City of Lock Haven, PA
Clinton County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the City Council of the City of Lock Haven 5-16-2005 by Ord. No. 736. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Brush, grass and weeds — See Ch. 194.
Uniform construction codes — See Ch. 212.
Rental property — See Ch. 321.
The City hereby adopts as the Property Maintenance Code of the City of Lock Haven the 2003 Edition of the International Property Maintenance Code, published by International Code Council, Inc. (hereinafter collectively referred to as the "code"), as supplemented and amended by this chapter.
The City amends the code as follows:
A. 
Section 101.1 of the code is hereby supplemented by inserting "Lock Haven, Pennsylvania" as the name of jurisdiction.
B. 
Section 102.5 is amended by adding the following: "The Code Official shall be guided by manufacturers specifications and/or architectural graphics standards in determining compliance with this section."
C. 
Section 102.3 is amended as follows:
102.3 Application of other codes. Any repairs or alterations to a structure, or changes of use therein, which may be caused directly or indirectly by the enforcement of this code shall be done in accordance with the procedures and provisions of the building code, plumbing code, mechanical code and national electrical code.
D. 
Section 105.1 is amended as follows:
105.1 General. The Code Official shall enforce all the provisions of this code unless otherwise provided herein or by other ordinance.
E. 
Section 105.3 is amended as follows:
105.3 Right of entry. The Code Official is authorized to enter structures and premises for the purpose of making inspections and performing duties under this code only with the consent of an individual entitled to possession of or access to the area to be inspected or upon warrant or court order issued upon probable cause that violations of this code exist.
F. 
Section 106, Violations, is amended as follows:
106.1 Unlawful acts. It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation to erect, construct, alter, extend, repair, remove, demolish, use or occupy any structure or equipment regulated by this code and any rule or regulation adopted pursuant to this code.
106.3 Prosecution.
106.3.1 Criminal proceedings.
In case any violation order is not promptly complied with, the Code Official may institute summary proceedings before the Magisterial District Judge. Any person, firm, or corporation, who shall violate any provision of this code shall, upon conviction thereof, be subject to a fine of not more than $1,000 plus costs and, in default of payment of said fine and costs, to a term of imprisonment not to exceed 30 days. Each day that a violation continues after due notice has been served, in accordance with the terms and provisions hereof, shall be deemed a separate offense.
106.3.2 Civil proceedings.
The Code Official may refer the matter to legal counsel for commencement of proceedings at law and/ or equity against the person(s) who may reasonably be held responsible for the violation of the of the ordinance for the purpose of obtaining a court order requiring that person(s) to correct or remove the violation, to abate the nuisance or to refrain from any further performance of work which has been conducted in violation of this chapter.
1.
To restrain, correct or remove the violation or refrain from any further execution of work.
2.
To halt or correct erection, installation or alteration activities that have violated or which would violate this chapter.
3.
To require the removal of work which has been conducted in violation of this chapter.
4.
To prevent the occupancy or use of the structure or part thereof erected, constructed, installed or altered in violation of, or not in compliance with, the provisions of this code or in violation of a plan or specification under which an approval, permit or certificate was issued.
G. 
Section 107, Notices and orders, is amended as follows:
107.1 Notice to person responsible. Whenever the Code Official determines that there has been a violation of this code or has reasonable grounds to believe that a violation has occurred, notice of the violation and compliance requirements shall be given to the owner or the person or persons responsible therefor in the manner prescribed below.
107.2 Form. Such notice prescribed in Section 107.1 shall:
1.
Be in writing.
2.
Include a description of the real estate sufficient for identification.
3.
Include a statement of the reason or reasons why it is being issued.
4.
Include a correction order allowing a reasonable time for the repairs and improvements required to bring the dwelling unit or structure into compliance with the provisions of this code.
5.
Include an explanation of the owner's right to seek modification or withdrawal of the Code Official's notice of violation and compliance order utilizing a petition to the Code Enforcement Board of Appeals and Review.
6.
Include an explanation of remedies available to the municipality upon noncompliance.
