[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Council of the Township of Logan 7-16-1996 by Ord. No. 7-1996. Amendments noted where applicable.]
It is the purpose of this chapter to protect the public health, safety and welfare by establishing minimum standards for the maintenance of properties within the Township of Logan. This code is remedial in purpose and essential for the public good, and it is intended that this code be liberally construed to effectuate the purpose stated herein.
[Amended 6-17-2003 by Ord. No. 11-2003; 2-17-2009 by Ord. No. 2-2009]
All definitions of the 2006 International Property Maintenance Code, and as subsequently amended, are hereby incorporated and made a part hereof along with the following:
- Any building or structure, or part thereof, used for human habitation, use or occupancy and includes any accessory buildings and appurtenances belonging thereto or usually enjoyed therewith.
- BULKY WASTE
- Bulky waste shall be defined as all waste material, including but not necessarily limited to major appliances, motor vehicle parts, tires, tree stumps, demolition materials, refuse and debris, except garbage or recyclable trash at curbside for trash collection in compliance with the rules and regulations for trash collection.
- The condition of a property, building or structure, 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 building or structure, or part thereof, containing one or more dwelling units or lodging units.
- DWELLING UNIT
- Any room or group of rooms, or any part thereof, located within a building and forming a single habitable unit with facilities which are used or designed to be used for living, sleeping, cooking and eating.
- EXTERIOR OF THE PREMISES
- Open space on the premises and on adjoining property under the control of owners or operators of such premises.
- The control and elimination of insects, rats or other pests by eliminating their harborage places; by removing or making inaccessible materials that serve as their food; by poison spraying, fumigating, trapping or by any other approved pest elimination methods.
- Animal and vegetable and other organic waste resulting from the handling, preparation, cooking and consumption of food. (See also "rubbish.")
- The presence within or contiguous to a structure or premises of insects, rats, rodents, vermin or other pests.
- JUNK VEHICLE
- Any motorized or unmotorized vehicle, airplane, boat, vehicle trailer or trailer coach without a currently valid license plate or plates, insurance, registration and inspection, and is either inoperative, rusted, dismantled, wrecked or in a condition whereby repairs to place said vehicle in an operative condition would be economically unsound, or in such other condition that the public officer determines that it warrants such classification.
- OBNOXIOUS DEBRIS
- Including but not necessarily limited to bulky waste, junk vehicles as defined in this chapter and material and equipment and other such conditions that the public officer determines warrant such classification.
- OBNOXIOUS GROWTHS
- Including but not necessarily limited to tall, uncultivated grass and weeds 10 inches or higher and other such conditions that the public officer determines warrant such classification.
- Any person living or sleeping in a building or having actual possession of a space within a building or dwelling unit, including the owner.
- Any person who has charge, care or control of a structure or premises which is let or offered for occupancy.
- Any person, agent, operator, firm or corporation having a legal or equitable interest in the property; or recorded in the official records of the state, county or municipality as holding title to the property; or otherwise having control of the property, including the guardian of the estate of any such person and the executor or administrator of the estate of such person if ordered to take possession of real property by a court.
- An individual, corporation, partnership or any other group acting as a unit.
- A lot, plot or parcel of land, including any structures thereon.
- A. The physical condition or occupancy of any premises regarded as a public nuisance at common law.
- B. Any physical condition or occupancy of any premises or its appurtenances considered an attractive nuisance to children, including but not limited to abandoned wells, shafts, basements, excavations and unsafe fences or structures;
- C. Any premises that has unsanitary sewerage or plumbing facilities.
- D. Any premises designated as unsafe for human habitation.
- E. Any premises that is manifestly unsafe or insecure so as to endanger life, limb or property.
- F. Any premises from which the plumbing, heating or facilities required by this code have been removed, or from which utilities have been disconnected, destroyed, removed or rendered ineffective, or the required precautions against trespassers have not been provided.
- G. Any premises that is unsanitary or that is littered with rubbish or garbage or that has an uncontrolled growth of weeds.
- H. Any structure that is in a state of dilapidation, deterioration or decay; faulty construction; overcrowded; open, vacant or abandoned; damaged by fire to the extent so as not to provide shelter; in danger of collapse or failure; and dangerous to anyone on or near the premises.
- PUBLIC OFFICER
- The officer(s) who shall enforce the provisions of this chapter who shall be the Township of Logan Zoning Officer and police officers or any other person designated by resolution of the Township Council.
- Combustible and noncombustible waste materials, except garbage. The term shall include the residue from the burning of wood, coal, coke and other combustible materials, paper, rags, cartons, boxes, wood, excelsior, rubber, leather, tree branches, yard trimmings, tin cans, metals, mineral matter, glass, crockery and dust and other similar materials.
- TRAILER COACH
- A vehicle used, or so constructed as to permit its being used, as a licensed conveyance upon the public streets or highways and constructed in such a manner as will permit its occupancy as a dwelling unit. This term shall also include campers and mobile homes.
