Borough of Clifton Heights, PA
Delaware County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Clifton Heights as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Noise — See Ch. 210.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 250.
Solid waste — See Ch. 285.
[Adopted in 1940 by Ord. No. 258 (Ch. 10, Part 1, of the 1988 Code of Ordinances)]
It shall be unlawful for any owner, tenant or person in possession of any vacant land or lots within 300 feet of any building within the Borough to permit the same to be covered with tall grasses or weeds.
[Amended 10-10-1968 by Ord. No. 456; 1980 by Ord. No. 585]
It shall be unlawful for any owner, tenant or person in possession of any premises within the geographical confines of the Borough of Clifton Heights to maintain trees, bushes, shrubbery or hedges which obstruct or interfere with the proper lighting of streets, highways or public sidewalks; or to permit trees, bushes, shrubbery, hedges or grasses or weeds in excess of eight inches in height to grow along the public sidewalks abutting such premises so as to obstruct or interfere with the use of such public sidewalks, streets or highways; or to permit the roots of trees, bushes or shrubbery to grow so as to cause sidewalks, curbs, streets or highways to break, crack or rise or in any manner to disrupt the smooth surface of such sidewalks, curbs, streets or highways and thus obstruct or interfere with the use of such public sidewalks, curbs, streets or highways.
It shall be unlawful for any owner, tenant or person in possession of any premises within the Borough to fail to remove snow from the public sidewalks abutting such premises within 24 hours after the cessation of the snowfall.
It shall be unlawful for any person to dump, place or deposit any loose papers, wastepaper, rubbish, ashes or refuse on any public street, highway or public sidewalk within the Borough, unless placed in containers and deposited temporarily for collection and removal.
It shall be unlawful for any person to dump, place or deposit any wastepaper, rubbish, junk or refuse on any private property within the Borough without the permission of the owner.
For the purpose of this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
PERSON
Means and includes an individual, partnership, firm or corporation.
[Amended 10-10-1968 by Ord. No. 456; 1980 by Ord. No. 585]
A. 
Wherever any land, lots or premises abutting any premises within the Borough shall have thereon grass or weeds in excess of eight inches in height, shrubbery, hedges, wastepaper, rubbish, refuse or ashes or whenever any such trees, shrubbery or bushes, by the growth of their roots, break or disrupt the smooth and flat surfaces of any sidewalk, curb, street or highway in violation of the provisions of this article as determined by the Building Inspector or which are found by the Fire Marshal of the Borough to constitute a fire hazard or which are found by the Health Officer to be detrimental to the health, cleanliness, or safety of the inhabitants of the Borough, upon written notification by the proper Borough official, the Secretary of Borough Council shall notify the owner, tenant or person in possession of such land, lots or premises to remove all such tall grasses, weeds, bushes, shrubbery, trees or tree roots, hedges, wastepaper, rubbish, refuse or ashes within 10 days.
B. 
Should the said owners, tenants, or persons in possession neglect or fail to do so after notice as aforesaid, then the Secretary of Borough Council shall cause such removal to be done at the cost of the owner.
C. 
The cost thereof, together with a penalty of 10%, shall be charged against and paid by such delinquent owner, and, in default of payment, the same shall be collected by action in the name of the Borough or by the filing of a municipal claim or lien against the premises.
D. 
The notice provided for by this section may be served upon the owner of the premises by handing the same to the owner personally or by leaving the same at the owner's place of residence within the Borough.
E. 
Should the owner reside outside the Borough, then the notice may be served by leaving the same with the tenant or occupant of the premises and by mailing a copy thereof to the owner at the owner's last known address by certified mail, return receipt requested, or, if the premises be vacant, by passing the notice on the premises and by mailing a copy thereof to the owner as aforesaid.
[Amended 8-15-1988 by Ord. No. 682; 9-19-1988 by Ord. No. 681]
A. 
Any person, firm or corporation who shall violate any provision of this article shall, upon conviction thereof, be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $600, and costs, and, in default of payment of said fine and costs, to a term of imprisonment not to exceed 30 days.
B. 
Whenever any person shall have been notified by the Secretary of Borough Council or by the service of summons in a prosecution he is committing a violation of this article, each day on which such person shall continue such violation after such notice shall constitute a separate offense punishable by a separate penalty.
