[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Lehighton as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Brush, grass and weeds — See Ch. 58.
Building construction — See Ch. 61.
Numbering of buildings — See Ch. 65.
Uniform Construction Code — See Ch. 78.
Electrical service — See Ch. 92.
Excavations, grading and fills — See Ch. 98.
Fire prevention — See Ch. 109.
Garbage, rubbish and refuse — See Ch. 118.
Nuisances — See Ch. 152.
Plumbing — See Ch. 165.
Trees — See Ch. 205.
[Adopted 12-20-2010 by Ord. No. 591-2010.]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also repealed former Ch. 171, Property Maintenance, adopted 4-26-2004 by Ord. No. 528-2004.
A certain document, three copies of which are on file in the office of the Borough Secretary of the Borough of Lehighton, being marked and designated as the International Property Maintenance Code, 2009 edition, as published by the International Code Council, be and is hereby adopted as the Property Maintenance Code of the Borough of Lehighton, in the State of Pennsylvania, for regulating and governing the conditions and maintenance of all property, buildings and structures; by providing the standards for supplied utilities and facilities and other physical things and conditions essential to ensure that structures are safe, sanitary and fit for occupation and use; and the condemnation of buildings and structures unfit for human occupancy and use, and the demolition of such existing structures as herein provided; providing for the issuance of permits and collection of fees therefor; and each and all of the regulations, provisions, penalties, conditions and terms of said Property Maintenance Code on file in the office of the Borough Secretary of the Borough of Lehighton are hereby referred to, adopted, and made a part hereof, as if fully set out in this article, with the additions, insertions, deletions and changes, if any, prescribed in § 171-2 of this article.
The following sections are hereby revised:
In Section 101.1, insert "the Borough of Lehighton" for [NAME OF JURISDICTION].
Section 103.5 is deleted.
Section 106.3 is deleted in its entirety and replaced with the following:
The language in Section 106.4 is deleted in its entirety and replaced with the following:
The language in Section 111.2 is deleted in its entirety and replaced with the following:
In Section 112.4, insert "not less than $100 or more than $1,000."
In Section 302.4, insert "6".
In Section 304.14, insert "May 15" for [DATE] on the first line and insert "September 30" for [DATE] on the second line.
In Section 602.3, insert "September 1" for the first [DATE] and insert "May 1" for the second [DATE].
In Section 602.4, insert "September 1" for the first [DATE] and insert "May 1" for the second [DATE].
A new Section 302.10 shall be added to the code, which will read as follows:
[Added 11-21-2011 by Res. No. R-016-2011]
Nothing in this article or in the Property Maintenance Code hereby adopted shall be construed to affect any suit or proceeding impending in any court, or any rights acquired, or liability incurred, or any cause or causes of action acquired or existing, under any act or ordinance hereby repealed as cited in § 171-2 of this article; nor shall any just or legal rights or remedy of any character be lost, impaired or affected by this article.
[Adopted 5-19-2014 by Ord. No. 612-2014]
Lack of maintenance of properties, improper storage of trash and rubbish, storage of inoperable/nonregistered vehicles, and accumulation of snow and ice are costly problems that contribute to the deterioration of property values and general disorder in a community. These problems degrade the physical appearance of the Borough, which reduces business and tax revenue, inhibiting economic development. The quality of life and community pride of the citizens of Lehighton are negatively impacted by the occurrences and existence of these activities. Recognizing these are community problems, the purpose of this article is to promote the health, safety and general welfare of the Borough by helping to create a clean environment for the citizens of Lehighton.
The following words, terms, and phrases, when used in this article, shall be defined as follows, unless context clearly indicates otherwise:
- The animal or vegetable waste resulting from the handling, preparation, cooking, and consumption of food.
