Township of Union, PA
Washington County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Union 8-11-2003 by Ord. No. 122. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Brush, grass and weeds — See Ch. 89.
Unsafe buildings — See Ch. 100.
Open burning — See Ch. 106.
Uniform construction codes — See Ch. 113.
Outdoor lighting — See Ch. 155.
Solid waste — See Ch. 218.
Streets and sidewalks — See Ch. 236.
Vehicle nuisances — See Ch. 258.
Zoning — See Ch. 280.

§ 194-1 Short title.

This chapter shall be known and cited as the "Union Township Property Maintenance Ordinance."

§ 194-2 Preface.

Recognizing the need within Union Township to establish certain minimum health and safety requirements for those buildings, structures or properties which are used or associated with human occupancy, this chapter hereby establishes standards which the Board of Supervisors considers to be fair and essential in meeting those minimum requirements.

§ 194-3 Authority.

This chapter, and the objectives leading to its enactment, are authorized by the Second Class Township Code.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See 53 P.S. § 65101 et seq.

§ 194-4 Definitions.

As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
BUILDING
A roofed structure, enclosed by one or more walls, for the shelter, housing, storage or enclosure of persons, goods, materials, equipment or animals.
COURT
An open and unoccupied space on a lot enclosed on at least three sides by the walls of a building.
GARBAGE
Putrescible animal and vegetable wastes resulting from the handling, preparation, cooking and consumption of food.
INFESTATION
The presence of insects, rodents, vermin and/or other pests.
LOT
Plot, tracts, premises or parcel of land, with or without improvements thereto.
OWNER
Any person or persons, jointly or severally, firm, corporation or other entity which, either by conveyance or inheritance or otherwise, is vested with the title to a lot and/or improvements thereto or who retains the exclusive control of such a lot and/or improvements thereto in his capacity as a legal representative, such as an administrator, trustee, executor, etc.
REFUSE
All putrescible and nonputrescible solid wastes, including garbage, motor vehicle parts, rubbish, ashes, dead animals and market and industrial wastes.
UNOCCUPIED HAZARD
Any building, or part thereof, or man-made structure which remains unoccupied for a period of more than six months, with either doors, windows or other openings broken, removed, boarded or sealed up; or any building under construction upon which little or no construction work has been performed for a period of more than six months.
YARD
Any open space on the same lot with a building and for the most part unobstructed from the ground up.

§ 194-5 Application.

The provisions of this chapter shall supplement local laws, ordinances or regulations existing in Union Township or those of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania. Where a provision of this chapter is found to be in conflict with any provisions of a local law, ordinance, code or regulation or those of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, the provisions which are more restrictive or which establish the higher standards shall prevail.

§ 194-6 Buildings and structures. [1]

A. 
No owner of any building or structure shall fail to take steps and perform such maintenance thereto as may be required from time to time to ensure the property is safe, sound, sanitary and secure and does not present a health and/or safety hazard to surrounding properties and to the general populace.
B. 
No owner of any unoccupied building or structure shall fail to take such steps as may be required to ensure that it is securely closed so as to prohibit and deter entry thereto and to ensure that no health and/or safety hazard, or threat thereof, is precipitated due to a lack of maintenance or due to neglect.
C. 
Owners of any and all unoccupied buildings and/or structures which, through neglect, have deteriorated to the point of being classified as unoccupied hazards, and therefore, constitute a severe health and/or safety hazard, shall, upon direction of the Board of Supervisors or its authorized representative, such as the Code Enforcement Officer, remove or cause the removal of the building and/or structure.
[1]
Editor's Note: See also Ch. 100, Buildings, Unsafe.

§ 194-7 Yards, open lots, parking areas.

No person shall permit:
A. 
Fences and/or minor structures to be constructed and maintained so as to present a safety or health hazard to persons and/or property;
B. 
The development or accumulation of hazards, rodent harborage and/or infestation upon yards, courts, lots;
C. 
Objectionable materials, including but not limited to appliances, tires, motor vehicle parts, garbage and refuse, to accumulate and/or to be blown about the surrounding neighborhood;
D. 
Wells, cesspools, cisterns and/or ponds of a similar nature to remain open without adequate fencing or barricades to prevent access thereto by the general public; or
E. 
The accumulation of heavy undergrowth and/or vegetation which would impair the health and/or safety of the neighborhood; nor shall he permit any trees, plants or shrubbery or any portion thereof to grow on his property which constitute a safety hazard to pedestrian and/or vehicular traffic.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See also Ch. 89, Brush, Grass and Weeds.
F. 
No inoperative, dismantled, unregistered or unlicensed vehicle shall be stored on a lot except in an entirely enclosed structure.[2]
[2]
Editor's Note: See also Ch. 258, Vehicle Nuisances.