[Adopted 10-17-2006 by Ord. No. 801]
The Borough Council finds that, from time to time, certain properties in the Borough of Clifton Heights require a disproportionate amount of Police Department resources to be devoted to addressing various problems and incidents that occur thereon. Often this disproportionate devotion of police resources is due to the property owners' own actions or the failure of the property owners to accept and exercise sufficient responsibility for and over the actions of occupants, guests, agents or employees that reside upon or frequent the property. Such properties, as defined and further described in § 218-10 below, are defined as "chronic nuisance property" and are deemed public nuisances. This article is enacted to encourage property owners and occupiers to recognize their responsibility to ensure that activities occurring on their property conform to the law and do not unduly burden the Borough's police resources. This article provides a mechanism for the Borough to take action against property owners and occupiers who fail to ensure that property that they own or occupy does not require a disproportionate devotion of police resources and to recover the costs associated with the disproportionate devotion of police resources to such property. This article is not intended to discourage crime victims or any person in legitimate need of police services from requesting them.
A "chronic nuisance property" is any property to which the Police Department is called to respond to complaints of any nuisance activity three or more separate times within any sixty-day period. A chronic nuisance property is deemed to have received and require more than the general, acceptable level of police services, and thereby places an undue burden upon the taxpayers of the Borough. For purposes of this article, a "nuisance activity" shall be defined as noise, assaults, batteries, drinking of intoxicating beverages, illegal drug use and/or sale, loitering, gaming or other behavior, action or inaction prohibited by either an ordinance, rule or regulation of the Borough the Clifton Heights or by any provision of the Crimes Code of Pennsylvania.[1] A chronic nuisance property is a public nuisance. An offense shall not be considered a nuisance activity if it is committed by a person having no association with the property by acquaintance with, relation to or expressed or implied invitation from the owner, occupant, operator or agent of the property. For purposes of this article, "property" is defined as a parcel of real estate, improved or unimproved, including but not limited to a house, room, apartment, building, garage, structure or other property or any part of any of the foregoing. Any police response for which the Police Department substantiated that the owner/occupant of the premises was the victim of a crime shall not be counted in this article.
[1]
Editor's Note: See 18 Pa.C.S.A. § 101 et seq.
After the third police response as defined above, the Chief of Police shall, within five days, notify the occupier or resident of the property and/or the owner thereof, in writing by either certified mail, posting or personal service, of the Borough's intent to initiate charges with the Magisterial District Judge as set forth in § 218-12 below and further to allow the occupier or resident of said property and/or its owner an additional five-day period, commencing on the date of service, to notify the Police Chief in writing of said occupier's, resident's or owner's desire to meet with the Police Chief in an attempt to rectify the nuisance activity. Upon timely receipt of such notification, the Police Chief shall meet as quickly as practical with the property occupier, resident and/or owner within five days thereof in an attempt to reach an accommodation on the pending violations. Should the parties fail to meet within a reasonable period of time or be unable to meet an accommodation satisfactory to the Borough, the Chief of Police shall immediately proceed forthwith before the Magisterial District Judge to initiate charges for violation of this article.
A. 
Any person(s), firm, corporation or legal entity owning or operating a chronic nuisance property within the Borough of Clifton Heights shall, upon summary conviction by the Magisterial District Judge, be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $1,000 for each offense, plus the cost of prosecution for each offense, and, in default of payment of said fine and costs, to be imprisoned in the Delaware County Jail for a period not exceeding 90 days.
B. 
Upon conviction under the terms of this article, the Borough of Clifton Heights may immediately revoke the use and occupancy and/or inspection permit of any property found to be a chronic nuisance property.
C. 
The penalties imposed under this section shall be in addition to any other penalty imposed by any other section of this article or other laws. Where suit is brought by the Borough for the abatement of the nuisance activity or for the recovery of any costs incurred by the Borough in enforcing this article, the person liable therefor shall, in addition, be liable for the costs of collection and the interest and penalties herein imposed.
D. 
Continuation of a violation(s) of this article after the date of notification by the Chief of Police to remedy the violation(s) as set forth hereinabove shall constitute, for each day the violation continues, a separate and distinct violation.
All ordinances or parts of ordinances in conflict with the provisions of this article are hereby repealed to the extent of such conflict. The Borough of Clifton Heights reserves the right at any time by ordinance to amend or otherwise modify or repeal this article.
For purposes of this article, words in any gender are deemed to include the other gender, and the singular is deemed to include the plural and vice versa.