Borough of Middletown, PA
Dauphin County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Middletown 7-11-2005 by Ord. No. 1194, approved 7-11-2005;
Editor’s Note: This ordinance provided for the repeal of former Art. I, Standards, adopted 9-7-1993 by Ord. No. 1048, as amended, and §§ 210-9 through 210-15 of former Art. II, Vegetation, Refuse and Junk, adopted 7-8-1968 by Ord. No. 537, as amended, and renumbered former §§ 210-16 and 210-17 as §§ 210-2 and 210-3, respectively.
amended in its entirety 9-5-2006 by Ord. No. 1213, approved 9-5-2006. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES

Keeping of animals — See Ch. 101.

Uniform Construction Code — See Ch. 114.

Code enforcement — See Ch. 127.

Fire prevention — See Ch. 155.

Garbage, rubbish and refuse — See Ch. 164.

Nuisances — See Ch. 188.

Vector control — See Ch. 250.

§ 210-1
Enforcement of standards; definitions. 

§ 210-2
Property Maintenance. 

§ 210-3
Duties and powers of Code Official. 

§ 210-4
Violations and penalties. 

§ 210-5
Abatement of nuisances. 

§ 210-1 Enforcement of standards; definitions.

A. 

With respect to property maintenance and the Property Maintenance Code, the code adopted in § 114-1 herein shall be enforced by the Code Official.

B. 

Definitions. As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:

BOROUGH
The Borough of Middletown. Pennsylvania.
CODE OFFICIAL
The official who is charged with the administration and enforcement of this Code or any duly authorized representative, including the Borough Manager. The Code Official, or any duly authorized representative, shall have all authority necessary to enforce the provisions of this Act, including instituting summary citation proceedings.
EXTERIOR PROPERTY AREAS
The open space on the premises and on adjoining property under the control of owners or operators of such premises.
GARBAGE
The animal and vegetable waste resulting from the handling, preparation, cooking and consumption of food.
INFESTATION
The presence within or contiguous to a structure or premises of insects, rats, vermin or other pests.
MOTOR VEHICLE NUISANCE
A motor vehicle nuisance shall include any motor vehicle which is unable to move under its own power and has any of the following physical defects:
(1) 

Broken windshields, mirrors or other glass with sharp edges.

(2) 

One or more flat or open tires or tubes which could permit vermin harborage.

(3) 

Missing doors, windows, hoods, trucks, or other body parts which could permit animal harborage.

(4) 

Any body parts with sharp edges including holes resulting from rust.

(5) 

Missing tires resulting in unsafe suspension of the motor vehicle.

(6) 

Upholstery which is torn or open which could permit animal and/or vermin harborage,

(7) 

Broken headlamps or tail lamps with sharp edges.

(8) 

Disassembled chassis parts apart from the motor vehicle stored in a disorderly fashion or loose in or on the vehicle,

(9) 

Protruding sharp objects from the chassis.

(10) 

Broken vehicle frames suspended from the ground in an unstable manner.

(11) 

Leaking or damaged oil pan or gas tank which could cause fire or explosion.

(12) 

Exposed battery containing acid.

(13) 

Inoperable locking mechanism for doors or trunks.

(14) 

Open or damaged floor boards including trunk and fire wall.

(15) 

Damaged bumpers pulled away from the perimeter of vehicle.

(16) 

Broken grill with protruding edges.

(17) 

Loose or damaged metal trim and clips, broken communications equipment and antenna.

(18) 

Suspended on unstable supports.

(19) 

Such other defects which could threaten the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of the Borough.

OPERATOR
Any person who has charge, care or control of a structure or premises which is let or offered for occupancy.
OWNER
Any person, agent, operator, firm or corporation having a legal or equitable interest in the property; or recorded in the official records of the county as holding title to the property; or otherwise having control of the property, including the guardian of the estate of any such person and the executor or administrator of the estate of such person if ordered to take possession of real property by a court.
PERSON
An individual corporation, partnership, or any other group acting as a unit.
PREMISES
A lot, plot or parcel of land, including the buildings or structures thereon.
PUBLIC NUISANCE
Includes the following:
(1) 

The physical condition or use of any premises regarded as a public nuisance at common law.

