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Borough of Hellertown, PA
Northampton County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Adopted 11-7-2005 by Ord. No. 683]
A. 
Every owner of property abutting upon any public street or alley, and along private roads within residential developments and subdivisions, shall be required, after notice given as herein provided, to construct a concrete curb, sidewalk, handicap ramps, and driveway apron, or any of them, adjacent to their property or properties in accordance with the grade and line established or to be established by the Borough Engineer or the Borough Codes Office. Locations where existing conditions limit the ability to install sidewalks, partial or complete, shall be exempted from installing sidewalks at the sole and absolute discretion of the Borough Council. The cost of constructing said curb, sidewalk, handicap ramps, and driveway apron, or any of them, shall be paid in each and every case by the owner of the property affected.
[Amended 6-18-2012 by Ord. No. 770]
B. 
Further, it shall be the duty of property owners, as above, to construct concrete ramps at corners of intersections when new installation of corner sidewalk and/or curb is made or when a replacement of same is made, so as to make the transition from street to sidewalk easily negotiable for handicapped persons in wheelchairs and for other persons who may have difficulty in making the required step up or down from curb level to street level. Ramps shall be constructed in accordance with the standards established by the Borough Engineer and/or Borough Codes Office.
C. 
All improvements in the public right-of-way, or abutting upon any public street or alley, or abutting private roads within residential developments or subdivisions, shall require approval of the Borough of Hellertown Code Enforcement Office and the issuance of a work permit prior to the start of any work thereunder.
A. 
Whenever any sidewalk, curb, handicap ramp, and/or driveway apron shall become out of repair or require replacement or, if absent, require installation of same, it shall be the responsibility of the owner of such property or properties to repair, reconstruct or install sidewalk, curb, handicap ramps, and/or driveway apron, as directed by the Borough of Hellertown Code Enforcement Office. The property owner is hereby required and enjoined to repair the same with concrete or, in the alternative, with said materials with which said curb or sidewalk had been constructed if such alternative material shall be approved by the Codes Office. Appropriate construction details must be submitted for review by the Borough Engineer. The cost of repairing, replacing and/or installing said curb, sidewalk, handicap ramps, and driveway apron, or any of them, shall be paid in each and every case by the owner of the property affected.
B. 
In addition to the above requirements, prior to the property changing ownership by transfer from grantor to grantee by legal deed, it shall be the responsibility of the owner or owners of the property to make necessary repairs to a sidewalk, curb, handicap ramp and cross-over driveways abutting a property or, if absent, require their installation to comply with the terms of this article. The legal owner or owners of the property shall, prior to transfer of ownership of the property, notify the Borough of the pending sale and/or transfer of ownership in the property. The Borough Code Enforcement Officer, or his or her designee, shall inspect the owner's sidewalk, curbs, handicap ramps and/or cross-over driveways abutting upon any public street or alley, and/or any private road or subdivision of the Borough, to determine compliance with the article. It shall be the responsibility of the owner to bring the sidewalk, curbs, handicap ramps and/or cross-over driveways adjacent to and/or traversing the property into compliance with this article prior to the sale and/or transfer of the real estate. The owners shall obtain written verification from the Borough that the sidewalk, curbs, handicap ramps and/or cross-over driveways adjacent to and/or traversing the property are in compliance with the requirements of this article prior to the sale and/or transfer of the property to any third party. Locations where existing conditions limit the ability to install sidewalks, partial or complete, curbs, handicap ramps, and/or cross-over driveway shall be exempted from installing sidewalks at the sole and absolute discretion of Borough Council. The cost of repairing, replacing and/or constructing said curb, sidewalk, handicap ramps and driveway apron, or any of them, shall be paid in each and every case by the owner of the property affected.
[Amended 6-18-2012 by Ord. No. 770]
C. 
All improvements in the public right-of-way or abutting upon any public street or alley or abutting a private road within a residential development or subdivision shall require the approval of the Borough of Hellertown Code Enforcement Office and the issuance of a work permit for same.
