Township of Douglass, PA
Berks County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[Ord. 1986-2, 10/22/1986, § 1; amended by Ord. 2012-04, 11/12/2012, § 1; and by Ord. No. 2015-01, 2/9/2015]
No person, firm, or corporation shall maintain or cause or permit to be maintained, on any property owned or occupied by such person, firm, or corporation within the Township of Douglass, any dangerous structure and/or certain conditions constituting or productive of a nuisance, which shall include conduct or uses detrimental to the public health, safety or welfare of other persons, such as, but not limited to, the planting, maintenance and/or growth of bamboo except as permitted pursuant to the regulations below, and conduct or uses that engender to create loud noises or offensive odors, result in the leaching of dangerous chemicals into the ground or atmosphere, attract pests or vermin, and/or are injurious to the public.
[Added by Ord. No. 2015-01, 2/9/2015]
1. 
Definitions. As used in this section, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
BAMBOO
Any monopodial (running) tropical or semitropical grasses from the genera Bambusa, including, but not limited to, Bambusa, Phyllostachys, and Pseudosasa, as well as common bamboo, golden bamboo and arrow bamboo.
BAMBOO OWNER
Any property owner or resident, including the heirs, successors and assigns of such property owner or resident, who has planted and/or grows bamboo, or who maintains bamboo on the property, or who permits bamboo to grow or remain on the property even if the bamboo has spread from an adjoining property. Any property owner or resident at which bamboo is found on the property will be considered a bamboo owner, except any property owner or resident who:
A. 
Did not plant or grow or cause bamboo to be planted or grown on his property; and
B. 
Has provided satisfactory proof to the Township that, within a reasonable period of time after discovering the encroachment of bamboo onto the property from an adjoining or neighboring property, he advised the owner of such property of his objection to the encroachment of the bamboo; and
C. 
Has initiated steps for the removal of the bamboo from his property, which may include, but are not limited to, remedies at law.
2. 
Applicability. For purposes of this section, bamboo found growing upon a property shall constitute presumptive evidence that the bamboo was planted and/or grown by and/or with the consent of the bamboo owner, unless the property owner or resident demonstrates the criteria set forth in Subsections A through C of the definition of "bamboo owner" in § 10-101.1.
3. 
Prohibition. Upon the effective date of this provision, the planting or growing of bamboo shall be prohibited within the Township. Any person who thereafter plants or grows, or causes to be planted or grown, bamboo within the Township shall be deemed to be in violation of this section and shall be subject to such penalties as are set forth hereunder.
4. 
Regulation. Any bamboo that has been planted or otherwise permitted to grow on any property within the Township prior to the effective date of this section may remain on such property subject to compliance with this section.
A. 
Bamboo shall not be planted, maintained or otherwise be permitted to exist within 40 feet of the edge of the pavement or traveled portion of any public roadway in the Township; and
B. 
Any bamboo owner whose property contains bamboo shall remove and abate the growth of the bamboo within 40 feet of the edge of the pavement or traveled portion of a public road in the Township; and
C. 
Each bamboo owner shall be responsible to ensure that the bamboo planted or growing on the property prior to the effective date of this section does not encroach or grow upon any adjoining or neighboring property or properties, including all public property and Township rights-of-way; and
D. 
Each bamboo owner shall be required to take such measures as are reasonably expected to prevent such bamboo from invading or growing onto adjoining or neighboring properties. Such measures shall include, but not be limited to, installation of sheathing comprised of metal or other material impenetrable by bamboo at a sufficient depth within the property line or lines where the running bamboo is planted or is growing to prevent the growth or encroachment upon adjoining or neighboring property by the bamboo.
5. 
Replanting Prohibited. Any bamboo either planted or caused to be planted or existing on a property prior to the effective date of this section may not be replanted or replaced in kind once such running bamboo is or has become, for any reason, dead, destroyed, uprooted or otherwise removed.
6. 
This section shall not be deemed to alter any rights at common law or otherwise that any property owner may have to recover the cost of removal of bamboo on their own property from another property owner from whose property the bamboo has spread.
[Ord. 1986-2, 10/22/1986, § 3; amended by Ord. 2012-04, 11/12/2012, § 1; and by Ord. No. 2015-01, 2/9/2015]
Upon failure of the owner or occupier of any property, upon which any of the conditions referred to in § 10-101 or § 10-101.1 of this Part are maintained, to remove or correct such conditions within 30 days after notice from the Township Secretary, the Board of Township Supervisors may proceed to remove or correct such conditions or arrange for the removal or correction of such conditions and collect the cost thereof, together with a penalty of 20% of such cost, in the manner provided by law for the collection of municipal claims. Nothing contained herein shall be construed as prohibiting the Board of Township Supervisors from pursuing any other available legal or equitable remedy.
