[HISTORY Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Shaler 5-14-2019 by Ord. No. 1950. Amendments noted where applicable.]
Property Maintenance — See Ch. 171
The Board of Commissioners hereby finds that nuisance properties place a substantial and unacceptable threat and burden on the common health, safety and welfare of the residents of the Township. To this end, the Board of Commissioners directs the Code Enforcement Officer, as provided in the following sections, to charge the cost of abatement of nuisance properties to the property owner in an effort to deter repeated violations of state and local laws and to ensure restoration of the common health, safety and welfare of Township residents.
As used in this chapter, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
- CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER
- That official of the Township charged with the duty of enforcing the provisions of the Zoning Ordinance of the Township.
- COST OF ABATEMENT
- The reasonable cost of abatement of an enumerated infraction as calculated by the Code Enforcement Officer, including but not limited to the costs of Police Department and/or the costs of the Code Enforcement Officer response associated with abating an enumerated infraction.
- COST SCHEDULE
- The complete list of costs associated with abating each enumerated infraction.
- NUISANCE PROPERTY
- Any property being used as a residence within the Township with five or fewer units that causes to be issued three citations and/or legal complaints from the police and/or the Code Enforcement Officer for any enumerated infraction on three separate occasions within any 120-day period, or any property being used as a residence with more than five units that causes to be issued at least three citations and/or filings of legal complaints from one unit or five citations and/or filings of legal complaints from the entire building from the police and/or Code Enforcement Officer for any enumerated infraction on separate occasions within any 120-day period.
- PROPERTY OWNER
- Any person or business entity, profit or not for profit, owning an interest in any property within the boundaries of the Township.
An enumerated infraction is any of the following activities, behavior, or conduct, whenever engaged in by the owner(s), operator(s), tenant(s), occupant(s) or their invitee(s) occurring within the boundary lines of the property, or 100 feet or less outside the boundary lines of the property, including but not limited to:
All enumerated infractions will be reported by the citing police officer to the Code Enforcement Officer within 72 hours of its occurrence. The Code Enforcement Officer shall notify the property owner by first-class mail to the property owner's last known address or cause to be hand-delivered a notice to the property owner's residence or usual place of business.
The Code Enforcement Officer is herewith charged with keeping a log of such enumerated infractions. The log shall be maintained for the purposes of recording enumerated infractions from diverse sources who would not otherwise know of other departments' activities with the subject property.
Whenever the Code Enforcement Officer determines that an owner of a property being used as a residence with five or fewer units has been cited or a legal complaint has been filed for an enumerated infraction at least three times on separate occasions within any 120-day period or an owner of a property being used as a residence within more than five units has been cited or a legal complaint has been filed for an enumerated infraction at least three times from one unit or at least five times from the entire building on separate occasions within any 120-day period, the Code Enforcement Officer shall notify the property owner in writing that the property has been designated as a nuisance property.
The notice shall be deemed to be properly delivered if sent either by first-class mail to the property owner's last known address or if delivered in person to the property owner. If the property owner cannot be located, the notice shall be deemed to be properly delivered if a copy of it is personally served upon a competent member of the property owner's family at least 17 years of age or a competent adult currently residing there. If a current address cannot be located, notice shall be deemed sufficient if posted on the potential nuisance property, and a copy of the notice is sent via first-class mail to the last known address of the property owner.
The street address or legal description sufficient for identification of the property;
A description of the enumerated infraction(s) that have occurred at the property and a statement indicating that the property is declared as a nuisance property as a result of said enumerated infraction(s);
A statement that the property owner shall within 10 days respond to the Code Enforcement Officer, in writing, with either:
The intent of the property owner to appeal the finding of the Code Enforcement Officer; or
A proposal detailing a course of action by which enumerated activities will be abated at the property. The Code Enforcement Officer shall, within 10 days of receipt of said proposal, either approve or disapprove of the proposal. In the event the Code Enforcement Officer disapproves of the proposal, the property owner may appeal pursuant to § 160-6.
Whenever the Code Enforcement Officer determines that an additional enumerated infraction has occurred at a property for which notice has been issued pursuant to Subsection C of this section, and either the enumerated infraction has occurred not less than 13 days after notice has been issued or an approved course of action under Subsection E(4)(b) has not been completed, the Code Enforcement Officer shall charge the cost of abatement of the enumerated infraction to the property owner pursuant to § 160-5 for this and any additional enumerated infraction, exceptions notwithstanding.
On an annual basis, the Code Enforcement Officer shall recommend a cost schedule for each enumerated infraction to the Board of Commissioners, and the Board of Commissioners shall adopt such cost schedule as recommended by the Code Enforcement Officer or adopt a different cost schedule, as the Board deems appropriate, by resolution which will be filed in the Township Secretary's office.
The Code Enforcement Officer shall impose upon the owner of a nuisance property the cost of abatement of any enumerated infraction consistent with § 160-4. Any cost imposed upon the property owner shall constitute a lien against the property.
Each subsequent incident of any enumerated infraction shall be deemed a separate violation.
Appeal of the determination of the Code Enforcement Officer shall be submitted to the Board of Commissioners within 10 days of service of the notice of enumerated infraction.
In the event any property owner, after implementation of a § 160-5E(4)(b) plan, demonstrates that Code Enforcement Officer or police have not responded to an enumerated infraction at a nuisance property for at least a period of six months, and all other requirements of this chapter have been complied with, that property shall no longer be considered a nuisance property.
Any citation or complaint issued to a tenant who is already in the process of being evicted, shall not count towards the number of citations or complaints that have been issued or filed necessary to be deemed a "nuisance property" if the property owner can prove that an eviction action has been commenced in a court of law and if the property owner is actively prosecuting said eviction action against the tenant.
All ordinances, or parts of ordinances, in conflict with the provisions of this chapter, are hereby repealed.
It is hereby declared to be the intention of the Township of Shaler that the several provisions of this chapter are separable. If any Court of competent jurisdiction shall declare any words, sections, sentences or provisions of this chapter to be invalid, such ruling shall not affect any other words, sections, sentences or provisions of this chapter not specifically intended in said ruling.