D. 
In addition to applicable Borough codes and ordinances, this article incorporates by reference the 2003 International Property Maintenance Code and subsequent revisions, Section 302.3, Sidewalks and Driveways, which provides that all sidewalks, walkways, stairs, driveways, parking spaces and similar areas shall be kept in a proper state of repair and maintained free from hazardous conditions.
A. 
The Borough Code Enforcement Officer, his designee, or representative shall notify, in writing, the owners of property or properties in the public right-of-way or abutting upon any public street or alley or abutting a private road within a residential development or subdivision that they shall comply with the provisions of this article within a time period of not more than 90 days, and as specified in said notice. The property owner so notified shall, prior to commencing work, procure and pay for a work permit and warrant of survey, if required, from the Borough of Hellertown Code Enforcement Office. A warrant of survey, if required, shall fix the line and grade for the setting or resetting of curbing, the laying or relaying of sidewalks, handicap ramps, and driveway aprons, as appropriate. Such work permit, and warrant of survey if required, when duly served and recorded by the Code Enforcement Officer, his designee, or the Borough Engineer, shall be sufficient authority for such owner or contractor to commence and complete along such public right-of-way or property abutting upon any public street or alley or abutting upon private roads in residential developments or subdivisions, and in accordance with the regulations, rules, and specifications established by the Code Enforcement Office or by ordinance, the setting or resetting of curb, the laying or relaying of sidewalks, handicap ramps, and driveway aprons for which such permit and/or warrant of survey has been granted. If construction has not been completed within the time frame set forth in this section, a new work permit and warrant of survey shall be obtained. The fee for such work permit and/or warrant of survey shall be established from time to time by resolution of Borough Council. Any property owner, contractor or laborer who shall proceed to construct any curb, sidewalks, handicap ramps, and driveway apron, or any of them, without having first obtaining such work permit and warrant of survey, if required, shall be in violation of this article and subject to penalty as described in § 385-18.
B. 
All points and/or stakes placed under the work permit and warrant of survey shall be protected, maintained and kept clear by the contractor so that they may be visible when an inspector arrives at the site.
All work performed in the public right-of-way or abutting upon any public street or alley or abutting upon a private road in a residential development or subdivision is subject to inspection by the Borough of Hellertown Code Enforcement Officer, his designee, or the Borough Engineer.
A. 
Preliminary. The owner, contractor or laborer, prior to placing any concrete, shall request an inspection of his forms at least 24 hours in advance. Permission to proceed will be granted and a preliminary inspection slip will be issued if the work is in accord with established lines, grades and applicable standards and specifications.
B. 
Final.
(1) 
After concrete has been placed and finished in accordance with standards and specifications, a final inspection will be conducted. If the work meets all specified requirements, the owner, contractor or laborer will be given a final approval slip.
(2) 
All work not meeting specifications, standards and ordinances as defined by the Borough of Hellertown Code Enforcement Office is subject to removal. All costs associated with such removal shall be borne by the owner, contractor or laborer, as the case may be.
Curbs, sidewalks, handicap ramps, and gutters shall be constructed to meet current standards and specifications of PennDOT Publication 408 and the Americans with Disabilities Act, as amended.
A. 
Lines and grades — warrant. The location, dimensions and finished grades of the proposed walks and curbs shall be marked in the field. If required by the Code Enforcement Officer, a warrant of survey must be obtained from the Borough. Lines and grades for the proper location of the walk shall be furnished by the Borough Engineer, whose duty it is to establish, locate and field mark such grades for construction.
B. 
Subgrade preparation. Prior to placing the subbase, the subgrade shall be prepared to the proper grade, it shall be uniformly compacted (95%), and any soft or spongy places shall be removed and replaced with a stable material. Any hard places shall be scarified to a depth of six inches so that, when rolled, the subgrade will be of a uniform compaction throughout. On a poorly drained soil, either four-inch tile drains should be used or a five-inch subbase of gravel, cinders or crushed stone shall be constructed and thoroughly tamped. Where fill is required, bottom of curb must be carried down to a firm foundation.