[Ord. 1986-2, 10/22/1986, § 4; as amended by Ord. 2009-3, 8/31/2009; and by Ord. 2012-04, 11/12/2012, § 1]
1. 
Any person, firm, or corporation who or which shall violate any of the provisions of this Part, upon conviction thereof in an action brought before a magisterial district judge in the manner provided for the enforcement of summary offenses under the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure, shall be sentenced to pay 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 90 days. Each day that a violation of this Part continues or each section of this Part which shall be found to have been violated shall constitute a separate offense. The penalty provided for herein is in addition to and not in lieu of any other remedy provided for in this Part or otherwise available to the Township.
2. 
No penalty under this section shall be imposed upon any person for a violation of this Part unless a written warning of such action has first been served upon such person or mailed to him by certified mail, return receipt requested, not less than 30 days prior to instituting proceedings for the collection of such penalty.
[Ord. 1986-2, 10/22/1986, § 5; amended by Ord. 2012-04, 11/12/2012, § 1]
Each day during which a violation of this Part continues to exist shall constitute a separate offense and be punishable as such. Notice to the offender shall not be necessary in order to constitute an offense.
[Ord. No. 2017-02, 8/14/2017]
The following terms shall have the meanings set forth herein:
EMERGENCY SERVICES
Emergency services rendered to any person, including, but not limited to, motor vehicle accident response, safety rescue, hazardous material cleanup and mitigation, emergency medical response and transport, and firefighting.
EMERGENCY SERVICES PROVIDER
Any company or organization that provides emergency services to any person.
INSURANCE COMPANY
Every insurance company, association, or exchange, incorporated by or under the laws of this commonwealth, the United States, territories, dependencies, other states, or foreign governments, and engaged in transacting insurance business of any kind or classification, except title insurance.
PERSON
An individual, organization, corporation, partnership, government or government agency, department or political subdivision, business, trust, estate, association, and any other legal or commercial entity.
[Ord. No. 2017-02, 8/14/2017]
The Township hereby authorizes any emergency services provider to recover from insurance companies that provide coverage to persons for automobiles or any other property for damage from fire, accident, and other covered loss, all fees, costs, and expenses of the following materials and services, including, but not limited to, firefighting materials used and expended, the use of fire trucks, fire engines, rescue equipment and tankers, emergency medical supplies, ambulances, and hazardous situation abatement materials used and expended in connection with any fire, safety rescue incident or operation, medical emergency, or hazardous situation abatement, including vehicular accidents, fires and/or medical emergencies, occurring within the Township (collectively, "expenses").
[Ord. No. 2017-02, 8/14/2017]
Any insurance company that insures a person who receives emergency services within the Township shall be liable for all expenses incurred by the emergency services provider in providing said emergency services to that person.
[Ord. No. 2017-02, 8/14/2017]
All expenses shall be recovered directly by the emergency services providers by direct billing or by an attorney, collection service, or other agency contracted with and by the emergency services providers for the collection of such expenses. In addition to the expenses, the emergency services provider shall also be authorized to collect reasonable interest and administration expenses involved in collecting said expenses.
[Ord. No. 2017-02, 8/14/2017]
At the request of the Board, the emergency services providers shall provide the Board an accounting of the expenses, including, but not limited to, the expenses charged and collected and the costs of collection of the expenses billed. The Board shall have the right to audit the accounting provided by the emergency services providers or require the emergency services providers to obtain an audit of the expenses and fund and provide the Board with a copy of the audit.
[Ord. No. 2017-02, 8/14/2017]
The Township shall not be responsible for any aspect of the recovery of expenses imposed upon any person or insurance company under this Part. The Township shall not take any steps to assist any emergency services provider or any third-party billing service in the recovery of costs under this Part.
[Ord. No. 2017-02, 8/14/2017]
The provisions of this Part are severable; and if any provision, section, sentence, clause, or part of this Part shall be held to be invalid, illegal, or unconstitutional by a court of competent jurisdiction, such decision of the court shall not affect or impair the remaining provisions, sections, sentences, clauses, or parts of this Part. It is hereby declared to be the intent of the Board that the remainder of this Part shall be and shall remain in full force and effect.
[Ord. No. 2017-02, 8/14/2017]
The Board does hereby reserve the right, from time to time, to adopt modifications of, supplements to, or amendments of this Part, including this provision.
[Ord. No. 2017-02, 8/14/2017]
The failure of the Township to enforce any provision of this Part shall not constitute a waiver by the Township of its rights of future enforcement hereunder.