§ 194-8 Infestation, prevention and correction.

A. 
Grounds, buildings and structures shall be maintained free of insect, vermin, rodent harborage and infestation.
B. 
Adequate sanitary facilities and methods shall be used for the collection, storage, handling and disposal of garbage and refuse.
C. 
Where there exists rodent and vermin infestation, corrective measures shall be undertaken by the property owner and/or occupant to alleviate the existing problem(s), to include screening, extermination and/or garbage and refuse control. Methods employed for extermination shall conform with generally accepted practices.

§ 194-9 Prohibited acts.

No person shall permit:
A. 
Roof. Surface and/or sanitary drainage to create a safety or health hazard to persons and/or property by reason of inadequate and/or improper construction of, or maintenance of, or manner of discharge.
B. 
Roof gutters, drains or any other system designed and constructed to transport stormwater to be discharged into any sanitary sewage system and/or any part thereof.
C. 
Any refrigerator, freezer and/or other similar storage chest to be discarded, abandoned or stored in any place or location which is accessible to the general public without first completely removing any and all locking devices and/or doors. Any appliance that has freon must have certification that freon was removed properly.

§ 194-10 Responsibilities of occupants.

Any occupant of a premises shall be responsible for compliance with the provisions of this chapter with respect to the maintenance of that part of the premises which he occupies and/or controls in a safe, sound and/or sanitary condition pursuant to the terms of the contract/agreement under which he exercises occupancy and/or control thereof, except as provided for in § 194-11.

§ 194-11 Responsibilities of owners.

A. 
The owner of a premises shall comply with the provisions of this chapter as well as operators and occupants, regardless of any agreements between owners and operators or occupants as to which party shall assume such responsibility.
B. 
In instances where an occupant is responsible, or shares responsibility with an owner, for the existence of one or more violations of this chapter, said occupant shall be deemed responsible and treated as if an owner within the true intent and meaning of this chapter.
C. 
In instances where an occupant is responsible, or shares responsibility with an owner, and fails to correct a violation of this chapter, said owner of property shall be deemed responsible and be treated within the true intent and meaning of this chapter.

§ 194-12 Inspection.

The Board of Supervisors may enter or may cause entry, through an authorized representative of Union Township, onto premises for the purpose of inspection of any and all premises, properties, buildings and/or structures located within Union Township for ascertaining the existence of violations. In those matters where the nature of an alleged violation is such that an inspection of the interior of a building or structure is necessitated, prior arrangements must be made with the owner, or his agent, to secure access thereto.

§ 194-13 Notice to comply.

A. 
If noncompliance with the provisions of this chapter constitutes a nuisance, or if any condition, structure or improvement poses a threat to the health, safety or welfare of the public, the Code Enforcement Officer shall issue a written notice to be served by registered or certified mail upon the owner of said premises or, if the owner's whereabouts or identity be unknown, by posting the notice conspicuously upon the offending premises.
B. 
Said notice shall specify the condition or structure or improvement complained of and shall require the owner to commence to remove or otherwise rectify the condition or structure or improvement as set forth therein within 10 days of mailing or posting of said notice and thereafter to fully comply with the requirements of the notice within a reasonable time.

§ 194-14 Authority to remedy noncompliance.

If the owner does not comply with the notice to abate the conditions within the time limit prescribed, Union Township shall have the authority to take measures to correct the conditions and collect the cost of such corrections plus 10% of all costs. Union Township, in such event and pursuant to its statutory or otherwise authorized police powers, shall have the right and power to enter upon the offending premises to accomplish the foregoing.

§ 194-15 Violations and penalties.

Any person, firm or corporation who shall violate any provision of this chapter, upon conviction thereof in an action brought before a Magisterial District Judge in the manner provided for the enforcement of summary offenses under the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure, shall be sentenced to pay a fine of 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 90 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.

§ 194-16 Owners severally responsible.

If the premises are owned by more than one owner, each owner shall severally be subject to prosecution for the violation of this chapter.

§ 194-17 Remedies not mutually exclusive.

The remedies provided herein for the enforcement of this chapter or any remedy provided by law shall not be deemed mutually exclusive; rather they may be employed simultaneously or consecutively, at the option of the Board of Supervisors.