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Borough of Homestead, PA
Allegheny County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Homestead 7-12-2007 by Ord. No. 1195. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Brush, grass and weeds — See Ch. 105.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 199.
Junked vehicles — See Ch. 245.
As used in this chapter, the following words and phrases shall have the meaning ascribed to them in this section:
ABANDON
To leave unattended for more than 48 hours on a public road, street, alley, highway, easement, right-of-way or other public property in an inoperable condition, or without bearing, if required, a valid registration plate and/or a certificate of inspection, or in any manner contrary to law, statute, ordinance, rule or regulation; or to leave for more than 48 hours on a private road, street, alley, highway, easement, right-of-way or other private property without the consent of the owner or person in control of the property.
APPLIANCE
Any stove, refrigerator, television, furnace, water heater, water softener, washer, dryer or other household article used to perform any work in or around a household; a computer, monitor, scanner, calculator, telefax, typewriter, or other business equipment or article used to increase production or to speed, to ease or to eliminate work.
BOAT
Any vessel capable of transporting a person on any river, stream, creek, lake, sea or ocean.
GARBAGE
Any putrescible animal or vegetable waste resulting from the handling, preparation, cooking or consumption of food.
HEARING OFFICER
Any person appointed by the Borough of Homestead Council to hold hearings into appeals from notices in accordance with § 180-4 of this chapter.
HOUSEHOLD FURNISHINGS
Any item normally found or used in a home.
NUISANCE
Any unreasonable, unwarrantable, or unlawful use of property, real or personal, which works an obstruction or injury to the right of another, or of the public, producing such material annoyance, inconvenience, discomfort, damage or hurt that the law will presume a consequent damage.
PERSON
Any natural person, corporation, partnership, joint venture, unincorporated association, government entity or other entity or organization having a legal existence.
RUBBISH
Any nonputrescible solid wastes, and putrescible solid waste other than garbage, combustible and noncombustible, including rags, paper, cardboard, metal, glass, crockery, plastic, tires, yard cuttings, leaves, bushes, plants, trimmings, trees, straw, excelsior and other such material obtained through or resulting from ordinary pursuits.
TRAILER
Any wheeled device used as a means of carrying, hauling or conveying any vehicle, person, animal, boat or other object, designed to be towed, pulled, pushed or otherwise moved by a vehicle.
VEHICLE
Any automobile, motorcycle, motorbike, minibike, bicycle, go-cart, truck or other wheeled means of conveyance which is motorized, self-propelled, or propelled by the application of force by a natural person or animal.
A. 
The following are hereby declared to be public nuisances, and no person shall do any of the following on public or private property in the Borough of Homestead:
(1) 
Accumulate or store garbage or rubbish, except i) for the purpose of disposing of it in accordance with the Borough of Homestead's refuse collection ordinance, ii) pursuant to the lawful operation of a licensed landfill, or iii) as otherwise permitted by ordinance or statute.
(2) 
Accumulate or store vehicles, trailers, motor homes, appliances, boats or household furnishings:
(a) 
In a condition, place or manner which creates a danger of injury to persons who or domestic animals which may come upon the property;
(b) 
In a condition, place or manner which creates a danger of entrapment to persons who or domestic animals which may come upon the property;
(c) 
In a condition, place or manner which provides or may provide a breeding place for rodents, insects or other vermin;
(d) 
In a condition, place or manner which provides or may provide a place for lodging or shelter for persons or animals;
(e) 
In a condition, place or manner which provides or may provide a place for loitering, gathering, meeting or use for illegal or illicit activities;
(f) 
In a condition, place or manner which creates a danger of accumulation of standing or stagnant water;
(g) 
In a condition, place or manner which is or may be an attractive nuisance to children;
(h) 
In parts or pieces, unless each part or piece is plainly visible to any person who may come upon the property;
(i) 
In a condition, place or manner that causes or may cause offensive odors to be emitted from the accumulation;
(j) 
In or upon public or private roads, streets, alleys, highways, easements or rights-of-way;
(k) 
In a condition, place or manner which interferes with the use of public or private roads, streets, alleys, highways, easements or rights-of-way;
(l) 
In a condition, place or manner which interferes with the ingress or egress of another upon the other's property;
(m) 
In a condition, place or manner which interferes with the ingress, egress or maneuvering of emergency vehicles upon the property;
(n) 
In or among grass, weeds, or other foliage which may block the view of it by any person who may come on the property;
(o) 
In any other condition, place or manner which may otherwise be or create a nuisance;
(p) 
This subsection shall not apply to: i) to any accumulation on private property for the purpose of disposing of it in accordance with the Borough of Homestead's refuse collection ordinance, ii) the lawful operation of a licensed landfill, iii) the lawful operation of a junkyard, or iv) as otherwise permitted by ordinance or statute.
