[HISTORY: Adopted by the Council of Latrobe 7-13-1981 by Ord. No. 1981-2 as Ch. V, Part 2, of the 1981 Code. Amendments noted where applicable.]
It is hereby found and declared that there exists in Latrobe structures used for nonresidential purposes which are or may become in the future substandard with respect to structure, equipment and maintenance; or, further, that such conditions, including but not limited to structural deterioration, lack of maintenance and appearance of exterior of premises, infestation, lack of essential heating, plumbing, storage or refrigeration equipment, lack of maintenance or upkeep of essential utilities and facilities, existence of fire hazards, inadequate provisions for light and air, unsanitary conditions and overcrowding, constitute a menace to the health, safety, morals, welfare and reasonable comfort of the citizens and inhabitants of Latrobe. It is further found and declared that by reason of lack of maintenance and progressive deterioration, certain properties have the further effect of creating blighting conditions and initiating slums, and that if the same are not curtailed and removed the aforesaid conditions will grow and spread and will necessitate in time the expenditure of large amounts of public funds to correct and eliminate the same, and that by reason of timely regulations and restrictions, as herein contained, the growth of slums and blight may be prevented and the neighborhood and property values thereby maintained, the desirability and amenities of residential and nonresidential uses and neighborhoods enhanced and the public health, safety and welfare protected and fostered.
The purpose of this chapter is to protect the public health, safety, morals and welfare by establishing minimum standards governing the maintenance, appearance, condition and occupancy of nonresidential premises; to establish minimum standards governing utilities, facilities and other physical components and conditions essential to make the aforesaid facilities fit for human habitation, occupancy and use; to fix certain responsibilities and duties upon owners and operators and distinct and separate responsibilities and duties upon occupants; to authorize and establish procedures for the inspection of premises; to fix penalties for the violations of this chapter; and to provide for the repair, demolition or vacation of premises unfit for human habitation or occupancy or use. This chapter is hereby declared to be remedial and essential for the public interest, and it is intended that this chapter be liberally construed to effectuate the purposes as stated herein.
The following terms wherever used herein or referred to in this chapter shall have the respective meanings assigned to them, unless a different meaning clearly appears from the context:
- ACCESSORY STRUCTURE
- A structure the use of which is incidental to that of the main building and which is attached thereto or located on the same premises.
- A structure adapted to permanent or continuous occupancy or use for public, institutional, business, industrial or storage purposes.
- The condition of a building or part thereof characterized by holes, breaks, rot, crumbling, cracking, peeling, rusting or other evidence of physical decay or neglect, lack of maintenance or excessive use.
- A. Any device or condition likely to cause fire and which is so situated as to endanger either persons or property.
- B. The creation, maintenance or continuance of any physical condition by reason of which there exists a use, accumulation or storage of combustible or explosive material sufficient in amount or so located or in such a manner as to put in jeopardy, in the event of ignition, either persons or property.
- C. The obstruction to or of fire escapes, ladders which may be used as escapes, stairways, aisles, exits, doors, windows, passageways or halls likely, in the event of fire, to interfere with the operations of the Fire Department or of the safety and ready egress of occupants.
- All kitchen refuse of residences, hotels, restaurants or other places where food is prepared for human consumption, and all offal from fish, meat and vegetable markets, and all vegetable or organic substance unfit for food that are subject to immediate decay.
- The presence of insects, rodents, vermin or other pests on the premises which constitute a health hazard.
- MUNICIPAL WASTE
- Any garbage, refuse, industrial lunchroom or office waste and other material, including solid, liquid, semisolid or contained gaseous material, resulting from operation of residential, municipal, commercial or institutional establishments and from community activities; and any sludge not meeting the definition of residual or hazardous waste in the Solid Waste Management Act from a municipal, commercial or institutional water supply treatment plant, wastewater treatment plant or air pollution control facility.
- Any person who has charge, care or control of a premises or a part thereof, whether with or without the knowledge and consent of the owner.
- Any person who, alone or jointly or severally with others, shall have legal or equitable title to any premises, with or without accompanying actual possession thereof; or shall have charge, care or control as owner or agent of the owner or as executor, executrix, administrator, administratrix, trustee, receiver or guardian of the estate or as a mortgagee in possession, regardless of how such possession was obtained.