- UNREGISTERED VEHICLE
- Any motorized or unmotorized vehicle, airplane, boat, vehicle trailer, trailer coach subject to registration laws without a currently valid license plate or plates, insurance, registration and inspection, that is not in a condition of a junk vehicle.
- An open space on the same lot with a structure.
Scope. The provisions of this chapter shall govern the minimum conditions and the responsibilities of persons for maintenance of exterior property and premises.
Responsibility. The owner of the premises shall maintain the exterior property in compliance with these requirements. A person shall not occupy as owner-occupant, or permit another person to occupy premises, which do not comply with the requirements of this chapter.
Vacant structures and land. All vacant structures, and premises thereof, or vacant land shall be maintained in clean, safe, secure and sanitary conditions as provided herein so as not to cause a blighting condition or adversely affect the public health or safety.
Sanitation. All exterior property and premises shall be maintained in a clean, safe and sanitary condition. The occupant shall keep that part of the exterior property which such occupant occupies or controls in a clean, safe and sanitary condition.
Sidewalks and driveways. All sidewalks, walkways, stairs, driveways, parking spaces and similar areas shall be kept in a proper state of repair and maintained free from hazardous conditions.
Obnoxious growth; obnoxious debris; weeds. All premises and exterior property shall be maintained free from obnoxious growth and/or obnoxious debris and/or weeds. All noxious weeds, such as poison ivy, poison oak and similar unhealthful growths, shall be prohibited. Weeds shall be defined as all grasses, annual plants and vegetation, other than trees or shrubs; provided, however, this term shall not include cultivated flowers and gardens.
Rat harborage. All structures and exterior property shall be kept free from rat infestation. Where rats are found, they shall be promptly exterminated by approved processes which will not be injurious to human health. After extermination, proper precautions shall be taken to prevent reinfestation.
Exhaust vents. Pipes, ducts, conductors, fans or blowers shall not discharge gases, steam, vapor, hot air, grease, smoke, odors or other gaseous or particulate wastes directly upon abutting or adjacent public or private property or that of another tenant.
Accessory structures. All accessory structures, including detached garages, fences and walls, shall be maintained in a structurally sound condition and in good repair.
Motor vehicles. Except as provided for in other regulations, not more than one currently unregistered or uninspected motor vehicle or trailer coach, and no junk vehicle, shall be parked, kept or stored on any premises, and no vehicle shall at any time be in a state of major disassembly or disrepair or in the process of being stripped or dismantled.
A vehicle of any type is permitted to be stored in a fully enclosed area or to undergo major overhaul, including body work, provided that such work is performed inside a structure or similarly enclosed area designed and approved for such purposes.
Registered vehicle trailers and trailer coaches, other than unoccupied recreational trailers and trailer coaches registered to the property owner and temporarily parked or stored on the property, are strictly prohibited except in accordance with their intended use as permitted by other township codes regulating such activity.
This section shall not apply to unregistered vehicles and equipment incidental to a permitted use and utilized as part of normal business operation, whereby same may not be required to be registered to accomplish the purpose they serve.
The spirit and intent of this section is that permit(s) may be issued only if the public interest is not jeopardized and only if the issuance of said permit will not substantially impair the intent and purpose of this chapter. Therefore, it is hereby recognized that specific circumstances, including but not necessarily limited to an antique car or a vehicle temporarily out of service, may allow the public officer upon application for same to waive the one unregistered vehicle limit set forth in § 125-3, by issuance of a special permit. However, under no circumstances shall more than two unregistered vehicles be permitted outside of an enclosed building. This section shall only apply to passenger automobiles, motorcycles and trucks no greater than three-fourths-ton gross vehicle weight, whereas, trailer coaches and all other unregistered vehicles and all junk vehicles are strictly prohibited.
The applicant for a special permit under this § 125-4 shall apply in writing to the public officer for an annual special permit to maintain an unregistered vehicle as per this section and shall pay an annual fee of $10, nonrefundable, per vehicle, before the 31st day of January each year.
Furthermore, the public officer is hereby authorized to attach reasonable conditions to a special permit where it is necessary in order to mitigate adverse effects of specially permitting such vehicles.
Appeals to the Board of Adjustment may be taken by any interested party affected by any decision of the public officer based on or made in the enforcement of this section. The fees and procedures for a hardship/bulk variance shall apply to such appeal.
The public officer shall make an investigation of the application for a special permit and shall take the following into consideration:
The location of the premises and its character and relationship to the surrounding neighborhood.
The lot area, street frontage, lot depth and other physical characteristics of the premises.
The location on the premises where the vehicles will be kept and their relationship to adjacent dwellings, structures and open spaces.
Any other information that may be deemed reasonable and necessary in order to carry out the spirit and intent of this chapter.
