Township of Springfield, PA
Delaware County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by Board of Commissioners of the Township of Springfield 12-29-1987 as Ord. No. 1174.[1] Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Cesspools and privy vaults — See Ch. 25.
Excavation and filling of ground — See Ch. 39.
Fire prevention — See Ch. 45.
Garbage and rubbish — See Ch. 54.
Sewers — See Ch. 111.
Solid waste management — See Ch. 118.
Trees and shrubbery — see Ch. 133.
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also repealed former Ch. 79. Nuisances: Gases, Odors, Fumes, adopted 2-5-1924 as Ord. No. 4. as amended 4-21-1987 by Ord No. 1156.

§ 79-1 Purpose.

This ordinance is enacted for the following purposes: to promote and protect the health, safety. morals and general welfare of the inhabitants of the Township of Springfield by preventing or correcting unhygenic, unsanitary, unsafe or unwholesome conditions which might constitute a menace in the township.

§ 79-2 Interpretation of provisions.

[Amended 6-17-1991 by Ord. No. 1249]
In interpreting and applying the provisions of this ordinance they shall be held to be the minimum requirements for the prevention and abatement of nuisances. Where the provisions of any statute, other ordinance or regulation impose greater restriction than this ordinance, the Township Officer is authorized to apply the provisions of the minimum requirements of this ordinance in an initial effort to alleviate the nuisance. However, it is not the intention to limit the powers of the Township Officer in this regard, and he shall, if necessary, apply the provisions of any statute, other ordinance or regulation imposing the greater restriction.

§ 79-3 Word usage.

Unless otherwise expressly stated, the following words and phrases shall be construed throughout this ordinance to have the meanings herein indicated. The singular shall include the plural, the plural shall include the singular, and the present tense shall include the future tense.

§ 79-4 Definitions.

As used in this ordinance, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
A. 
Any vehicle (other than a pedalcycle) may be considered an abandoned vehicle or junk vehicle where the vehicle constitutes a public danger, inconvenience or distraction, and where at least one or more of the following conditions are found applicable:
(1) 
The vehicle is inoperable, as the result of a collision or other source of damage to said vehicle, for a period of 10 calendar days.
(2) 
The vehicle is in a dismantled or partially dismantled condition and remains inoperable for a period in excess of 10 calendar days.
(3) 
The vehicle does not bear, as required by the Motor Vehicle Code of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, any one of the following:
(a) 
A valid registration plate assigned to said vehicle.
(b) 
A current certificate of inspection for said vehicle.
(c) 
An ascertainable vehicle identification number.
(4) 
The vehicle is inoperable as a result of a mechanical failure, which goes unrepaired for a period in excess of 30 calendar days.
(5) 
The vehicle has remained on private property without the consent of the owner or person in control of the property for more than 48 hours.
(6) 
The vehicle is parked and positioned on the premises so as to constitute an attractive nuisance and a hazard to others.
B. 
A boat which has not been maintained in a seaworthy condition and/or positioned so as to constitute an attractive nuisance and/or a hazard to others shall for the purpose of this ordinance be construed as an "abandoned and/or junk vehicle."
NUISANCE
An act or thing having a natural tendency to injure a person or property, things, conditions or uses which injure, annoy, inconvenience, disturb or otherwise affect adversely life, health, safety or the use and enjoyment of property, or are offensive to the sense of hearing, smell or sight, or may be intrinsically harmful and prejudicial to the public health, safety, morals or welfare of the public, and/or which may have been determined by courts of law of competent jurisdiction to constitute a public nuisance per se.
[Added 6-17-1991 by Ord. No. 1249]
OPERATOR
Any person who has charge of or care or control of a structure or premises which is used, let or offered for occupancy.
ORDER OF ABATEMENT
A township notice in printed text or writing indicating a public nuisance which requires abatement.
OWNER
Any person, agent, operator, firm or corporation having a legal or equitable interest in the property; recorded in the official records of the state, county or municipality as holding title to the property; or otherwise having control of the property, including the guardian of the estate or 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
Any individual, association, trust, partnership or corporation, including any members, directors, officers, employees, partners or principals thereof.
PREMISES
A lot, plot or parcel, including the building or structure thereon.
RUBBISH
Combustible and noncombustible waste materials, except garbage, and the term shall include the residue from the burning of wood, coal, coke and other combustible materials, paper, rags, cartons, boxes, wood, rubber, leather, tree branches, yard trimmings, tin cans, metals, mineral matter, glass, crockery and dust and other similar materials.
STRUCTURE
Any man-made object or improvement having an ascertainable stationary location on land or in the water, whether or not affixed to the land.
TOWNSHIP OFFICER
Police officers, the Health Officer, the Code Enforcement Officer, the Fire Marshal or their deputies, or such other township employee they may designate.
WEEDS
All grasses, annual plants and vegetation, other than trees or shrubs; provided, however, that this term shall not include cultivated flowers and gardens.