- All of the following supplies, facilities and equipment: gas pipes, gas-burning equipment, water pipes, garbage disposal units, waste pipes, water closets, sinks, installed dishwashers, lavatories, bathtubs, shower baths, installed clothes washing machines, catch basins, vents and any other similar supplied fixtures, together with all connections to water-, sewer or gas lines, and water pipes and lines utilized in conjunction with air-conditioning equipment.
- A lot, plot or parcel of land including the building or structures thereon.
- REST ROOMS
- An enclosed space containing one or more toilets and one or more lavatories or fixtures serving similar purposes.
- Any man-made object having an ascertainable stationary location on or in land or water, whether or not affixed to the land.
- Supply and removal of air to and from any space by natural or mechanical means.
- VENTILATION, MECHANICAL
- Ventilation by power-driven devices.
- VENTILATION, NATURAL
- Ventilation by opening to outer air through windows, skylights, doors or stacks with or without wind-driven devices.
- Deterioration, decay or damage caused by exposure to the elements.
Editor's Note: See 35 P.S. § 6018.101 et seq.
Every building and the premises on which it is situated shall comply with the provisions of this chapter, whether or not such building shall have been constructed, altered or repaired before or after the enactment of this chapter, and irrespective of any permits or licenses which shall have been issued for the use or occupancy of the building or premises, for the construction or repair of the building or for the installation or repair of equipment or facilities prior to the effective date of this chapter. This chapter establishes minimum standards for the initial continued occupancy and use of all such buildings and does not replace or modify standards otherwise established for the construction, repair, alteration or use of the building, equipment or facilities contained therein, except as provided in the following provision.
In any case where the provisions of this chapter impose a higher standard than that set forth in any other ordinance or law, then the standard as set forth herein shall prevail, but if the provisions of this chapter impose a lower standard than any other ordinance or law, then the higher standard contained in such other ordinance or law shall prevail.
No license or permit or other certification of compliance with this chapter shall constitute a defense to any violation of any other ordinance of Latrobe applicable to any structure or premises, nor shall any provision herein relieve any owner, operator or occupant from complying with any such other provision nor any official of Latrobe from enforcing any such other provision.
Owners and operators shall have all the duties and responsibilities as prescribed in § 116-8 and the regulations promulgated pursuant thereto, and no owner or operator shall be relieved from any such duty and responsibility nor be entitled to defend against any charge of violation thereof by reason of the fact that the occupant is also responsible therefor and in violation thereof.
Occupants shall have all the duties and responsibilities prescribed in § 116-9 and regulations promulgated pursuant thereto, and no occupant shall be relieved from any such duty and responsibility nor be entitled to defend against any charge of violation thereof by reason of the fact that the occupant is also responsible therefor and in violation thereof.
Unless expressly provided to the contrary in this chapter, the respective obligations and responsibilities of the owner and operator on one hand and the occupant on the other shall not be altered or affected by any agreement or contract by and between any of the aforesaid or between them and other parties.
The following duties and responsibilities are hereby imposed upon every owner and operator of any building covered by the following provisions:
The exterior of the premises and all structures thereon shall be kept free of all nuisances and any hazards to the safety of occupants, pedestrians and persons utilizing the premises and free of unsanitary conditions, and any of the foregoing shall be promptly removed and abated by the owner or operator. The items prohibited hereby shall include but not be limited to brush, weeds, broken glass, stump roots, obnoxious growths, filth, garbage, trash, refuse, debris, dead and dying trees and limbs or other natural growth, loose and overhanging objects and ground surface hazards.
Foundation walls shall be kept structurally sound, free from defects and damage and capable of bearing imposed loads safely.
Exterior porches, landings, balconies, stairs and fire escapes shall be provided with banisters or railings properly designed and maintained to minimize the hazard of falling, and the same shall be kept structurally sound, in good repair and free from defects.
Chimneys and all flue and vent attachments thereto shall be maintained structurally sound, free from defects and so maintained as to capably perform at all times the functions for which they were designed. Chimneys, flues, gas vents or other draft-producing equipment shall provide sufficient draft to develop the rated output of the connected equipment, shall be structurally safe, durable, smoketight and capable of withstanding the action of flue gases.
The exterior of the premises and the condition of accessory structures shall be maintained so that the appearance of the premises and all building thereon shall reflect a level of maintenance in keeping with standards of the neighborhood.
Premises shall be kept landscaped, and lawns, hedges and bushes shall be kept trimmed.
