Township of Robinson, PA
Washington County
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[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Robinson 4-13-1981 by Ord. No. 1-1981 (Ch. 4, Part 2, of the 1985 Code of Ordinances). Amendments noted where applicable.]
All buildings or structures or other things which have any or all of the following characteristics shall be deemed in violation hereof and shall constitute a nuisance:
A. 
Those whose interior walls or other vertical structural members list, lean or buckle to such an extent that a plumb line passing through the center of gravity falls outside of the middle third of its base.
B. 
Those which, exclusive of the foundation, show 33% or more of damage or deterioration of the nonsupporting enclosing or outside walls or covering.
C. 
Those which have improperly distributed loads upon the floors or roofs or in which the same are overloaded or which have insufficient strength to be reasonably safe for the purpose used.
D. 
Those which have been damaged by fire, wind or other cause so as to have become dangerous to life, safety, morals, or the general health and welfare of the occupants or the people of the Township of Robinson.
E. 
Those which have become or are so dilapidated, decayed, unsafe, unsanitary or which so utterly fail to provide the amenities essential to reasonably decent living that they are unfit for human habitation or use, or are likely to cause sickness or disease, so as to work injury to the health, morals, safety or general welfare of those living therein, or those in the vicinity thereof, or those who may come into contact with the said structure or thing.
F. 
Those having light, air, and sanitation facilities which are inadequate to protect the health, morals, safety, general welfare of human beings who live or may live therein.
G. 
Those having inadequate facilities for egress in case of fire or panic or those having insufficient stairway elevators, fire escapes, or other means of communication.
H. 
Those which have parts thereof which are so attached that they may fall and injure members of the public or property.
I. 
Those which because of their condition are unsafe, unsanitary, or dangerous to the health, morals, safety or general welfare of the people of this Township.
J. 
Those buildings or structures or things existing in violation of any other ordinance or provision thereof of the Township of Robinson.
The following standards shall be followed in substance by the Zoning Officer and/or the Supervisors in ordering the repair, vacation, or demolition:
A. 
If the building or structure or thing which is a nuisance can reasonably be repaired so that it will no longer exist in violation of the terms of this chapter, it shall be ordered repaired.
B. 
If the building or structure or thing is in such condition as to make it dangerous to the health, morals, safety, or general welfare of its occupants or persons nearby or persons who may come in contact with it, it shall be ordered to be vacated, and/or demolished, and/or removed.
C. 
In all cases where a building or structure or thing is 50% damaged or decayed or deteriorated from its original value or condition, it shall be demolished, and/or removed; alternatively, and/or additionally, in all cases where a building and/or structure or thing cannot be or is not repaired so that it will no longer exist in violation of the terms of this chapter, it shall be demolished and so removed.
All buildings or structures or things within the terms of § 181-1 or any subsection of this chapter are hereby declared to be public nuisances and shall be repaired or vacated or demolished as hereinbefore and hereinafter provided.
The Zoning Officer shall:
A. 
Inspect or cause to be inspected upon receiving information from any source that such building or structure or thing is a nuisance: public buildings, schools, halls, churches, theaters, hotels, tenements, commercial manufacturing, loft buildings or any other building or thing for the purpose of determining whether any conditions exist which render such places a nuisance within the terms of § 181-1 of this chapter.
B. 
Inspect any building, wall or structure about which complaints are filed by any person to the effect that the building, wall or structure is or may be existing in violation of this chapter.
C. 
Inspect any building, wall or structure or thing reported (as hereinafter provided for) by the Fire or Police Departments of this Township as probably existing in violation of the terms of this chapter.
D. 
Notify, in writing, the owner, occupant, lessee, mortgage agent and all other persons having an interest in said building or structure or thing as shown by the land record of the Recorder of Deeds of Washington County (or any other available record) of any building or thing found by him/her to be a structure or thing within the standards set forth in § 181-2 of this chapter, that:
(1) 
The owner must vacate, or repair, or demolish and remove said building or structure or thing in accordance with the terms of the notice and this chapter.
(2) 
The occupant or lessee must vacate said building or structure or thing or have it repaired in accordance with the notice and remain in possession, provided that any person notified under this subsection to repair, vacate, demolish or remove any building, structure or thing shall be given reasonable time, but not more than 90 days, to do or have done the work or act required by the notice provided for herein.
E. 
Set forth in the notice provided for hereinabove a description of the building, structure or thing deemed in violation of this chapter, a statement of the particulars which make the building or structure a nuisance and an order requiring the same to be put in such condition as to comply with the terms of this chapter within such length of time, not more than 90 days.
F. 
Place a notice on all buildings, structures or things in violation of this chapter which notice shall read as follows:
This building/structure/thing has been found by the Robinson Township Zoning Officer and/or Supervisors to constitute a nuisance. This notice is to remain on this structure/thing until it is repaired, vacated, demolished or removed in accordance with the notice which has been given the owner, occupant, lessee, mortgagee, or agent, and all other persons having an interest therein as shown by the land records of the Recorder of Deeds of Washington County or other available records. It is unlawful to remove this notice until such notice is complied with.
G. 
Any of the above duties can, alternatively, be accomplished by a Supervisor.
[Amended 9-9-1985 by Ord. No. 1-85; at time of adoption of Code (see Ch. 1, General Provisions, Art. I)]
A. 
If the violation described herein has not cured as described herein, then the Supervisors may remove any such nuisance or dangerous structure on private or public land and collect the cost of removal or vacation or repair plus a fine as indicated hereinafter, should the Supervisors proceed in the manner provided for the collection of municipal claims, or by an action in assumpsit, or in the exercise of their powers as conferred by Pennsylvania legislation, institute proceedings in a court of equity. The defendants/owners shall, in addition to duties and responsibilities herein, be chargeable for all costs, attorneys' fees and other expenses incurred by the Township in the action and incurred in the removal (or other Township action) of the nuisance any money judgment or other judgment in any such proceeding shall become a lien against the defendants and upon any interest they may have in the property subject of this chapter. Upon conviction in a summary proceeding brought before a Magisterial District Judge under the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure, the owner (described herein) shall be guilty of a summary offense and shall be punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000, plus costs of prosecution. In default of payment thereof, the defendant may be sentenced to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 90 days. Each day or portion thereof that such violation continues or is permitted to continue shall constitute a separate offense, and each section of this chapter that is violated shall also constitute a separate offense.
B. 
The occupant, or lessee, in possession who fails to comply with any notice hereunder shall, upon conviction in a summary proceeding brought before a Magisterial District Judge under the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure, be guilty of a summary offense and shall be punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000, plus costs of prosecution. In default of payment thereof, the defendant may be sentenced to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 90 days. Each day or portion thereof that such violation continues or is permitted to continue shall constitute a separate offense, and each section of this chapter that is violated shall also constitute a separate offense.
C. 
Any person removing any posted notice described herein shall, upon conviction in a summary proceeding brought before a Magisterial District Judge under the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure, be guilty of a summary offense and shall be punishable by a fine of not more than $1,000, plus costs of prosecution. In default of payment thereof, the defendant may be sentenced to imprisonment for a term not exceeding 90 days. Each day or portion thereof that such violation continues or is permitted to continue shall constitute a separate offense, and each section of this chapter that is violated shall also constitute a separate offense.
The policemen of the Police Department shall make a report, in writing, to the Supervisors of all buildings or structures or things which are, may be, or are suspected to be in violation of the terms of this chapter.