person, firm or corporation who shall violate any provision of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than $50 but not more than $1,000 plus costs and, in default of payment of said fine and costs, to a term of imprisonment not to exceed 30 days. Each day that a violation of this chapter continues or each section of this chapter which shall be found to have been violated shall constitute a separate offense.
B. 
It shall be deemed a continuous violation of this chapter should any owner of a junked and/or abandoned vehicle or vehicles attempt to avoid the intent of the chapter by removing the junked and/or abandoned vehicle or vehicles from the property and placing said vehicle or vehicles in an enclosed structure, as defined in this chapter, during the fifteen-day notice period only to return the same or another vehicle or vehicles owned by the aggrieved property owner to an area of the property outside an enclosed structure that would meet the definition of a junked and/or abandoned vehicle or vehicles, as defined in this chapter, within six months of receiving the initial notice of violation.
C. 
The Borough of Hellertown shall have the right to forgo the fifteen-day waiting period and immediately remove any vehicle that violates this chapter and poses an immediate threat to the general public or property. All costs incurred by this removal shall be done at the owner's expense. The Borough of Hellertown shall have sole discretion of what is deemed to be an immediate threat to the general public or property.