[Amended 6-16-2009 by Ord. No. 7-2009]
Service of notice of violation. Notice of violation shall be served upon the owner of record, provided that such notice shall be deemed to be properly served upon such owner if a copy thereof is delivered to him or her personally or, if not found, by leaving a copy thereof at his or her usual place of abode with a person of suitable age and discretion, who shall be informed of the contents thereof, or by sending a copy thereof by certified mail and regular mail to his or her last known address or, if the letter with the copy is returned showing that it has not been delivered to him or her, by posting a copy thereof in a conspicuous place in or about the structure affected by the notice.
Notice requirements. Whenever the public officer determines that there has been or is a violation or that there are reasonable grounds to believe that there has been or is a violation of any provision of this chapter, he or she shall give notice of such violation or alleged violation to the person or persons responsible therefor. Such notice shall:
Be in writing.
Include a description of the real estate sufficient for identification.
Specify the violation which exists and the remedial action required.
Specify a reasonable time, not to exceed five days, in which the violation or violations shall be abated, corrected or eliminated. Said five-day period may be extended for an additional five days by the public officer for good cause.
State the penalty for violation of this chapter.
Violations and penalties.
Every person, firm or corporation who shall violate any provision of this chapter or any owner or owners, occupant or occupants of any premises neglecting to remove any brush, tall uncultivated grass, weeds, dead or dying trees or other obnoxious growth, filth, garbage, trash, rubbish or other obnoxious debris or junk vehicles, bulky waste, unregistered vehicles, vehicle trailers or trailer coaches from said land and premises in the Township of Logan, or upon which a public nuisance exists, within five days after being notified by or through the public officer to remove the same or to abate such a public nuisance, shall be in violation of this chapter, and upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not more than $1,000 or by imprisonment for not more than 90 days, or both. Each day that a violation continues after five days from the date due notice has been served in accordance with the terms and provisions hereof shall be deemed a separate offense. Court costs shall be assessed in addition to fines or penalties imposed by this chapter.
Complaints for violations of this chapter may be filed in any court of competent jurisdiction including Logan Township Municipal Court.
Right to appeal; applications; decision.
Any owner or person who is aggrieved by the ruling or decision of the public officer directing or ordering an alteration, correction or elimination of a violation of this chapter shall be entitled to a hearing upon a review of such order or direction by the Township Board of Health.
Applications for a hearing must be submitted in writing to the Board of Health within 10 days after receipt of such an order from the public officer.
At the conclusion of such a hearing, the Board of Health shall affirm the order of the public officer, set aside the order if a violation is found not to exist, or it may increase the time specified by the order for the correction of the violation determined to exist.
Time limit for appeals. Appeals shall be heard within 30 calendar days after receipt of the application for a hearing.
Superior Court prosecution of violations. In case any order to correct a violation is not promptly complied with, the public officer may request the Township Solicitor to institute an appropriate action or proceeding at law or in equity against the person responsible for the violation, seeking an order from the court ordering him to:
Restrain, correct or remove the condition constituting the violation;
Restrain or correct the condition of the structure constituting the violation;
Prevent the occupation or use of the structure, or part thereof, in violation of or not in compliance with the provisions of this chapter; or
Enforce the penalty provisions of this chapter.
Upon the failure of any owner or owners, occupant or occupants of any premises to remove brush, tall uncultivated grass, weeds, dead or dying trees or other obnoxious growth, filth, garbage, trash, rubbish or other obnoxious debris, junk vehicles, bulky waste, unregistered vehicles, vehicle trailers or trailer coaches or to abate a public nuisance within five days after notification, the public officer shall cause the same to be removed.
[Amended 6-16-2009 by Ord. No. 7-2009]
For any of the above violations the public officer shall notify the Township Solicitor who may file an order to show cause with the Superior Court as to why the township may not remedy the violation. Upon favorable determination by the Court, the public officer shall cause the violations to be removed and/or abated, and the litigation costs of obtaining such an order, if required, and the costs of removal/remedy of violations shall be certified to the officer or officers whose duty it is to assess and levy taxes of the Township of Logan and shall thereupon be charged against said lands and premises and shall become and be a first and paramount lien upon said lands and premises and shall be added to and become and form a part of the taxes assessed against said lands and premises and shall be collected with and in the same manner as the taxes next to be assessed and levied upon said lands and premises, the same to bear interest at the same rate as taxes, and shall be collected and enforced by the same officers and in the same manner as taxes.
The costs to be charged and collected against said lands and premises for noncompliance, wherein the township brings the premises into compliance, shall be as follows:
In the event of a timely appeal pursuant to § 125-6 of this chapter, the public officer shall await the outcome of the hearing before taking action to remove the cause of the violation complained of, unless emergent circumstances require immediate action to protect the public health, safety and welfare.
The imposition and collection of the fines, penalties and costs imposed by this chapter shall not bar the right of the Township of Logan to collect the cost of removal in the manner as required in this chapter, and the remedy shall be cumulative.