§ 79-5 Notification of order of abatement; conformance required.

A. 
Whenever a public nuisance is brought to the attention of the township by the residents thereof and/or whenever it is determined, upon inspection, that the construction, alteration, repair, lack of repair, use, care or lack of maintenance or operation of any premises, land, buildings or structures constitute a nuisance in fact or a menace to health or a threat to public safety, a police officer, the Health Officer, the Code Enforcement Officer, the Fire Marshal or their deputies or any of them shall notify in writing by an order of abatement, as notice to the owner or operator of said premises, land, buildings, structures or part thereof of his determination. If notice as aforesaid cannot be given, then a copy of said notice shall be posted on the premises. Said order of abatement may specify a time in which abatement shall be completed, and may provide for removal, replacement, repair, construction, installation or any other relief deemed appropriate by the township officer.
B. 
In case such order of abatement is not obeyed within the time specified therein, the township officer may direct or engage the appropriate township employees or other persons to remove, correct or abate the condition prescribed, and the expense therefor shall be recoverable from the owner of the premises, land, building or structure involved, together with a penalty of 10% of such expense which said expense and penalty shall constitute a lien thereupon and may be collected as provided by law for the collection of municipal claims.
C. 
The township officer or such other persons as he may designate shall have the power to enter at any time upon any premises, land or parts thereof whenever they suspect a nuisance in fact or a menace to health or a threat to public safety exists, for the purpose of examining, inspecting, correcting or abating the same.

§ 79-6 Construal of conditions.