(2) 

Any physical condition, use or occupancy of any premise's appurtenances considered an attractive nuisance to children, including but not limited to abandoned wells, shafts, basements, excavations and unsafe fences or structures.

(3) 

Any premises which has unsanitary sewage or plumbing facilities.

(4) 

Any premises designated as unsafe for human habitation or use.

(5) 

Any premises which is manifestly capable of being a fire hazard or is manifestly unsafe or unsecure as to endanger life, limb or property.

(6) 

Any premises from which the plumbing, heating and/or facilities required by this code have been removed or from which utilities have been disconnected, destroyed or rendered ineffective or the required precautions against trespassers have not been provided.

(7) 

Any premises which is unsanitary or which is littered with rubbish or garbage or which has an uncontrolled growth of weeds.

(8) 

Any structure or building that is in a state of dilapidation, deterioration or decay, faulty construction, overcrowded, open, vacant or abandoned, damaged by fire to the extent as not to provide shelter, in danger of collapse or failure and dangerous to anyone on or near the premises.

RUBBISH
Combustible and noncombustible waste materials except garbage, and the term shall include the residue from burning of wood, coal, coke and other combustible materials, paper, rags, cartons, boxes, wood, excelsior, rubber, leather, tree branches, yard trimmings, tin cans, metals, mineral matter, glass, crockery and dust and other similar materials.
STRUCTURE
That which is built or constructed, including without limitation because of enumeration buildings for any occupancy or use whatsoever, fences, signs, billboards, fire escapes, chute escapes, railings, water tanks, towers, open-grade steps, sidewalks or stairways, tents or anything erected and framed of component parts which is fastened, anchored or rests on a permanent foundation or on the ground.

§ 210-2 Property Maintenance.

A. 

Maintenance of exterior property areas:

(1) 

Sanitation. All exterior property areas and premises shall be maintained in a clean safe and sanitary condition, free from any accumulation of rubbish or garbage.

(2) 

Containers. The operator of every establishment producing garbage, a vegetable waste or other putrescible material shall provide, and at all times cause to be used, leak proof approved containers provided with close-fitting covers for the storage of such materials until removed from the premises for disposal.

(3) 

Grading and drainage, All premises shall be graded and maintained so as to prevent the accumulation of stagnant water thereon, or with any structure located thereon. Stagnant water shall be determined as any accumulation that has not disbursed within seven days of the last recorded local rainfall. Exception: water retention areas and/or reservoirs approved by the Code Official.

(4) 

Insect and rat control. An owner of a structure or property shall be responsible for the extermination of insects, rats, vermin or other pests in all exterior areas of the premises, except that the occupant shall be responsible for such extermination in the exterior areas of the premises of a single-family dwelling. Whenever infestation exists in the premises of other than a single-family dwelling, extermination shall be the responsibility of the owner.

(5) 

Weeds. All lots shall be maintained free from weeds or plant growth in excess of six inches. All noxious weeds shall be prohibited. Weeds shall be defined as all grasses, annual plants and vegetation other than trees or shrubs; provided, however, that this term shall not include cultivated flowers and gardens. All weeds and plant growth between the sidewalk and the curb and between the curb and the cartway shall be the responsibility of the adjacent property owner and must not be in excess of six inches.

(6) 

Public nuisance. All exterior property areas and premises shall be maintained in such a manner so as not to constitute a public nuisance.

B. 

Motor vehicles in residential areas. Not more than one currently unregistered and/or uninspected motor vehicle shall be parked on any property in a residential district, and said vehicle shall not at any time be in a state of disassembly, disrepair, nor shall it be in the process of being stripped or dismantled. A vehicle of any type shall not at any time undergo major overhaul, including body work, in a residential district unless said work is performed inside a structure or similarly enclosed area designed and approved for such purposes. In addition, not more than one currently unregistered and/or uninspected motor vehicle shall be parked on any property in a residential district if such motor vehicle constitutes a motor vehicle nuisance.

§ 210-3 Duties and powers of Code Official.

A. 

General. The Code Official shall enforce all provisions of this chapter.

B. 

Notices and orders. The Code Official shall issue all necessary notices and orders to abate illegal or unsafe conditions to ensure compliance with this chapter's requirements for the safety, health and general welfare of the public.

C. 