107.3 Method of service. Such notice of violation and compliance order is effectively served when service is personal (that is, actually delivered to the person to be served) or by leaving the notice at the usual place of abode of the person to be served, in the presence of someone in the family of suitable age and discretion who shall, generally, be informed of the contents thereof or by certified or registered mail addressed to the person to be served at the last known address with return receipt requested, or if the certified or registered letter is returned with receipt showing that it has not been delivered, by posting a copy thereof in a conspicuous place in or about the structure affected by such notice and at least one publication of such notice in a local newspaper of general circulation.
107.5 Transfer of ownership. It shall be unlawful for the owner or the person or persons responsible therefore of any dwelling unit or structure which has been made subject to a compliance order or upon whom a notice of violation has been served to sell, transfer, mortgage, lease or otherwise dispose of the dwelling unit or structure until the violation has been resolved or corrected or until such owner shall first furnish the grantee, transferee, mortgagee or lessee a true copy of any compliance order or notice of violation issued by the Code Official and shall furnish to the Code Official a signed and notarized statement from the grantee, transferee, mortgagee or lessee acknowledging the receipt of such compliance order or notice of code violation. The party whose duty it is to provide the grantee, transferee, mortgagee or lessee with this information on compliance orders and code violation shall also inform that receiving party about any compliance time frames and necessary corrections/repairs required to abate the code violations within the time frame required by the ordinance and/or compliance order or notice of violation.
107.6 Options upon condemnation. A party or person who has received a compliance order or notice of violation and who does not timely do those things required by this code and by the rules and regulations applicable to this code, shall be subject to condemnation proceedings, prosecution under the ordinance and demolition of dwellings or structures which have been the subject of compliance orders or notices of violation and may be subject to any combination of these three activities.
H. 
Section 108.0, Unsafe structures and equipment, is amended as follows:
108.1 General. When a structure or part thereof is found by the Code Official to be unsafe, or when a structure or part thereof is found unfit for human occupancy or use or is found unlawful, it may be condemned pursuant to the provisions of this code and may be placarded and vacated. It shall not be reoccupied without approval of the Code Official. Unsafe equipment shall be placarded and placed out of service.
108.1.1 Unsafe structure. An unsafe structure is one in which all or part thereof is found to be dangerous to life, health or the safety of the public or its occupants and/or which poses an unreasonable risk of causing economic or other harm to property close enough to be within the scope of that economic or other harm, because the structure lacks minimum safeguards for the protection from and notice of fire, is an "attractive nuisance" as that phrase has come to be defined by applicable law or because it is so damaged, decayed, dilapidated, structurally unsafe or unsound or of such faulty construction or unstable foundation, that there is an unreasonable risk of the complete or partial collapse of the structure or an unreasonable risk that the physical condition of the structure will result in harm to the life, health or safety of those who may foreseeably become located within the scope of the risk or an unreasonable risk that the condition of the property will cause significant economic harm to other property within the scope of the risk.
108.1.2 Unsafe equipment. Unsafe equipment includes any boiler, heating equipment, elevator, moving stairway, electrical wiring or device, flammable liquid containers or other equipment which is operated utilizing, as its energy source, coal, electricity, natural gas, propane, etc., on the premises or within the structure which is in such disrepair or condition that it is found to be a hazard to life, health, property or safety of the public or occupants of the premises or structure. Unsafe equipment may contribute to the finding that the structure is unsafe or unfit for human occupancy or use.
108.1.3 Structure unfit for human occupancy. A structure is unfit for human occupancy or use whenever the Code Official finds that it is unsafe, unlawful or because of the degree in which it lacks maintenance or is in disrepair, is unsanitary, vermin or rat infested, contains filth and contamination or lacks ventilation, illumination, sanitary or heating facilities or other essential equipment required by this code, or because its location constitutes a hazard to its occupants or to the public.
108.1.4 Unlawful structure. An unlawful structure is one found in whole or in part to be occupied by more persons than permitted under this code or was erected, altered maintained or occupied contrary to law.
108.2 Closing of vacant structures. If the structure or part thereof is vacant and unfit for human habitation, occupancy or use and is not in danger of structural collapse, the Code Official may post a placard of condemnation on the premises and may order the structure closed up so it will not be an attractive nuisance to youngsters. Upon failure of the owner to close up the premises within the time specified in the order, the Code Official shall cause it to be closed through any available public agency or by contract or arrangement by private persons and the cost thereof shall be charged against the real estate upon which the structure is located and shall be a lien upon such real estate.
