Borough of Burnham, PA
Mifflin County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Ord. 2010-2, 6/7/2010]
This Part may be cited as the "Burnham Borough Nuisance Property Ordinance."
[Ord. 2010-2, 6/7/2010]
Real estate situated within the Borough of Burnham which are "chronic nuisance properties" pose real and continuing peace, health, safety and welfare concerns for the Borough of Burnham and its residents and the proper management, care and control of Borough finances. Owners of real property within the Borough as well as tenants thereof and, otherwise, any person or persons responsible for the property are responsible to take corrective actions to abate nuisance conditions on the property that they own and/or where they reside and/or in relation to which they are responsible. Properties where a chronic public nuisance exists have a significant impact upon the Borough, its residents and the quality of life, safety and health of the neighborhoods where they are situated. This Part is enacted to abate nuisance activities that are repetitive and are disruptive to the quality of life within the neighborhood and the Borough. This Part is to provide a remedy to abate a public nuisance which has been established, maintained, kept or continued or has been permitted to be established, maintained, kept or continued by the owner of the real estate and/or by the tenant or tenants thereof and/or otherwise by persons responsible for the property. This Part is also intended to abate chronic nuisance properties that are a financial burden on the Borough and its residents by repeated calls for Borough services, including, but not necessarily limited to, police services, due to activities on the property. It is the responsibility of the owner of the property as well as the tenant or tenants thereof, and otherwise the person or persons responsible for the property, to maintain the property in such a manner that such does not affect the peace, safety and welfare of the Borough and its residents and does not cause public inconvenience, annoyance or alarm and excessive public expense due to such activities.
[Ord. 2010-2, 6/7/2010]
This Part is adopted pursuant to authority set forth in the Borough Code, Act of February 1, 1965, P.L. 1656, No. 581, § 101 et seq., as amended (53 P.S. § 45101 et seq., as amended), § 1202(5), § 1202(20) and § 1202(74) thereof, as amended, (53 P.S. § 46202(5), 53 P.S. § 46202(20) and 53 P.S. § 46202(74), as amended) and otherwise per law.[1]
[1]
Editor's Note: See now 53 P.S. §§ 46202(4), 46202(14) and 46203.
[Ord. 2010-2, 6/7/2010]
The following terms shall have the meaning set forth hereinafter for purposes of this Part:
ABATE
To repair, replace, remove, destroy, or otherwise remedy a condition, which constitutes a violation of this Part by such means and in such a manner and to such an extent as the applicable ordinance enforcement officer, police officer or other designated agent of the Borough determines is necessary in the interest of the general peace, health, safety and welfare of the Borough and its residents.
BOROUGH
The Borough of Burnham, Mifflin County, Pennsylvania.
CONTROL
The ability to regulate, restrain, dominate, counteract or govern property, or conduct that occurs on a property.
CHRONIC NUISANCE PROPERTY
Property on which a combination of three or more nuisance activities occur or exist during any sixty-day period.
DRUG-RELATED ACTIVITY
Any unlawful activity at a property which consists of the manufacture, delivery, sale, storage, possession, or giving away of any controlled substance as defined by State or Federal law.
NUISANCE ACTIVITY
Includes:
A. 
Any nuisance, as defined by State law or local ordinance, occurring on the said property and which is a public nuisance.
B. 
Any criminal conduct as defined by Federal law, State law or local ordinance occurring on a property, including, but not limited to, the following activities or behaviors:
(1) 
Stalking.
(2) 
Harassment.
(3) 
Failure to disperse.
(4) 
Disorderly conduct.
(5) 
Assault.
(6) 
Any crimes of domestic violence.
(7) 
Reckless endangerment.
(8) 
Prostitution.
(9) 
Patronizing a prostitute.
(10) 
Public disturbance noises.
(11) 
Lewd conduct.
(12) 
Any firearms/dangerous weapons violations.
(13) 
Drug-related loitering and/or drug-related activity.
(14) 
Any dangerous animal violations.
Nonetheless, for purposes of this Part, a "nuisance activity" shall not include conduct where the person responsible is the victim of a crime and had no control over the criminal act.
C. 
Chronic and repeated telephone calls or requests for police services or other public services without a valid basis therefor and/or being made merely to threaten, harass or annoy another person.
PERSON RESPONSIBLE FOR THE PROPERTY or PERSON RESPONSIBLE
Unless otherwise defined, any person who has legal or equitable ownership of the property or structure which is subject to this chapter, who is a lessee of the property or structure or a part thereof, or who is an occupant in control of the property or structure, or part thereof, which is subject to this Part, a developer, builder, or business operator or owner who is developing, building or operating a business on the property or in a structure, or any part thereof, which is subject to this Part and/or any person who has control over the property and allows or permits a violation of this Part to continue or acquiesces therein.
PERSON
Natural person, joint venture, partnership, limited partnership, limited liability partnership, association, club, company, limited liability company, corporation, business trust, organization, or the manager, lessee, agent, officer or employee of any of them.
