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Borough of Pine Grove, PA
Schuylkill County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Pine Grove 9-19-1985 by Ord. No. 284. Amendments noted where applicable.]
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Dangerous and Dilapidated Structure Ordinance."
All dangerous and dilapidated structures as defined herein are hereby declared to be public nuisances, and the owner thereof shall be responsible for the removal, repair or demolition as provided herein.
A structure whether completed or in the process of construction or any part of the whole or any part thereof, shall be deemed to be a dangerous or dilapidated structure if any of the following conditions are found to exist with respect thereto:
A. 
The structure as the result of damage by fire, wind or other cause constitutes a fire hazard or is dangerous to life, safety or general welfare of any of the residents of the Borough.
B. 
The structure has become dilapidated or decayed to such an extent as to be unsafe, unsanitary or likely to cause sickness or disease to those living therein or to other residents of the Borough.
C. 
The structure or any part thereof is likely to fall and injure members of the public or adjoining property.
D. 
The general condition of the structure is such that it has become unsafe, unsanitary or a danger to the health, safety or general welfare of the residents of the Borough or members of the public.
E. 
The condition of any structure is in violation of any applicable planning, zoning, or building permit ordinance as may presently or in the future be promulgated and such violation renders the condition of the structure unsafe, unsanitary or a danger to members of the public.
The office of Building Inspector is hereby created. The Building Inspector shall be appointed by Council, and shall serve for a term as designated by Council at the time of appointment.
[Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I)]
The Building Inspector, or any other person authorized or designated by the Borough Council, shall have the right to enter any building or structure, or to enter upon any land within the Borough at any reasonable hour in the course of his duties. In the event that an owner or occupant refuses to permit the Building Inspector, or any other person authorized or designated by the Borough Council, to enter a premises, the Building Inspector, or any other person authorized or designated by the Borough Council, and/or members of the Pine Grove Borough Police Department are hereby empowered to apply to the appropriate Magisterial District Judge for the issuance of a search warrant to inspect and examine any premises within the Borough for any violation of this chapter.
[Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I)]
Whenever the Building Inspector, or any other person authorized or designated by the Borough Council, finds that a condition constituting a nuisance or any other dangerous structure as defined in § 79-3 of this chapter exists or is being maintained on any premises within the Borough, or within any sidewalk, alley or street adjoining any such premises he shall make a full written report thereof to Borough Council which report shall specify the exact condition of the structure, in which respect the structure is dangerous or dilapidated, and whether the structure can be repaired or must be removed or demolished in order to remove and abate the nuisance.
[Amended 12-14-2002 by Ord. No. 354; at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I)]
If any structure is deemed to be dangerous or dilapidated by the Building Inspector and a report thereon is filed with the Borough Council, the Borough Council shall give written notice to the owner, occupant, and lessee setting forth that the Building Inspector deems the structure dangerous or dilapidated and in what respect the structure is so deemed dangerous or dilapidated. Said notice shall set forth that Borough Council will hold a hearing on the matter at which time the owner, any witnesses on his behalf, and any other person or entities having an interest in the premises may be heard, and that the owner may present evidence, examine and cross-examine witnesses and be represented by counsel. Said notice shall set forth the penalties that may be attached for failure to comply with the Ordinance.
[Amended 12-14-2002 by Ord. No. 354]
Written notice of the time and place of the hearing shall be served at least 10 days prior to the date thereof by personally delivering a true and correct copy thereof to the owner entitled to such notice if said person resides in the Borough or if such person does not so reside by personally delivering the notice to the agent or lessee of such person, if such agent or lessee resides in the Borough. If personal service cannot be obtained upon the owner, notice shall be sent to him by certified mail, return receipt requested, addressed to his last known post office address. If service cannot be made in any of the foregoing ways, service shall be made by posting a copy of the notice conspicuously on the premises, if any. Written notice of the hearing shall be served on any occupant or lessee who does not own the premises by certified mail, return receipt requested, addressed to the last known post office address for each such person. It shall be the responsibility of the owner, occupant, or lessee to provide notice of the hearing and the notice of the determination that the Building Inspector deems the structure dangerous or dilapidated and in what respect the structure is so deemed dangerous or dilapidated to all other persons or entities having an interest in the premises shown by the records of the Recorder of Deeds of Schuylkill County.
Upon the date and time set for hearing, any owner and person or entity in interest as hereinbefore identified shall be permitted to offer testimony, cross-examine witnesses and to be represented by counsel. Following the hearing, the Council shall make written findings of fact based on the testimony offered at the hearing with conclusions stating whether or not the concerned premises constitutes a nuisance as defined in § 79-3 herein and issue an order based upon said findings of fact.
[Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I)]
If after hearing and consideration, Borough Council determines that a condition constituting a nuisance or dangerous structure as defined in § 79-3 of this chapter does exist or is being maintained on such premises or on such adjoining sidewalk, alley or street it shall direct the Building Inspector, or any other person authorized or designated by the Borough Council, to issue an abatement order to the owner of the premises setting forth in what respect counsel finds the condition constitutes a nuisance or the structure is dangerous, whether removal is necessary and required by the Borough Council, or whether the situation can be corrected by repairs, alterations, fencing, boarding or in some other way. The service of the order shall be made upon the owner of the premises in the same manner as provided for service of the notice of the hearing. The order shall require the owner to commence action in accordance with the terms thereof within 10 days after service and thereafter comply fully with its terms with reasonable dispatch, all materials to be supplied and work done at the owner's expense.
A. 
If the owner of any structure deemed to be dangerous or dilapidated by the Borough Council after due service of the abatement order upon him, fails to comply with the terms thereof for the repair, alteration, removal of demolition of said structure within the time specified in said order:
(1) 
He shall be guilty of a violation of this chapter, and shall upon conviction thereof before a Magisterial District Judge be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than $25 nor more than $1,000, plus costs of prosecution, and, in default of payment of such fine and costs, by imprisonment for not more than 30 days; provided, however, that each day's continuance of the violation shall constitute a separate offense.
[Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I)]
(2) 
Borough Council may cause to be done the required removal, repairs or alterations to the premises as the case may be, which cost thereof, together with a penalty of 10% of said costs, may be collected from the owner of the premises in the manner provided by law for the collection of municipal claims, by action of assumpsit or in any other manner provided by law.
(3) 
The Borough, by means of a complaint in equity filed in the Court of Common Pleas, may compel the owner to remove, repair or alter the premises as the case may be, or seek such other relief equitable or legal as the Court is empowered to afford.
B. 
The remedies and penalties provided in Subsection A(1) through (3), inclusive, of this section are not mutually exclusive and may be employed simultaneously or cumulatively.
A. 
Nothing herein contained shall be construed as a limitation of the power of the appropriate Borough Officials to take such emergency action as may be necessary to deal with a condition which poses a grave and immediate danger to persons or property.
B. 
Nothing herein contained shall be construed to limit the authority of the Mayor to enforce all ordinances of the Borough of Pine Grove and it is understood that the provisions of this chapter shall be enforced by the Mayor and he is to be assisted by those other Borough Officials and employees as may be designated to do so by Borough Council.