108.3 Notice. The Code Official shall give written notice of condemnation to the owner and to the occupants, if any, which notice shall include a copy of the previous notice pursuant to § ES-106.2[1] and an order to vacate the property or to cease use of equipment. Non-owner-occupants who are not responsible for compliance with the initial notice pursuant to § ES-106.2[2] shall be given a reasonable time to vacate the premises. Owners or persons responsible for compliance must vacate at the time of receipt of the notice hereunder. Service of the notice of condemnation shall be in the manner provided in Section 107.3.
108.4 Placarding. Contemporaneously with the service of the condemnation notice, the Code Official shall post on the premises or structure or parts thereof or on defective equipment, a placard stating the words: "Condemnation as unfit for human occupancy or use," and a statement of penalties provided for any occupancy or use or for removing the placard. Occupants shall vacate as hereinbefore provided in Section 107.2.
108.4.1 Removal of placard. The Code Official shall remove the condemnation placard whenever the defect or defects upon which the condemnation and placarding action were based have been eliminated. Any person who defaces or removes a condemnation placard without the approval of the Code Official shall be subject to the penalties provided by this code.
108.5 Prohibited use. Any person who shall occupy a placarded premises or structure or part thereof, or shall use placarded equipment, and any owner or any person responsible for the premises who shall let anyone occupy a placarded premises, shall be liable for the penalties provided by this code.
[1]
Editor's Note: So in original.
[2]
Editor's Note: So in original.
I. 
Section 109, Emergency measures, is amended as follows:
109.1 General.
Whenever a Code Official finds that an emergency exists on any premises, or in any structure or part thereof, or on any defective equipment which requires immediate action to protect the public's health and safety or that of the occupants thereof, the Code Official shall, with proper notice and service in accordance with the provisions of Section 107.1, issue an order reciting the existence of such an emergency and requiring the vacating of the premises or requiring such action be taken as the Code Official deems necessary to meet such emergency. Notwithstanding other provisions of this code, such order shall be effective immediately and the premises or equipment involved shall be placarded immediately upon service of the order.
109.6 Hearing.
Any person to whom such order is directed shall comply therewith. They may thereafter, upon petition directed to the appeals board, be afforded a hearing as prescribed in this code. Depending upon the findings of the board at such hearing as to whether the provisions of this code have been complied with, the board shall continue such order or modify or revoke it.
J. 
Section 110, Demolition, is amended as follows:
110.1 General.
When a person with responsibility to do so fails to obey a final order requiring activity to come into compliance with this chapter, the Code Enforcement Officer will order the owner (or other persons having responsibility for the property/structure) of the premises to raze and remove such structure or part thereof which, in the reasonable judgment of the Code Enforcement Officer, is so old, dilapidated, damaged, decayed, structurally unsafe or of such faulty construction or unstable foundation, unsanitary or otherwise unfit for human habitation, occupancy or use, that it is unreasonable to expect, under all of the relevant circumstances, that a timely and effective remediation of the problems could occur other than by razing and removing the structure, or the relevant part thereof. If the structure, or the part of the structure which is the source of the problems, can reasonably and cost effectively be made safe by repairs, the Code Enforcement Officer may order the owner or other responsible person to select between the repair option, converting the dwelling or structure into a safe and sanitary one or the raze and remove option. In such an event, the Code Enforcement Officer will indicate to the owner or other responsible person that a failure to select the repair option or a failure to timely implement the repair option, will be deemed selection of the raze and remove option. An owner or other responsible person who has selected, under the circumstances, the repair option will be given a reasonable period of time to start and complete the process of repairing the dwelling or structure and making it safe and sanitary and in compliance with this Act. In no case will such a period extend longer than two years. Depending upon the circumstances of a particular situation, the reasonable period for completing the repairs may be of much shorter duration than two years.
110.2 Unreasonable repairs.
Whenever the Code Enforcement Officer determines that the cost of repairs and removal would exceed 100% of the current value of the dwelling or structure, such repairs shall be presumed unreasonable and the owner or other responsible person shall be ordered to raze and remove the structure. An owner or other responsible person can avoid this result, under the circumstances where the costs of repairs and removal would exceed 100% of the current value of the dwelling or structure only be presenting a concrete plan for the rapid conversion of the dwelling or structure into one which meets the requirements of this chapter and by further demonstrating the financial wherewithal and commitment to make such repairs.