C. 
Subbase preparation. A subbase of stone aggregate shall be uniformly placed a minimum of four-inch-thick below the concrete. Subbase shall be raked level and compacted.
D. 
Cement. Cement shall be a portland cement and shall comply with current PennDOT Publication 408 Specifications.
E. 
Fine aggregate. Fine aggregate shall consist of natural sand or screenings from hard, tough, crushed rock. It shall be clean, free from vegetable matter, and well-graded 1/4 inch to not more than 5% passing the 100 mesh sieve, with from 10% to 30% passing the 50 mesh sieve. When tested for silt by the sedimentation method, the volume removed shall not exceed 3%.
F. 
Coarse aggregate. Coarse aggregate shall be gravel or broken stone. It shall be clean, free from vegetable matter, hard, durable and uncoated. All coarse aggregate shall pass a one-inch screen and 95% shall be retained on a one-fourth-inch screen.
G. 
Water. Clean water shall be used for mixing and curing. Any supply that is considered fit for drinking purposes will be satisfactory.
H. 
Joint filler. Material for expansion joints shall be premolded strips of bitumen-treated fiber or mineral aggregate, one-half-inch thick. It shall be placed 1/4 inch below the surface, and after the surface has been finished, the joint grove shall be exposed and cleaned. The edges shall then be tooled and rounded to a one-eighth-inch radius.
I. 
Forms. Forms may be of steel furnished by a manufacturer of standard metal forms or they may be of wood not less than two inches thick and dressed on one side. They shall be set to line and grade approved by the Engineer. They shall be held firmly in place by stakes and braces sufficient to withstand pressure of concrete and to prevent movement. They shall be cleaned and thoroughly oiled before the concrete is placed. They shall be left in place at least 12 hours after placing of concrete. Flexible strips may be used on curves.
J. 
Division plates. Division plates shall be of one-eighth-inch steel extending the complete width and length of the slab or block.
K. 
Thickness and width.
(1) 
A concrete sidewalk shall be a single layer or one course of five-inch minimum thickness increased to seven-inch thickness where crossing driveways and alleys. Sidewalks shall be built a minimum of five feet in width unless directed otherwise by the Codes Office or the Engineer, with one-eighth-inch joints perpendicular to the surface for the full depth of pavement. The outer edges of all surfaces shall be finished to a radius of not less than 1/2 inch. Contraction and expansion joints shall be evenly spaced.
(2) 
A concrete curb shall be seven inches in width at the top, 18 inches in depth, exclusive of the foundation, and eight inches in width at the base, the front face being battered and the back vertical. Curb shall have a minimum of seven inches of reveal at the street edge. It shall be constructed in uniform lengths of blocks of not less four feet nor more than 20 feet, separated by one-eighth-inch joints formed by division plates perpendicular to the surface. The outer edges of all surfaces shall be finished or rounded with special steel trowels or edging tool to a radius of not less than 1/2 inch.
(3) 
A concrete depressed curb shall be eight inches in width at the top and 18 inches in depth. Curb shall be reinforced with two parallel three-sixteenth-inch (No. 5) rebar the entire length of the depressed curb up to and including the tapers on either side. A two-foot taper shall be provided on either side of a depressed curb to transition to the adjacent curb.
(4) 
A concrete driveway apron shall be a single layer of seven-inch thickness, with six-by-six welded wire mesh set a minimum of two inches above the subbase. Adequate distance shall be provided between the depressed curb and the sidewalk to slope the driveway apron.