- HAZARDOUS WASTE
- Any waste material or a combination of solid, liquid, semisolid, or contained gaseous material that because of its quantity, concentration, physical, chemical, or infectious characteristics may:
- HOUSEHOLD HAZARDOUS WASTE (HHW)
- Waste which would be chemically or physically classified as a hazardous waste, but is excluded from regulation as a hazardous waste because it is produced in quantities smaller than those regulated by the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection, and because it is generated by persons not otherwise covered as hazardous waste generators by those regulations. Such HHW materials meet one of the following four classifications: toxic, flammable, reactive, or corrosive. HHW consists of numerous products that are common to the average household such as: pesticides and herbicides, cleaners, automotive products, paints, and acids.
- INDOOR FURNITURE
- Any and all pieces of furniture which are made for only inside use including, but not limited to, upholstered chairs and sofas, etc.
- JUNKED VEHICLE
- Any vehicle which presents a hazard or danger to the public or is a public nuisance by virtue of its state or condition of disrepair.
- A. The following conditions, if present, are examples of a state or condition of disrepair:
- (1) Rusted and/or jagged metal on or protruding from the body of the vehicle.
- (2) Broken glass or windows on or in the vehicle.
- (3) Leaking of any fluids from the vehicle or deflated or flat tire(s).
- (4) Unsecured and/or unlocked doors, hood, or trunk.
- (5) Storage or placement of the vehicle in an unbalanced condition, on concrete blocks, or other similar apparatus.
- (6) Harboring of rodents, insects, or other pests.
- B. The foregoing examples are not inclusive of all conditions which may constitute a state or condition of disrepair. See also the definition of "motor vehicle nuisance."
- Includes, but is not limited to, all waste material, garbage, trash, i.e. waste paper, tobacco products, wrappers, food or beverage containers, newspapers, etc., municipal waste, human waste, domestic animal waste, furniture or motor vehicle seats, vehicle parts, automotive products, shopping carts, construction or demolition material, recyclable material, and dirt, mud and yard waste that has been abandoned or improperly discarded, deposited, or disposed.
- LOCAL RESPONSIBLE AGENT
- Any person residing or working within the Borough of Lehighton designated to accept service on behalf of a legal owner or operator of a rental dwelling unit.
- MOBILE VENDOR
- A vendor or seller of food and/or goods from a vehicle or other conveyance upon the public streets or alleys of the Borough that does not typically remain stationary for more than approximately 10 minutes each hour.
- MOTOR VEHICLE
- Any type of mechanical device, capable or at one time capable of being propelled by a motor, in which persons or property may be transported upon public streets or highways, and including trailers or semitrailers pulled thereby.
- MOTOR VEHICLE NUISANCE
- A motor vehicle with one or more of the following defects:
- A. Broken windshields, mirrors, or other glass, with sharp edges.
- B. Broken headlamps, tail lamps, bumpers, or grills with sharp edges.
- C. Any body parts, truck, firewall, or floorboards with sharp edges or large holes resulting from rust.
- D. Protruding sharp objects from the chassis.
- E. Missing doors, windows, hood, trunks, or other body parts that could permit animal harborage.
- F. One or more open tires or tubes which could permit animal harborage.
- G. Any vehicle suspended by blocks, jacks, or other such materials in a location which may pose a danger to the public, property owners, visitors, or residents of the property on which said vehicle is found.
- H. Any excessive fluids leaking from vehicle which may be harmful to the public or the environment.
- I. Disassembled body or chassis parts stored in on or about the vehicle.
- J. Vehicles that do not display a current valid license and registration.
- K. Such other defects which the Fire Department determines to be a danger to the general public or property.
- L. Motor vehicles parked, drifted, or otherwise located which may interfere with flow of pedestrian or automobile traffic or impede emergency efforts.
- MUNICIPAL WASTE
- Any garbage, refuse, industrial, lunchroom, or office waste, and other material including solid, liquid, semisolid, or contained gaseous material resulting from operation or residential, municipal, commercial, or institutional establishments or from community activities, and which is not classified as residual waste or hazardous waste as defined herein. The term does not include source separated recyclable materials or organic waste.