110.3 Order.
The order shall specify a time in which the owner shall comply therewith by demolition or repairs as specified in the notice under Section 107.3. It shall be served on the owner of record, or an agent where an agent is in charge of the building, and upon the holder of any encumbrance of record in the manner provided for service of a summons by a court of record. If the owner or a holder of any encumbrance of record cannot be found, the order shall be served by posting it on the main entrance of the building and by publishing it once each week for three successive weeks in a newspaper authorized to provide service by publication.
110.4 Restraining actions.
Any affected by a Section 110.3 order may, within 30 days after service of such order, apply to the Clinton County Court of Common Pleas for an order restraining the Code Enforcement Officer from razing and removing such structure or parts thereof. The Court shall determine whether the order of the Code Official is reasonable and, if found reasonable, shall issue an order reflecting that determination and, if found not reasonable, shall issue an order reflecting that determination.
110.5 Failure to comply.
Whenever the owner of a property fails to comply with a demolition order within the time prescribed, the Code Official shall cause the structure or part thereof to be razed and removed, either through an available public agency or by contract or arrangement with private persons, and the cost of such razing and removal, including but not limited to attorney's fees, engineering fees, and other professional fees incurred by the City in connection therewith as well as the costs of preparing and filing any lien, including attorney's fees, shall be charged against the real estate upon which the structure is located and shall be a lien upon such real estate.
[Amended 5-7-2018 by Ord. No. 989]
110.6 Salvage materials.
When any structure has been ordered razed and removed, the governing body or other designated officer under said contract or arrangement aforesaid, may sell the salvage and valuable materials at the highest price obtainable. The net proceeds of such sale, after deducting the expenses of such razing and removal, shall be promptly remitted with a report of such sale or transaction, including the items of expense and the amounts deducted, for the use of the persons who may be entitled thereto, subject to any order of a court. If such a surplus does not remain to be turned over, the report shall so state.
K. 
Section 111 is amended as follows:
111.0. Registration of rental units.
111.1 General.
No person shall rent to another for occupancy any structure or part thereof governed by this code unless he holds a current, unrevoked registration certificate issued by the Code Enforcement Officer in his name for the specific identified structure. Every registration certificate shall be valid for a period of five years from its date of issuance unless sooner revoked and may be renewed for successive periods of five years.
111.2 Application.
No registration certificate shall be issued or renewed unless the applicant owner has first made application therefor on an application form provided by the Code Enforcement Officer. The Code Enforcement officer shall develop such forms and make them available to the public. The fee for each registration certificate or renewal thereof shall be $5 per structure. This fee has been calculated to be less than the actual cost of administration processing, registration certificates or of renewal of a registration certificate. No prior inspections shall be required.
111.3 Transferability of registration certificate.
No registration certificate shall be transferable to another person or to another structure or dwelling unit. Any person holding a registration certificate shall give notice, in writing, to the Code Enforcement Officer within seven days after having transferred or otherwise disposed of the legal ownership or control of any registered structure. Such notice shall include the name and address of the person or persons succeeding to the ownership or control of such structure.
111.4 Existing units.
This section shall immediately become applicable to any currently existing structure or part thereof being rented to another for occupancy. The owner of any such structure currently being rented to another for occupancy shall have a period of 60 days from the effective date of this chapter to apply for the registration certificate required by this section.
111.5 Public housing.
Nothing in this section shall be applicable to or require the registration of any housing unit, the conditions of occupancy of which is regulated by a governmental agency or the Clinton County Housing Authority.
111.6 Transient housing.
Nothing in this section shall be applicable to or require the registration of any structure designated for transient housing use (i.e., hotel, motel).
111.7 Revocation of registration certificate.
Whenever, in the exercise of his duties, the Code Enforcement Officer finds that conditions or practices exist which are in violation of the provisions of Section 111.0, he shall serve the owner with notice of such violations stating that unless the violations cited are corrected within a reasonable time, the registration certificate will be suspended. At the expiration of the time allowed for correction of any violation cited, the Code Enforcement Officer shall, with the voluntary consent of the owner or pursuant to a warrant issued upon probable cause by a Magisterial District Judge after notice and opportunity for a hearing, inspect the structure and, if he determines that such conditions have not been corrected, he shall issue an order revoking the registration certificate.