(5) 
A concrete gutter, when directed by the Codes Office, shall be a single layer or one course of seven-inch thickness concrete. The width shall be 30 inches, unless otherwise directed by the Codes Office or Engineer. They shall be constructed in place and entirely separated from the curb, in uniform lengths or slabs of not more than 10 feet, separated by one-eighth-inch joints formed by division plates perpendicular to the surface.
L. 
Roof drains. New and existing downspouts must outlet into the street gutter by means of a three-inch-diameter plastic (or approved equal) pipe placed within the new or repaired sidewalk and at least three inches beneath the top surface of the sidewalk. If a suitable outlet cannot be achieved with a three-inch pipe, the Borough Codes Office may authorize an alternate means of discharge.
M. 
Concrete proportions. Concrete shall conform to the current publication of PennDOT Specifications 408 for curb and sidewalk concrete. Concrete shall be Class A.
N. 
Mixing.
(1) 
Ready-mixed or transit-mixed concrete may be used, provided that the concrete produced conforms to these specifications, and that the central plant producing the concrete, the equipment and the transporting of it are suitable for the production and transportation of the specified concrete.
(2) 
Mechanical mixing in an approved batch mixer for not less than 1/2 minute is recommended but, if circumstances necessitate, mixing by hand may be permitted, in which case the ingredients shall be first mixed dry and then the required amount of water added to make a stiff, workable mix. It shall be turned over several times until appearance indicates that all particles are coated with cement mortar. When mixing is done by hand, the dry ingredients shall be deposited on a mixing board or other suitable, flat, clean surface.
O. 
Placing and finishing.
(1) 
Concrete shall be placed immediately after mixing. It shall be tamped and struck off with a template and shall be floated with a wood float until the surface has a true and even contour. Care shall be taken not to bring to the surface an excess of water and fine sand by over-finishing. All surfaces shall be medium coarse broom finish swept perpendicular to the pedestrian movement.
(2) 
Handicap ramps shall be finished with a detectable surface as recommended by ADA Standards, as revised.
P. 
Expansion joints. Expansion joints shall extend from the surface to the subgrade for the full width of the slab and shall be perpendicular to the surface and completely filled with compressible material. A one-half-inch expansion joint shall be made at approximately fifty-foot intervals. At all places where the walk intersects a curbline, catch basins, manholes or another walk, or other rigid structures, one-inch expansion joints shall be made, with one-half-inch expansion joints at the ends of all radius curbs.
Q. 
Contraction joints. Contraction joints shall be placed at equal intervals between expansion joints, but such intervals shall not exceed five feet. The contraction joints shall be formed either by division plates or approved methods of cutting a groove in the surface to a depth of not less than 1/3 of the entire depth of the slab.
R. 
Curing. As soon as it can be done without marring the surface, the concrete shall be covered with wet burlap, placed lightly on the finished slab. The burlap shall be kept wet for 72 hours, during which time all traffic shall be kept off the sidewalk or driveways.
S. 
Barricades. The contractor shall provide suitable barricades and warning signs to protect the finished concrete until, with the approval of the Codes Office, it be opened to traffic.
T. 
Alternate surface finish. Alternate surface treatments to concrete, such as integral color, color hardener, stamping or exposed aggregate, may be permitted upon approval from the Planning Commission and Codes Office.
U. 
Slope/grade. A slope of 1/4 inch to the foot is to be provided to take care of surface drainage, unless otherwise directed by the Codes Office or Engineer. Depressions shall be removed and repaired to prevent ponding. Adjacent grades shall be adjusted as needed to provide full depth curb at the street edge and a uniform gradient between the top of the curb and the parallel sidewalk.
V. 
Sidewalk location. A planting strip 24 inches in width will be permitted where conditions allow and where it is consistent with sidewalks on adjoining properties.
A. 