- NOTICE OF VIOLATION
- A written document issued to a person in violation of a Borough ordinance which specifies the violation and contains a directive to take corrective action within a specified time frame or face further legal action.
- Any condition, structure, or improvement which constitutes a danger or potential danger to the health, safety, or welfare of citizens of the Borough, or causes a blighting effect in Borough neighborhoods. See also the definition of "public nuisance."
- A person, agent, operator, firm or corporation having a legal or equitable interest in the property; or 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 principals of a limited liability company or officer, director or shareholder of a corporation if that individual is responsible for the management and 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 be a court.
- Every natural person, firm, corporation, partnership, association, or institution.
- PRIVATE PROPERTY
- Any land and the improvements thereon owned by any person and includes front, side, and rear yards; vacant lots, buildings, and other structural improvements; walkways and alleyways; and parking areas, designed or used either wholly or in part for private residential, industrial, or commercial purposes, whether inhabited, temporary, continuously uninhabited, or vacant, including any yard, grounds, walk, driveway, porch, steps, vestibule, or mailbox belonging to or appurtenant to such dwelling, house, building, or other structure.
- PUBLIC NUISANCE
- Any conditions or premises which are unsafe or unsanitary.
- PUBLIC OFFICER
- Any police officer, authorized inspector, or public official designated by the Borough to enforce the Borough ordinances.
- PUBLIC RIGHT-OF-WAY
- The total width of any land used, reserved, or dedicated as a street, alley, driveway, sidewalk, or utility easement, including curb and gutter areas.
- RESIDUAL WASTE
- Any discarded material or other waste including solid, semisolid, or contained gaseous materials resulting from construction, industrial, mining, and agricultural operations, excluding municipal water and sewer operations.
- Combustible and noncombustible waste materials, except garbage; the term shall include the residue from the 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.
- SIDEWALK AREA
- The public right-of-way between the property line and the curb line or the established edge of the roadway.
- SOLID WASTE
- Any waste including, but not limited to, municipal, residual, or hazardous wastes, including solid, liquid, semisolid, or contained gaseous materials.
- Any planting that is cultivated and managed for edible or ornamental purposes such as vegetable gardens, trees, shrubs, hedges, flowers, etc.
- VIOLATION TICKET
- A form issued by a police officer or public officer to a person who violates a provision of this article. The violation ticket is an offer by the Borough of Lehighton extended to a person to settle a violation by paying the fine in lieu of a citation being issued against the violator.
- A. All grasses, annual plants, and vegetation, which meet any of the following criteria:
- (1) Exceed 12 inches in height.
- (2) Exhale unpleasant, noxious odors or pollen, such as ragweed, dandelion, and miscellaneous other vegetation commonly referred to as weeds or brush.
- (3) May conceal filthy deposits or serve as breeding places for mosquitoes, other insects, or vermin.
- (4) May cause a public nuisance.
- B. Weeds shall not include cultivated and managed vegetation planted for edible or ornamental purposes such as vegetable gardens, trees, shrubs, flowers, etc.
- An open space on the same lot with a structure.
A person, owner, or responsible person commits a quality-of-life violation by any of the following:
Accumulation of rubbish or garbage. All exterior property and premises, and the interior of every structure, shall be free from any accumulation of waste, trash, rubbish, or garbage.
Animal maintenance and waste/feces cleanup. People owning, harboring, or keeping an animal within the Borough of Lehighton shall not permit any waste matter/feces from the animal to collect and remain on the property so as to cause or create an unhealthy, unsanitary, dangerous, or offensive living condition. All waste from animals must be cleaned up on a daily basis.
High weeds, grass or plant growth. All premises and exterior property shall be maintained free from weeds or plant growth in excess of 12 inches. All noxious weeds shall be prohibited. Weeds shall be defined as all grasses, annual plants, and vegetation. Cultivated flowers, gardens, trees, and shrubs shall not be included as a violation of this article.