Inspections. In order to safeguard the safety, health and welfare of the public, the Code Official is authorized to enter any structure, premises or exterior property area at any reasonable time for the purpose of making inspections and performing duties under this chapter.

D. 

Right of entry. If any owner, occupant or other person in charge of a structure, premises or exterior property area subject to the provision of this Code refuses, impedes, inhibits, interferes with, restricts or obstructs entry and free access to any part of the structure or premises where an inspection authorized by this chapter is sought, the administrative authority shall be permitted to seek, in a court of competent jurisdiction, an order that such owner, occupant or other person in charge shall cease and desist with such interference,

E. 

Access by owner or operator. Every occupant of a structure, premises or exterior property area shall give the owner or operator thereof, or agent or employee, access to any part of such structure, premises or exterior property area, at reasonable times, for the purpose of making such inspection, maintenance, repairs or alterations as are necessary to comply with the provisions of this chapter.

F. 

Notice to owner or to person or persons responsible. Whenever the Code Official determines that there has been a violation of this chapter or has reasonable grounds to believe that a violation has occurred, notice shall be given to the owner or the person or persons responsible therefor in the manner described below.

G. 

Manner of notice. The notice provided by the Code Official shall be in writing, include a description of the real estate sufficient for identification, include a statement of the reason or reasons why it is being issued, include a correction order allowing a reasonable time for the repairs and improvements required to bring the structure, premises or exterior property area into compliance with the provisions of this chapter.

§ 210-4 Violations and penalties.

A. 

Unlawful acts. It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to erect, construct, alter, extend, repair, remove, demolish, use or occupy any structure, premises or exterior property area, or cause the same to be done, contrary to or in conflict with or in violation of any of the provisions of this chapter.

B. 

Any person who shall violate any of the provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof by a summary proceeding, be sentenced to pay costs of prosecution in every case and a fine in the amount of: for the first offense, $25; for the second offense, a fine of $50; for the third offense, a fine of $100.

C. 

The fourth and each subsequent offense shall be filed by the Code Official as a third class misdemeanor, and any person convicted of such offense shall be sentenced to a fine of not more than $2,500 and/or imprisonment for not more than one year.

D. 

Each ten-day period of delinquency after notice in the case of a continuing violation of which the person has been duly notified once, in the first instance, as well as each ten-day period of delinquency on each violation independently arising after appropriate notice with respect thereto (for example when weeds again grow too high after a cutting had belatedly corrected a prior violation), shall constitute a separate offense. Proceedings with respect to each such violation shall be instituted and heard and decided promptly without waiting for judgment to be entered with respect to any prior violation or violations with respect to which there had been instituted a proceeding or proceedings. On proceedings for a third, fourth or subsequent offense, however, the District Justice may defer fixing the precise amount of the fine until after his entry of judgment or judgments in prior proceedings of conviction establishing such prior offense or offenses. The intent is that persons disregarding the provisions of this chapter aforesaid shall not enjoy any respite from the pressure of successive proceedings that the Borough Council finds are essential and must proceed as promptly as possible for the effective enforcement of these duly enacted borough regulations as to nuisances on private property, as it has developed that certain types of persons otherwise deem it cheaper to take no steps to comply for a season or a substantial part thereof at the cost of only one fine, or perhaps two fines, in the course of a season or year, as this chapter has been administered prior to this much-needed 1974 amendment thereof. Each calendar year shall constitute a separate unit for determining the number of offenses or violations committed by a person under this chapter.

E. 

Borough permitted to perform work. If the tenant, occupant or owner of the exterior property area permits or causes said property to be maintained in violation of this chapter, the Borough may, after providing said tenant, owner or occupant 20 days' prior written notice, correct the matter giving rise to the violation at Borough expense and may thereafter collect all costs and expenses, plus 10%, incurred in connection with correcting the violation by filing a municipal claim or by an action in assumpsit.

§ 210-5 Abatement of nuisances.

In addition to the remedies provided above, any continued violations of this chapter which shall constitute a nuisance in fact or which shall, in the opinion of the Borough Council, constitute a nuisance may be abated by proceeding against the violator in a court of equity for relief. The Borough Council may, in addition to the remedies provided in this chapter cause the same to be collected from any of the persons receiving the notice, the costs thereof, together with a penalty of 10% of such costs, in a manner provided by law for the collection of municipal claims or by action of assumpsit.