[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the Township of East Cocalico 3-17-2004 by Ord. No. 2004-03. Amendments noted where applicable.]
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- BOARD OF SUPERVISORS
- The Board of Supervisors of East Cocalico Township.
- DANGEROUS STRUCTURE
- All buildings or structures which have any or all of the following defects shall be deemed dangerous structures:
- A. Those which have been damaged by fire, wind, or other causes so as to have become dangerous to the life, safety, morals, or the general health and welfare of the occupants or the people of the Township of East Cocalico;
- B. Those which have become or are so dilapidated, decayed, unsafe, unsanitary or which so utterly fail to provide the amenities essential to decent living that they are unfit for human habitation or are likely to cause accidents, sickness or disease, so as to work injury to the health, morals, safety, or general welfare of those living therein as well as other citizens of the Township;
- C. Those which have parts thereof which are so attached that they might fall and injure members of the public and adjoining property; and
- D. Those which because of their general condition are unsafe, unsanitary or dangerous to the health, morals, safety, or general welfare of the people of the Township.
- The Township of East Cocalico, County of Lancaster, and Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
- ZONING OFFICER
- The Zoning Officer of East Cocalico Township.
It shall be unlawful for any person or persons, corporation, partnership, unincorporated association, or any entity whatsoever, to maintain, erect, or own any dangerous structure within the definition of § 75-1 of this chapter and all such dangerous structures are hereby declared to be public nuisances and shall be repaired, vacated, or demolished as hereinafter provided.
In the event that the Zoning Officer initially finds that a dangerous structure does in fact exist, then the Zoning Officer shall give written notice to the owner and/or occupant to repair, vacate, or demolish the dangerous structure within 30 days of the date of the notice.
If the dangerous structure is not repaired, vacated or demolished in accordance with the terms of the notice, the Board of Supervisors shall hold a hearing and shall give written notice of the hearing to the owner and/or occupant to appear before the Board on the date specified in the notice to show cause why the building or structure reported to be a dangerous structure should not be repaired, vacated, or demolished in accordance with the notice.
At said hearing the owner and/or occupant or any other person having an interest in said structure, or any person alleging that the said structure is a dangerous structure, shall be allowed to present testimony.
After said hearing, the Board of Supervisors shall make written findings of fact from the testimony offered.
The Board of Supervisors shall also issue an order based upon findings of fact made pursuant to this section and, if said building is found to be a dangerous structure, shall order the owner and/or occupant to either repair, vacate, or demolish said dangerous structure within 30 days of the date of the written findings of fact and decision.
The following standards shall be followed in substance by the Board of Supervisors in ordering repair, vacation, or demolition:
If the dangerous or dilapidated building can be repaired as determined by the Board of Supervisors so that it will no longer exist in violation of the terms of this chapter, it shall be ordered repaired;
If the dangerous or dilapidated building or structure is in such condition as to make it dangerous to the health, morals, safety, or general welfare of its occupants, it shall be ordered to be vacated;
In any situation where a dangerous or dilapidated building or structure cannot be reasonably repaired as determined by the Board of Supervisors as provided in Subsection A of this section, it shall be demolished. In cases where a dangerous or dilapidated building or structure is a fire hazard existing or erected in violation of the terms of this chapter or any statute of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, it shall be demolished.
If any structure is deemed to be a dangerous structure within the standards set forth in § 75-1 of this chapter, the Zoning Officer shall issue a written notice to be served upon the owner and/or occupant.
The notice shall be mailed by first class mail to the owner's last-known address and to the occupant of the dangerous structure if the owner and occupant are not the same.
In addition, a notice shall be placed at the site.
The notice shall identify the building or structure deemed dangerous and contain a statement of the particulars which made this building or structure a dangerous building and an order requiring the same to be put in such condition as to comply with the terms of the order of this chapter, provided, in any case where the notice prescribed the repair of any structure, the owner thereof shall have the option to remove such structure in lieu of making the repairs thereto within the above time limits.
Such notice shall require any person notified to repair, vacate, or demolish any building to commence the work or act required by the notice within 10 days of such notice and to complete such repair or removal within 30 days thereof.
The Zoning Officer shall cause to be placed on all dangerous structures a notice reading substantially as follows: "This building has been found to be a dangerous structure by the Zoning Officer. This notice is to remain on this building until it is repaired, vacated, or demolished in accordance with the notice which has been given to the owner and/or occupant of this building. It is unlawful to remove this notice until compliance is made under the terms contained and the notice given to the above-named party."
Any person who violates or permits a violation of this chapter shall, upon conviction in a summary proceeding brought before a Magisterial District Judge under the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure, be guilty of a summary offense and shall be punishable by a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $1,000, plus costs of prosecution. In default of payment thereof, the defendant may be sentenced to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 90 days. Each day or portion thereof that such violation continues or is permitted to continue shall constitute a separate offense, and each section of this chapter that is violated shall also constitute a separate offense.
If the owner and/or occupant fails to comply with any notice or order to repair, vacate, or demolish any dangerous structure within 30 days, the Township is empowered to cause such building or structure to be repaired, vacated, or demolished by the Township and to cause the cost of such repair, vacation, or demolition, together with a penalty of 10%, to be charged against the land on which the building existed as a municipal lien or to recover such costs in a suit at law against the owner or such other person having an interest in the dangerous structure; provided the recovery of such cost and expense, together with the penalty, may be in addition to the penalty imposed in Subsection A of this section.