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Township of Muhlenberg, PA
Berks County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Commissioners of the Township of Muhlenberg as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
[Adopted 4-18-1988 by Ord. No. 241 (Ch. 123 of the 1982 Code)]
As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated, unless a different meaning clearly appears from the context:
LESSEE
Owner, for the purpose of this article, when the lessor holds the lessee responsible for maintenance and repair.
NUISANCE
Any condition, structure, improvement or material which shall constitute a threat or potential threat to the health, safety or welfare of the citizens of the Township of Muhlenberg or which is detrimental to the property of others or which causes or tends to cause substantial diminution in the value of other property in the neighborhood in which such premises are located.
OWNER
The actual owner, agent or custodian of the property, whether individual or partnership, association or corporation.
PERSON
A natural person, firm, partnership, association, corporation or other legal entity.
No person owning, leasing, occupying or having charge of any premises shall maintain or keep any nuisance thereon, nor shall any such person keep or maintain such premises in a manner causing substantial diminution in the value of the other property in the neighborhood in which such premises is located.
A. 
The enforcement officer/inspector is hereby empowered to inspect grounds on which a potential nuisance is located to determine if there is compliance with the provisions of this article. If noncompliance with the provisions of this article constitutes a nuisance, he shall issue a written notice to be served by registered or certified mail upon the owner of said premises or, if the owner's whereabouts or identity is unknown, by posting the notice conspicuously upon the offending premises.
B. 
Said notice shall specify the condition, structure or improvement constituting the nuisance which is complained of and shall require the owner to remove or otherwise abate the condition, structure or improvement, as set forth in said letter, within 10 days of the mailing or posting of said notice.
If the owner does not comply with the notice to abate the conditions within the time limit prescribed, the Township of Muhlenberg shall have the authority to take measures to correct the conditions and collect the costs of such corrections, including reasonable attorneys' fees and engineering fees, plus 10% of all costs. The Township of Muhlenberg, in such event and pursuant to its statutory or otherwise authorized police powers, shall have the right and power to enter upon the offending premises to accomplish the foregoing. In addition, the Township of Muhlenberg shall have the right to enforce this article in law or equity, and such remedies shall be cumulative.
[Amended 11-7-1988 by Ord. No. 250[1]]
Any person who shall violate any provision of this article shall, upon conviction thereof, be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $1,000 and/or to undergo imprisonment for a term not to exceed 90 days. Each day that a violation of this article continues shall constitute a separate offense.
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also provided that the fines and penalties may be collected by suit brought in the name of the Township before any Magisterial District Judge, in like manner as debts of like amount may be sued for by existing laws, and to remit such fines and penalties.
The remedies provided herein for the enforcement of this article or any remedy provided by law shall not be deemed mutually exclusive; rather, they may be employed simultaneously or consecutively at the option of the Board of Commissioners.
[Adopted 4-18-1989 by Ord. No. 242 (Ch. 146 of the 1982 Code)]
A. 
Definitions. As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated, unless a different meaning clearly appears from the context:
LESSEE
The owner, when the lessor holds the lessee responsible for maintenance and repair.
MOTOR VEHICLE
Any type of mechanical device, propelled by motor, in which persons or property may be transported, including trailers or semitrailers pulled thereby.
NUISANCE
Any condition, structure or improvement which shall constitute a threat or potential threat to the health, safety or welfare of the citizens of the Township of Muhlenberg.
OWNER
The actual owner, agent or custodian of the property on which motor vehicles are stored, whether individual or partnership, association or corporation.
PERSON
A natural person, firm, partnership, association, corporation or other legal entity.
B. 
In this article, the singular shall include the plural; the plural shall include the singular, and the masculine shall include the feminine and the neuter.
A. 
It shall be unlawful for any person, owner or lessee to maintain a motor vehicle nuisance upon the open private grounds of such person, owner or lessee within the Township of Muhlenberg or upon public or private streets within said Township. A motor vehicle nuisance shall include any motor vehicle which has any of the following defects:
(1) 
Broken windshields, mirrors or other glass with sharp edges.
(2) 
One or more flat or open tires or tubes which could permit vermin harborage.
(3) 
Missing doors, windows, hood, trunk or other body parts which could permit animal harborage.
(4) 
Any body parts with sharp edges, including holes resulting from rust.
(5) 
Missing tires resulting in unsafe suspension of the motor vehicle.
(6) 
Upholstery which is torn or open which could permit animal and/or vermin harborage.