POLICE DEPARTMENT
The duly constituted police department of the Borough of Burnham or any regional police department of which the Borough of Burnham is a member municipality, or any police department of another municipality which provides police services to the Borough as a result of an intergovernmental agreement or contract, as applicable, at any particular time.
POLICE OFFICER
A duly constituted officer of the Police Department, as defined above, or any other municipal, State or Federal law enforcement officer having jurisdiction and authority in the Borough from time to time.
PREMISES and PROPERTY
May be used by this Part interchangeably and means any public or private building, lot, parcel, dwelling, rental unit, real estate or land or portion thereof, including property used as a residential, commercial or industrial property.
RENTAL UNIT
Any structure or that part of a structure, including, but not limited to, a single-family home, room or apartment, which is rented to another and used as a home residence, or sleeping place by one or more persons.
[Ord. 2010-2, 6/7/2010]
1. 
Any real estate (i.e., "property") located within the Borough of Burnham which is a chronic nuisance property, as defined in this Part, is in violation of this Part and is subject to its penalties and remedies.
2. 
Any person responsible for property, as defined in this Part, who is actively engaged in a nuisance activity, as defined in this Part, or who permits such nuisance activity or acquiesces in the occurrence of such nuisance activity or who has knowledge of the nuisance activity but does not take action, upon notice, to abate such activity on what is defined as a chronic nuisance property per this Part shall be in violation of this Part and subject to its penalties and remedies.
[Ord. 2010-2, 6/7/2010]
1. 
When the Chief of Police, or his/her designee(s), or such other person who is then the ranking officer of the Police Department receives documentation confirming the occurrence of three or more nuisance activities within a sixty-day period on any property, the Chief of Police or his/her designee(s), may review such documentation to determine whether it describes the nuisance activities enumerated in the definition of "nuisance activity" in § 304. Upon such a finding, the Chief of Police, or his/her designee(s), or such other person who is then the ranking officer of the Police Department, shall warn the person or persons responsible for such property by serving a notice, in writing, that the property is in danger of being declared a chronic nuisance property.
2. 
The notice of warning shall:
A. 
Contain the street address or legal description sufficient for identification of the property.
B. 
Contain a concise description of the nuisance activities that exist or that have occurred on the property.
C. 
Contain a demand that the person or persons responsible for such property respond to the Chief of Police or his/her designee(s), or such other person who is then the ranking officer of the Police Department, within 10 days of service of the notice to discuss the nuisance activities and create a plan to abate the chronic nuisance.
D. 
Offer the person or persons responsible an opportunity to abate the nuisance activities giving rise to the violations and a statement describing that, if legal action is sought, the person or persons responsible for such property could be subject, upon conviction of a summary offense before a Magisterial District Judge, to a fine of not less than $300 and not more than $600, together with costs, and in default of payment of said fine and costs, shall be sentenced to imprisonment for a term not to exceed 30 days, and noting that each day the nuisance activity or activities continue following the date of the original notice of warning by the Chief of Police, his/her designee(s), or such other person who is then the ranking officer of the Police Department, shall constitute a new offense.
3. 
The Chief of Police or his/her designee(s) or such other person who is then the ranking officer of the Police Department shall serve the notice of warning or cause the same to be served by certified mail, return receipt requested, restricted delivery, and shall post the property with a copy of the notice of warning in a conspicuous place upon the property, or shall serve the notice of warning by personal service of such notice of warning upon the person responsible in accordance with the procedures set forth above and shall post the property with a copy of the notice of warning in a conspicuous place upon the property.
[Ord. 2010-2, 6/7/2010]
1. 
Any person or persons responsible for the property who shall violate this Part shall in each case, upon conviction thereof as a summary offense before a Magisterial District Judge, be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than $300, nor more than $600, together with the costs of prosecution, and in default of payment of said fine and costs, shall be sentenced to a term of imprisonment not to exceed 30 days. Each day the nuisance activity or activities continue following the date of the original notice of warning by the Chief of Police, his/her designee(s), or such other person who is then the ranking officer of the Police Department, shall constitute a new offense.
2. 
In assessing the fine, the Magisterial District Judge may consider the following factors, citing those found to be applicable:
A. 
The actions taken by the person responsible for the property to mitigate or correct the nuisance activity or activities;
B. 
The repeated and continuous nature of the nuisance activity;
C. 
The statements of the neighbors or those other persons affected by the nuisance activity or activities; and
D. 
Any other factor deemed relevant to the charges by the court.
3. 
The imposition of any of the penalties provided in this Part shall not preclude the Borough from instituting an appropriate action or proceeding, including an action in equity brought in the Court of Common Pleas, to abate and to prevent the continuation of the nuisance activities as set forth in this Part and such appropriate actions and/or proceedings, including, but not limited to, an action in equity, are hereby duly authorized by this Part.