A. 
Whenever any of the following conditions are brought to the attention of, or are discovered by a township officer, he shall, in his discretion, proceed to see whether the order of abatement provided for in this ordinance shall be issued and, if so determined, make and issue said order of abatement. The following conditions are not meant to be all-inclusive, and other conditions construed as nuisances affecting the public safety, health and welfare, although not listed herein, may require the township officer to proceed as hereinbefore set forth:
(1) 
Noxious or offensive manufacture, art or business.
(2) 
Discharge of gases, steam vapor, hot air, greases, smoke or other gaseous or particulate waste matter, whether vented, emitted or exhausted into the air, which affects public or private rights to clean, fresh air.
(3) 
Illuminations which cause a public annoyance or are a hazard to highway traffic.
(4) 
Discharge or draining of harmful oils or fluids other than pure water or land, streams, watercourses or in storm sewers.
(5) 
Unrepaired malfunction of cesspools or sanitation facilities.
(6) 
Dangerous accumulation of water, stagnant water or other liquids.
(7) 
Dangerous excavations, holes, unprotected pits or abrupt precipitous ground elevations.
(8) 
Illegal, improper accumulation or storage of debris, refuse, trash, garbage, manures, junk, inoperable vehicles and/or parts thereof.
(9) 
Excessive and improper placement, storage or accumulations of firewood or other materials which provide a harbor for rats, mice and insects and which are not shielded from view. (See also Chapter 143, Zoning.)
(10) 
Any trees, tree limbs or branches thereof which are diseased or dead or broken, which may present a hazard and extend over and into or are within any township easement, right-of-way or street.
(11) 
The failure to keep grass and weeds trimmed below a height of eight inches over an entire lot in all locations where said lot is located, surrounded and abutted by other developed lots in the block. (Owners of tracts of ground containing acreage or multiple contiguous undeveloped lots are required to abide by the requirements of Chapter 45, Fire Prevention.)
(12) 
Dangerous buildings or structures, walls or fences, buildings or structures unsafe by reason of fire, accident or other causes, including negligence, left unboarded, unfenced and/or affording an attractive nuisance; unsafe construction, alteration or repair procedure of a building or structure.
(13) 
The storage or stockpiling of raw materials, which results in the dispersion of the material onto adjoining properties.
[Added 6-8-1993 by Ord. No. 1282]
B. 
In areas of the township where rats, mice or pigeons are a public concern, the township officer may require restricted placement of foods for birds.
C. 
The placement of steel leghold or body traps, snares and pole traps on private or public property shall be considered prejudicial to public safety and shall not be set in any area of the township. Standard box traps may be used under professional supervision.
D. 
The outside storage or display of any goods, whether or not for sale or distribution, in a sidewalk area designed for public convenience or outdoors on any premises or within a street right-of-way shall be deemed a nuisance.
[Added 6-17-1991 by Ord. No. 1249]
E. 
The keeping or raising of any chickens, ducks, pigeons or other fowl, rabbits, hares, guinea pigs, white mice, hamsters or any other animal, as limited, and as permitted as household pets, under Chapter 143, Zoning, of the Code of the Township of Springfield, as amended, when said animal or animals, fowl or pigeons are maintained in an unhygienic manner, offensive to smell or hearing, so as to tend to cause an adverse psychological or physiological effect on humans or other animals, shall be deemed a nuisance.
[Added 6-17-1991 by Ord. No. 1249]
F. 
The ungaraged storage or parking of an abandoned vehicle and/or junk vehicle, as defined herein, shall be deemed a nuisance.
[Added 6-17-1991 by Ord. No. 1249]
G. 
The parking of trucks, automobiles or other vehicles on the streets, highways or alleys or upon private or public property for the sale, distribution, soliciting of orders or display of any goods, ware or merchandise or offering to buy the same shall be deemed a nuisance. An exception is made for vendors who meet the requirements of Chapter 65, entitled "Hawkers, Auctioneers and Transient Merchants," as well as the regulations adopted thereunder.
[Added 6-17-1991 by Ord. No. 1249]

§ 79-6.1 (Reserved)

§ 79-6.2 (Reserved)

§ 79-6.3 (Reserved)

§ 79-6.4 Severability.

[Added 6-17-1991 by Ord. No. 1249]
The provisions of this ordinance are severable, and if any section, clause, sentence, part or provision thereof shall be held to be illegal, invalid or unconstitutional, the decision of the court shall not affect or impair the remaining parts or provisions of this ordinance. It is hereby declared to be the intent of the Board of Commissioners of Springfield Township that this ordinance would have been adopted if such illegal, invalid or unconstitutional section, clause, sentence, part or provisions had not been included therein.

§ 79-7 Violations and penalties. [1]

[Added 6-17-1991 by Ord. No. 1249]
The refusal to obey an order of abatement within the time specified shall be deemed to be a violation of this ordinance and shall constitute an offense punishable under the provisions of Chapter 1, entitled "General Provisions," Article II, entitled "General Penalty," § 1-10, entitled "Violations and penalties," Subsection A(1), as amended, of the Code of the Township of Springfield.
[1]
Editor's Note: Former § 79-7, Violations and penalties, was repealed 4-21-1987 by Ord. No. 1156.