(7) 
Broken headlamps or taillamps with sharp edges.
(8) 
Disassembled chassis parts apart from the motor vehicle stored in a disorderly fashion or loose in or on the vehicle.
(9) 
Protruding sharp objects from the chassis.
(10) 
Broken vehicle frames suspended from the ground in unstable conditions.
(11) 
Leaking or damaged oil pans or gas tanks which could cause fires or explosions.
(12) 
Exposed batteries containing acid.
(13) 
Inoperable locking mechanisms for doors or trunks.
(14) 
Open or damaged floorboards, including trunk and firewall.
(15) 
Damaged bumpers pulled away from the perimeter of the vehicle.
(16) 
Broken grilles with protruding edges.
(17) 
Loose or damaged metal trim and clips.
(18) 
Broken communication equipment antennae suspended on unstable supports.
(19) 
Such other defects which could threaten the health, safety and welfare of the citizens of the Township of Muhlenberg.
B. 
A motor vehicle nuisance shall further include parts of motor vehicles as engine blocks, fenders, quarter panels, etc., which are also allowed to remain upon open private grounds.
C. 
It shall be unlawful for any person, owner or lessee to maintain a motor vehicle nuisance upon public or private streets within said Township. In addition to the nuisances identified hereinabove, a motor vehicle nuisance shall include any motor vehicle without a current valid registration plate or without a current inspection sticker, unless parked in front of or in close proximity to an official state inspection station which identifies such vehicle by work order specifying that a state inspection will be performed within 24 hours.
[Added 3-16-2015 by Ord. No. 538]
D. 
No vehicle shall be stored or parked on any street, dedicated alley, fire lane, road or highway. As used herein, "stored" shall mean the parking of a vehicle in one place upon any street, dedicated alley, fire lane, road or highway continuously for over seven days. Any person violating this subsection shall be guilty of a summary offense and shall be sentenced to pay a fine of $25 plus any costs of disposing of the vehicle and costs of prosecution. Any member of the Muhlenberg Township Police Department is hereby authorized and empowered to enforce this subsection.
[Added at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I)]
Any person, owner or lessee who has three or more motor vehicle nuisances as defined in § 228-8 above may store such vehicle(s) in the Township of Muhlenberg only in strict compliance with the regulations provided herein. Such person, owner or lessee must first apply for a permit for either temporary or permanent storage and pay a fee to the Township of Muhlenberg, such as may be provided from time to time by resolution of the Township of Muhlenberg. The motor vehicle nuisance(s) must be stored within a garage or other enclosed building or outside within an opaque fence at least six feet high, which is locked at all times when unattended. In addition, all gas and oil or other flammable liquids shall be removed from the motor vehicle, and it shall be kept free of vermin infestation while being stored. The total area of storage of motor vehicle nuisances may not exceed 154 square feet per vehicle.
A. 
The Enforcement Officer/Inspector is hereby empowered to inspect grounds on which motor vehicles are stored to determine if there is compliance with the provisions of this article. If noncompliance with the provisions of this article constitutes a nuisance or if any condition, structure or improvement imposes a threat to the health, safety or welfare of the public, he shall issue a written notice, to be served by registered or certified mail, upon the owner of said premises or, if the owner's whereabouts or identity be unknown, by posting the notice conspicuously upon the offending premises.
B. 
Said notice shall specify the condition or structure or improvement complained of and shall require the owner to remove or otherwise rectify the condition or structure or improvement as set forth therein within 10 days of mailing or posting of said notice.
If the owner of grounds on which motor vehicles are stored does not comply with the notice to abate the conditions within the time limit prescribed, the Township of Muhlenberg shall have the authority to take measures to correct the conditions and collect the costs of such corrections, including reasonable attorneys' and engineering fees, plus 10% of all costs. The Township of Muhlenberg, in such event and pursuant to its statutory or otherwise authorized police powers, shall have the right and power to enter upon the offending premises to accomplish the foregoing. In addition, the Township of Muhlenberg shall have the right to enforce this article in law or equity, and such remedies shall be cumulative.
[Amended at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I)]
Any person who shall violate any provisions of this article shall, upon conviction in a summary proceeding, pay a fine of not more than $1,000 plus the costs of prosecution and, in default of the payment of the fine and costs of prosecution, shall be imprisoned for a period not exceeding 30 days.
The remedies provided herein for the enforcement of this article or any remedy provided by law shall not be deemed mutually exclusive; rather, they may be employed simultaneously or consecutively at the option of the Board of Commissioners.