An adequate protective coating such as paint shall be required on all exterior surfaces of buildings and structures that are subject to decay, rust or corrosion, and, further, accessory structures such as fences, sheds or other buildings shall likewise be kept in sound condition and repair.
All display windows or storefronts constructed of plate glass shall be kept clean and free of cracks, and no storage shall be permitted therein unless shielded from public view.
All permanent signs and billboards exposed to public view permitted by reason of other ordinances or laws shall be maintained in good repair. Any signs which are excessively weathered or faded or those upon which the paint has excessively peeled or cracked shall, with their supporting members, be removed forthwith or put into a good state of repair by the owner of the sign.
All storefronts shall be kept in good repair, painted where required, and shall not constitute a safety hazard or nuisance. In the event that repairs to a storefront become necessary, such repairs shall be made with the same and similar or compatible materials used in the construction of the storefront in such a manner as to permanently repair the damaged area or areas. Any cornice visible above a storefront shall be kept painted, where required, and in good repair.
Except for "for rent" and "for sale" signs, any temporary sign or other paper advertising material glued or otherwise attached to a window or windows or otherwise exposed to public view shall be removed at the expiration of the event or sale for which it is erected or within 60 days after erection, whichever shall occur first.
Any awning or marquee and its accompanying structural members which extend over any street, sidewalk or other portion of the premises shall be maintained in good repair and shall not constitute a nuisance or a safety hazard. In the event that such awnings or marquees are not properly maintained in accordance with the foregoing, they shall together with their supporting members be removed forthwith. In the event that said awnings or marquees are made of cloth, plastic or of similar materials, said cloth or plastic where exposed to public view shall be maintained in good condition and shall not show evidence of excessive weathering, ripping, tearing or other holes. Nothing herein shall be construed to authorize any encroachment on streets, sidewalks or other parts of the public domain.
The exterior of every structure or accessory structure shall be kept in good repair and kept painted where necessary for purposes of preservation and appearance. All surfaces shall be maintained free of broken glass, loose shingles, crumbling stone or brick, excessive peeling paint or other condition reflective of deterioration or inadequate maintenance.
Rest rooms shall be surfaced with waterproof floors and shall be kept dry, clean and sanitary at all times. Sufficient rest rooms shall be installed and maintained for each sex commensurate with the use of the premises. Every rest room shall be provided with a permanently installed artificial lighting fixture, and a wall switch therefor, which is free from danger or short-circuiting.
All premises shall be properly connected to and provided with electric power as requested for the operation of the structure. All such connections and electrical equipment shall be installed and maintained in conformity with the provisions of the Latrobe Electrical Code (Chapter 121) and other applicable ordinances.
Maximum fuse sizes consistent with safety shall be posted conspicuously, and no fuse shall be installed in a fuse box in excess of the stated maximum, except that owners and operators shall not be responsible for violation in fuse installations without their knowledge where the correct maximum is stated and the fuse box is located within any part of the premises which is in the exclusive possession of occupants other than the owner, in which case such occupant shall be responsible for such violations.
Outdoor storage or warehousing of private or public property of any goods, materials, articles, merchandise, wares, stock or personal property for, or in conjunction with, business purposes, including resale, is prohibited. This provision shall not include automobiles stored for business purposes.
[Added 5-11-1998 by Ord. No. 1998-6]
Any and all repair of items of personal property for business purposes must be conducted within an enclosed building. No repairs of any nature for commercial purposes shall be conducted on the exterior of a building structure upon a commercial premises. Excepted from this provision shall be the mechanical repair of automobiles.
[Added 5-11-1998 by Ord. No. 1998-6]
The following duties and responsibilities are hereby imposed upon every occupant of any building covered by the provisions of this chapter:
Upon discovery by an occupant of any condition on the premises which constitutes a violation of the provisions of this chapter, the occupant shall first report the same to the owner or operator, and upon failure of the owner or operator to act in five days, then the occupant shall report the same to the Code Enforcement Officer immediately.
All parts of the premises under the control of the occupant shall be kept in a clean and sanitary condition.
Storage bins, rooms and areas shall not be used for the accumulation of garbage or refuse.
Every occupant shall be responsible for the elimination of infestation in and on the premises subject to his control.
No occupant shall install electrical fuses in a fuse box in excess of the posted limit.
The provisions of this chapter shall be administered and enforced in accordance with the enforcement provisions of Chapter 98, Administration and Enforcement.
This chapter shall be known hereafter as the "Latrobe Commercial Structure Code."