(3) 
Keep, allow or maintain trees or shrubberies on a person's property:
(a) 
In such a condition, place or manner so that they or their roots or limbs interfere with the use of public or private roads, streets, sidewalks, alleys, highways, easements or rights-of-way;
(b) 
In a condition, place or manner so that they or their roots or limbs cause damage to or dangerous conditions to exist on or under public or private roads, sidewalks, alleys, highways, easements, rights-of-way, buildings, structures, fences, pipelines, and utility lines;
(c) 
In a condition, place or manner so that they or their roots or limbs interfere with the ingress or egress of another upon the other's property;
(d) 
In any other condition, place or manner which may otherwise be or create a nuisance;
(4) 
Abandon vehicles, trailers, motor homes, appliances, boats, or household furnishings.
B. 
No person shall:
(1) 
Keep, allow or fail to remove accumulated or stored garbage, rubbish, vehicles, trailers, motor homes, appliances, boats, household furnishings, trees, shrubs, tree roots, shrub roots, tree branches or shrub branches, or any parts or pieces thereof in accordance with a notice issued pursuant to § 180-3B of this chapter from which the person has not filed a timely appeal in accordance with § 180-4A of this chapter, or in accordance with a final adjudication of the hearing officer in accordance with § 180-4C of this chapter.
(2) 
Fail to remove or remedy the condition of trees or shrubs in accordance with a notice issued pursuant to § 180-3B of this chapter from which the person has not filed a timely appeal in accordance with § 180-4A of this chapter, or in accordance with a final adjudication of the hearing officer in accordance with § 180-4C of this chapter.
(3) 
Fail to remove abandoned vehicles, trailers, motor homes, appliances, boats, or household furnishings in accordance with a notice issued pursuant to § 180-3C of this chapter from which the person has not filed a timely appeal in accordance with § 180-4B of this chapter, or in accordance with a final adjudication of the hearing officer in accordance with § 180-4C of this chapter.
(4) 
Remove any notice posted in accordance with § 180-4D or E of this chapter.
A. 
Any Borough Council member, Zoning Officer or police officer has full power and authority to investigate any accumulation or storage of garbage, rubbish, vehicles, trailers, motor homes, appliances, boats or household furnishings, and abandoned vehicles, trailers, motor homes, appliances, boats, or household furnishings, or any possible failure to keep, allow or maintain trees and shrubbery as required by this chapter and to enforce this chapter.
B. 
If, after investigation, any person with authority to enforce this chapter determines that there has been a violation of § 180-2A(1), (2) or (3) of this chapter, the person shall, if the identity thereof can be determined in accordance with this chapter, give to the occupant and owner of the property on which the violation is occurring notice in the form prescribed in § 180-4A of this chapter.
C. 
If, after investigation, any person with authority to enforce this chapter determines that there has been a violation of § 180-2A(4) of this chapter, the person shall, if the identity thereof can be determined in accordance with this chapter, give notice to the owner of the vehicle, trailer, motor home, appliance, boat, or household furnishing in the form prescribed in § 180-4B of this chapter.
D. 
If the owner or occupant of the property on which the violation is occurring, or the owner of the vehicle, trailer, motor home, appliance, boat, household furnishing, tree or shrub, does not remove the nuisance, or appeal, in writing, to the Borough Secretary and request a hearing within the time set forth in the notice, or remove the nuisance in accordance with a final decision of the hearing officer, the Borough may remove the nuisance, or cause it to be removed and disposed of or destroyed, and collect the cost thereof together with a penalty of 10% of such cost from the owner and/or occupant, in the manner provided by law for collection of municipal claims, or by an action in assumpsit. In addition, any person with authority to enforce this chapter may issue a summary offense citation to the owner and/or occupant for violation of this chapter in accordance with § 180-5 of this chapter.
E. 
If an abandoned vehicle, trailer, motor home, appliance, boat, or household furnishing presents a danger or an obstruction to any person or to the public, then the Borough of Homestead may remove it, or cause it to be removed, to a place no less secure than the place at which it was abandoned and collect the cost thereof together with a penalty of 10% of such cost from the owner by an action in assumpsit.