If any property owner fails to comply with any and all provision of this article and/or fails to either construct new concrete curb, sidewalks, handicap ramps, and driveway apron, or any of these, or if any property owner fails to reconstruct or repair existing curbs, sidewalks, handicap ramps, and driveway aprons, or any of these, with concrete, as specified elsewhere herein, within 90 calendar days following the date of written notice from the Borough Manager and/or Borough of Hellertown Codes Enforcement Office, or either of their designees, to do so, or fails to notify the Borough of a pending sale and/or transfer of ownership in the property so that the Borough can inspect said sidewalk for compliance with this article, and/or fails to make any or all repairs required pursuant to said inspection prior to sale and/or transfer of ownership of the real estate, he shall be guilty of a violation of this article.
B. 
Any person or persons violating any of the provisions or requirements of this article, standards and specifications or refusing or neglecting to comply with the same shall, for each such violation upon conviction thereof before a Magisterial District Judge, forfeit and pay a fine or penalty of not more than $1,000 or imprisonment of not more than 90 days, or both, for each offense. An additional penalty shall also be assessed for each and every day any work remains contrary to the provisions of this article, and/or standards and specifications set forth by the Borough of Hellertown Codes Enforcement Office after the expiration of the ninety-day period as set forth in § 385-15. Each day the violation continues beyond the period set forth in § 385-15 shall be considered a separate and distinct violation of this article. The Borough shall also have the right to seek any and all enforcement remedies in the Court of Common Pleas of Northampton County to enforce the provisions of this article. Nothing herein shall prevent the Borough Code Enforcement Officer or his designee, in his sole and absolute discretion, from extending the deadline for compliance with the provisions of this article for an additional period of 45 days upon good cause shown by the property owner.
C. 
Upon the neglect of any property owner to comply with any of the requirements provided in the preceding sections of this article, in addition to the remedies set forth above in this section regarding enforcement of the article, the Borough may, after notice, cause the grading, paving, repairing, curbing and/or guttering to be done at the cost of such owner and may collect the cost thereof and 10% additional, together with all charges and expenses, from such owner and may file a municipal claim therefore or collect the same by action in assumpsit.
D. 
All such notices shall be served upon the owner of the premises to which the notice refers, if such owner is a resident of the Borough. If the owner is not a resident, then the notice may be served upon the agent or tenant of the owner or upon the occupant of such premises. If the owner has no agent or tenant or there is no occupier of such premises, then services shall be by notice posted upon the premises.
A. 
In addition to the remedies now vested in this article to make repairs to sidewalks, the Borough shall have power to make emergency repairs to any sidewalks thereon where, in the opinion of the Borough Codes Officer and/or Borough Engineer or their designee lawfully having charge of sidewalk repairs, a dangerous condition exists. Before any such repairs are made, a notice to make the repairs within seven business days shall be served upon the owner of said property. If the owner cannot be served within the County, notice may be served upon the agent or the owner or the party in possession, or if there is no agent or party in possession, the notice may be served by posting the same upon such premises.
B. 
Upon completion of the work, the cost thereof shall be a charge against the owner of the property and shall be a lien until paid upon the abutting property, provided a claim is filed therefor in accordance with the law providing for the filing and collection of municipal claims. Any such charge may also be collected by action of assumpsit. This section is intended to provide an additional remedy to the Borough in connection with emergency repairs. The certificate of the officer or department head or committee in charge of repairs to sidewalks shall be conclusive evidence of the existence of the emergency justifying the repair under the terms of this section of the article.
Should a citizen of the Borough of Hellertown feel that appropriate measures have not been taken by a property owner to correct an unsafe or hazardous condition of curb, sidewalk, handicap ramp, and/or driveway apron, he may file a formal, written complaint with the Borough of Hellertown Codes Office on a complaint form available at the Borough Hall during normal business hours. The form provides space for the complainant's name and address, the location of the condition cited and a brief explanation of the nature of the complaint. Upon receipt of the complaint, the Code Enforcement Office will investigate the matter and respond to the applicant, in writing, with its findings, opinion, and follow-up action, if any. Should corrective action be appropriate, the provisions of this article, including penalties, shall apply.