111.8 Appeal.
Any person who shall be refused a registration certificate or whose registration certificate has been revoked shall be entitled to a hearing pursuant to the procedures established in Section 112.1 of this code.
L. 
Section 112.0 shall be added to read as follows:
112.0 Right to Appeal.
112.1 Appeals. With the execution of an order issued pursuant to Section 110.3, any person affected by any notice which has been issued in connection with the enforcement of any provision of this code or of any rule or regulation adopted pursuant thereto shall have a right of appeal to the Code Enforcement Board of Appeals and Review. A petition requesting a hearing and containing a statement of the grounds therefore shall be filed in the Code Office within 30 days after the day the notice was served in accordance with Section 107.3.
M. 
Section 202, General Definitions, is amended as follows:
(1) 
The definition of "family" is added to read as follows:
FAMILY. An individual or married couple and the children thereof with not more than two other persons related directly to the individual or married couple by blood or marriage, or a group of not more than four unrelated (excluding servants) persons, living together as a single housekeeping unit in a dwelling unit.
(2) 
The definition of "rooming house" is amended to read as follows:
ROOMING HOUSE/BOARDINGHOUSE. A building arranged or used for lodging, with or without meals, for compensation, by more than four individuals.
N. 
Section 302.3, Sidewalks and driveways, is amended to read as follows:
[Added 1-7-2013 by Ord. No. 915]
302.3 Sidewalks and driveways. 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. Sidewalks within the public right-of-way and any sidewalks accessible for free use by the public shall be repaired or replaced if they meet any of the sidewalk repair deficiency criteria adopted under the City's Sidewalk Replacement Program guidelines.
O. 
Section 302.4, Weeds, is amended by inserting "eight inches" as the maximum height for weeds or plant growth.
P. 
Section 304.7, Roofs and drainage, is amended by changing the last sentence to read as follows: "Roof water shall not be discharged in a manner that creates a nuisance to owners or occupants of adjacent property or creates a public nuisance."
Q. 
Section 304.14, Insect screens, is amended by inserting the dates "May 1 to October 1."
R. 
Section 404.3, Minimum ceiling heights, is amended by deleting the word "laundry" from Exception No. 2 and adding the following sentence: "Laundry areas are exempt from ceiling height requirements in basements." Section 404.3 is further amended by adding a fourth exception to read as follows:
4.
Dwellings that were originally constructed with ceiling heights in areas intended for use as living or habitable space are exempt from the ceiling height requirements of this code.
S. 
Section 404.4.2, Access from bedrooms, is amended to read as follows:
404.4.2 Access from bedrooms. Bedrooms that constitute the only means of access to other bedrooms or habitable space shall not be equipped with any type of locking device on the entry side of the door used for separation.
T. 
Section 404.4.3, Water closet accessibility, is amended to read as follows:
404.4.3 Water closet accessibility. Every bedroom in a dwelling unit shall have access to at least one water closet and lavatory located in the same story as the bedroom or an adjacent story.
U. 
Section 504.3, Plumbing system hazards, is amended to read as follows:
[Added 1-7-2013 by Ord. No. 915]
504.3 Plumbing system hazards. Where it is found that a plumbing system in a structure constitutes a hazard to the occupants or the structure by reason of inadequate venting, cross-connection, backsiphonage, improper installation, deterioration or damage or for similar reasons, the Code Official shall require the defects to be corrected to eliminate the hazard. The water service line serving each property shall contain a main shutoff valve on the line immediately inside the building ahead of the water meter and shall contain a double-check valve on the line at the outlet side of the meter.
V. 
Section 507, Storm Drainage, is amended to add Section 507.2, Infiltration, to read as follows:
507.2 Infiltration. The discharge of stormwater runoff to sanitary sewers is prohibited. No person connected to a sanitary sewer shall connect any roof drain or foundation drain or permit any such drains to remain connected thereto, nor allow or cause to enter into any sanitary sewer any springwater or surface water from any source.
W. 
Section 602.3, Heat supply, is amended by inserting the dates "September 15 to May 15."
X. 
Section 602.4, Occupiable work spaces, is amended by inserting the dates "September 15 to May 15."
Y. 
Section 605.2, Receptacles, is amended by having the last sentence read as follows: "All bathroom receptacle outlets shall have ground fault circuit interrupter protection."