F. 
The remedies and enforcement procedures established by this section shall be in addition to any other remedies and enforcement procedures provided by any other section of this chapter, or any other provision of law, statute, other ordinance, rule or regulation, and the Borough's resort to one remedy or procedure shall not preclude resort to any other remedy or procedure.
A. 
The notice of a violation of § 180-2A(1), (2) or (3) of this chapter shall state the address or lot and block number of the property at which the accumulation, storage or failure to properly keep, allow or maintain trees or shrubberies is occurring; shall state if the nuisance is the type described by § 180-2A(1), (2) or (3) of this chapter; shall inform the owner and/or occupant that, within 10 calendar days of the date of the notice, the owner and/or occupant must remove or remedy the nuisance or appeal, in writing, to the Borough Secretary and ask for a hearing; and shall inform the owner and/or occupant that if the owner or occupant does not remove or remedy the nuisance or appeal, in writing, to the Borough Secretary and ask for a hearing, the Borough may remove it and dispose of or destroy it and collect the cost thereof together with a penalty of 10% of such cost from the owner or occupant in the manner provided by law for collection of municipal claims, or by an action in assumpsit.
B. 
The notice of a violation of § 180-2A(4) of this chapter shall describe the vehicle, trailer, motor home, appliance, boat, or household furnishing and its location; shall inform the owner that, within 10 calendar days of the date of the notice, the owner must remove it or appeal, in writing, to the Borough Secretary and ask for a hearing; and shall inform the owner or occupant that if the owner does not remove it or appeal, in writing, to the Borough Secretary and ask for a hearing, the Borough may remove it and dispose of or destroy it and collect the cost thereof together with a penalty of 10% of such cost from the owner by an action in assumpsit.
C. 
Any person who receives a notice pursuant to § 180-4A or B of this chapter shall have a right to appeal from the notice. The appeal shall be in writing; shall state the reasons therefor; shall be addressed to the Borough Secretary; and shall be delivered to the Borough Secretary within 10 calendar days of the date of the notice. If an owner or occupant requests a hearing, the Borough Secretary shall schedule a hearing and shall give the owner or occupant written notice of the time, date and place of the hearing at least five business days before the hearing. The hearing shall take place before a hearing officer designated by the Borough Council, and shall be recorded electronically. The provisions of the Local Agency Law shall apply to the hearing and to any appeal from the hearing officer's adjudication.
D. 
Notices of violation of § 180-2A(1), (2) or (3) of this chapter shall be delivered to the occupant, if any, of the property on which the violation is occurring at the property and to the owner of the property at the address found in the search of the offices of the Recorder of Deeds of Allegheny County and the Borough's real estate tax duplicates, by hand delivery or certified mail, return receipt requested, and by posting a copy thereof in a conspicuous place on the property.
E. 
Notices of violation of § 180-2A(4) of this chapter shall be delivered to the owner of the vehicle, trailer, motor home, appliance, boat, or household furnishing at the address found in the search of the records of the government entity charged with registering or inspecting it, by hand delivery or certified mail, return receipt requested, and by posting a copy thereof in a conspicuous place on the vehicle, trailer, motor home, appliance, boat, or household furnishing.
F. 
If the Borough cannot identify the owner of the property by a search of the office of the Recorder of Deeds of Allegheny County and the Borough's own real estate tax duplicates, or if the Borough cannot identify the owner of the abandoned vehicle, trailer, motor home, appliance, boat, or household furnishing by a search of the records of the government entity charged with registering or inspecting it, if any, then the notice to the owner required by § 180-3B or C shall be delivered by posting in accordance with § 180-4D or E and by publication one time in a newspaper of general circulation within the Borough.
G. 
Notices of hearing shall be delivered to the person who requests them at the address at which the notice of violation was delivered or at the address noted on the appeal, by hand delivery or by certified mail, return receipt requested.
Violations of this chapter shall constitute summary offenses. Actions for enforcement pursuant to this section shall be brought before a District Justice in the same manner as prescribed for enforcement of summary offenses under the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure. Any person who is convicted of any violation of this chapter shall, for the first offense, be sentenced to pay the fine of not less than $50 nor more than $300, and for each and every subsequent offense shall be sentenced to pay the fine of not less than $100 nor more than $500, and upon default in payment of a fine assessed hereunder shall undergo imprisonment for not less than five days nor more than 30 days. Each day that a person is in violation of any provision of this chapter shall constitute a separate offense.