Motor vehicles. It shall be unlawful to store, park, or place any unregistered, uninspected, inoperative, unlicensed, or nuisance motor vehicle on any premises. No vehicle shall at any time be in a state of major disassembly, disrepair, or in the process of being stripped or dismantled. Painting of vehicles is prohibited unless conducted inside an approved spray booth.
Outside placement of indoor appliances/furniture. It is prohibited to store or place any/all appliances or furniture including, but not limited to, ranges, refrigerators, air conditioners, ovens, washers, dryers, microwaves, dishwashers, mattresses, recliners, sofas, interior chairs, or interior tables on the exterior of any property for the purpose of sale or any other reason, except for the temporary purpose to perform maintenance on said property.
Snow and ice removal from the sidewalks. Every owner, tenant, occupant, lessee, property agent, or any other person who is responsible for any property within the Borough of Lehighton, is required to remove any snow or ice from their sidewalk within 48 hours of the cessation of said snow and ice falling. Furthermore, they must create a path, free from any snow or ice, of three feet on said sidewalk. Should any property be a place of business within the Borough of Lehighton, all snow and ice must be removed within four hours of the cessation of said snow and ice falling. Any property that has deemed a business must have the entire sidewalk free from any snow and ice. If and/or when the snow and/or ice cessation happens during the hours of darkness, the time limit of removal of all snow and ice begins at daybreak.
[Amended 10-27-2014 by Ord. No. 617-2014]
Storage containers for waste or trash. The owner of every premises shall supply approved containers for waste/trash, as well as be responsible for the removal of rubbish. All containers that store waste or trash shall be durable, watertight, and made of metal or plastic. Containers must have tight-fitting covers, and must be kept clean and odor free at all times. All containers must be stored at a location on the owner's property not within the public right-of-way or readily visible from the public right-of-way. Waste/trash containers may only be placed in front of any property within 24 hours before the day of the scheduled waste/trash pickup day. Once the licensed hauler removes the waste/trash from any property, all containers must be stored so they are not on the public right-of-way or readily visible from the public right-of-way within 24 hours after pick-up.
Upon finding a quality-of-life violation, any Public Officer of the Borough of Lehighton may issue quality-of-life violation tickets to the owner and/or occupant of the property at issue or to the individual(s) known to have violated this article.
A violation ticket shall be served upon a violator by handing it to the violator, by handing it at the residence of the person to be served to an adult member of the household or other person in charge of the residence, by leaving or affixing the notice or violation ticket to the property where the violation exists, by handing it at any office or usual place of business of the violator, to his/her agent or to the person for the time being in charge thereof, or by mailing the notice to the violator's address of record.
Each day a violation continues or is permitted to continue may constitute a separate offense for which a separate fine may be imposed.
Any person or business violating this article is hereby directed to satisfy the Borough of Lehighton and its citizens, upon issuance of a quality-of-life ticket, by correcting the violation in question. A public officer is authorized and empowered to cause a violation to be corrected. The cost shall be determined by the Borough Code Enforcement Officer in order that the Borough shall be compensated for both direct and indirect costs and expenses incurred.
The Borough of Lehighton and/or its contractor, per the direction of the Borough, reserves the right to abate the violation in question at the expense of the owner. If the Borough has effected the abatement of the violation, the cost thereof may be charged to the owner of the property, tenant, or offending party. A bill/invoice will be generated to the violator for payment separate from the quality-of-life ticket, which will also be paid separately.
In all instances where the Borough abates the violation, in addition to the fine set forth in the quality-of-life ticket, the Borough is authorized to recover from the offending party, the owner of the property, or tenant the abatement charges and such other charges established by the Code Enforcement Officer and the rules and regulations.
Borough of Lehighton cleanup. The Borough reserves the right to perform any necessary work to abate any violation once 72 hours passes from the date of issuance of the quality-of-life ticket. Should the violation at the discretion of the Code Enforcement Officer present imminent danger and/or pose a health hazard and/or risk, the Borough reserves the right to perform the abatement immediately. The Borough will perform this work at a rate of $60 per hour, per man, and forward the cost of any material necessary for the abatement. The Borough reserves the right to charge an additional 20% on all material purchases to cover all miscellaneous expenses, such as wear and tear on equipment.
Contractor cleanup. The Borough reserves the right to direct a contractor to perform the abatement of the violation in question once 72 hours passes from the date of issuance of the quality-of-life ticket. Should the violation present imminent danger and/or pose a health hazard and/or risk, the Borough reserves the right to direct the contractor to perform the abatement immediately. The contractor will submit a bill for their work to the Borough of Lehighton, and the Borough will forward these costs to the violator. The Borough reserves the right to add a processing fee of 30% in addition to the cost of the contractor.
For the first violation of this article within a twelve-month period, violation tickets shall be issued in the amounts of $25, as set forth in the chart below.
For the second offense of a violation of this article within a twelve-month period, violation tickets shall be issued in the amounts of $50, as set forth in the chart below.
For the third offense of a violation of this article within a twelve-month period, violation tickets shall be issued in the amounts of $100, as set forth in the chart below.
For each offense subsequent to three offenses of this article within a twelve-month period, amounts of violation tickets shall increase in the amount of $100, accumulative for each subsequent offense.
Any persons who receive a violation ticket for any violation of this article may, within 15 days, admit the violation, waive a hearing, and pay the fine in full satisfaction.
Any person who violates this article shall pay a fine as set forth herein for each offense, plus all direct and indirect costs incurred by the Borough for the cleanup and abatement of the violation.
If the person in receipt of a violation ticket for $25 does not pay the fine or request a hearing within 15 days, the person will be subject to a penalty of $10 for days 16 through 30.
If the person in receipt of a violation ticket for $50 does not pay the fine or request a hearing within 15 days, the person will be subject to a penalty of $25 for days 16 through 30.
If the person in receipt of a violation ticket for $100 or higher does not pay the fine or request a hearing within 10 days, the person will be subject to a penalty of $50 for days 16 through 30.
Failure of the person to make payment or request a hearing within 30 days of a violation ticket shall make the person subject to a citation for failure to pay.
If violations are continuous or egregious, Code Officials have the right to issue citations without first issuing tickets, provided that notice has been given. Upon issuance of four tickets for the same violation, right is reserved for the Code Officials to issue citation for the fifth and subsequent offenses.
Any person, firm, or corporation who shall fail, neglect, or refuse to comply with any of the terms or provisions of this article, or of any regulation or requirement pursuant hereto and authorized hereby, shall, upon conviction, be ordered to pay a fine of not less than $100, and not more than $1,000 for each offense, the costs of prosecution including restitution of the fees of the Code Official, or imprisoned no more than 90 days, or both.
The Magisterial District Judge may order the violator to make restitution to said real or personal property owner and to the Borough of Lehighton for the costs of prosecution including the fees of the Code Official.
At the discretion of the Borough of Lehighton, all tickets for which payment is not received within 45 days of issuance of a ticket for which an appeal is not taken, and 45 days from denial of appeal and monies paid by the Borough of Lehighton for abatement of a violation not paid within 45 days of billing, may be turned over by the Borough to a collection agency for receipt.
At the discretion of the Borough of Lehighton, liens may be placed upon a property against which tickets were issued for which payment is not received within 45 days of issuance of a ticket for which an appeal is not taken, and 45 days from denial of appeal and monies paid by the Borough of Lehighton for abatement of a violation and not paid within 45 days of billing.
The penalty lien and collection provisions of this article shall be independent, non-mutually exclusive, separate remedies, all of which shall be available to the Borough of Lehighton as may be deemed appropriate for carrying out the purposes of this article. The remedies and procedures provided in this article for violation hereof are not intended to supplant or replace to any degree the remedies and procedures available to the Borough in the case of a violation of any other Borough of Lehighton code or codified ordinances, whether or not such other code or ordinance is referenced in this article, and whether or not an ongoing violation of such other code or ordinance is cited as the underlying ground for a finding of a violation of this article.