Borough of Lansdowne, PA
Delaware County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Lansdowne 9-15-2005 by Ord. No. 1207[1]. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Vacant Property Review Committee — See Ch. 98.
Building construction — See Ch. 146.
Disorderly properties — See Ch. 168.
Littering and dumping — See Ch. 216.
Solid waste — See Ch. 280.
Snow and ice removal — See Ch. 294, Art. I.
Abandoned vehicles — See Ch. 310.
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also repealed former Ch. 255, Property Maintenance Code, adopted 12-16-1992 by Ord. No. 1116.
A certain document, being marked and designated as the "2005 Borough of Lansdowne Property Maintenance Code," is hereby adopted as the Property Maintenance Code of the Borough of Lansdowne for the control of buildings and structures as herein provided; and all of the regulations, provisions, penalties, conditions and terms of said 2005 Borough of Lansdowne Property Maintenance Code are hereby referred to, adopted and made a part hereof as if fully set out in this chapter.
[Added 2-15-2005 by Ord. No. 1210]
A. 
Amendment to Chapter 4 of the 2005 Borough of Lansdowne Property Maintenance Code. A new Section 417 shall be added to Chapter 4, Life Safety, which shall read as follows:
417.1 Facilities required. Heating facilities shall be provided in structures as required by this section.
417.2 Residential occupancies. Dwellings shall be provided with heating facilities capable of maintaining a room temperature of 65° F. (18° C.) in all habitable rooms, bathrooms and toilet rooms based on the winter outdoor design temperature for the locality indicated in Appendix D of the International Plumbing Code. Cooking appliances shall not be used to provide space heating to meet the requirements of this section.
417.3 Heat supply. Every owner and operator of any building who rents, leases or lets one or more dwelling unit, rooming unit, dormitory or guest room on terms, either expressed or implied, to any person, shall supply heat during the period from November 1 to April 1 to the occupants thereof in a manner sufficient to maintain a temperature of not less than 65° F. (18° C.) in all habitable rooms, bathrooms, and toilet rooms.
Exception: When the outdoor temperature is below the winter outdoor design temperature for the locality, maintenance of the minimum room temperature shall not be required, provided that the heating system is operating at its full design capacity. The winter outdoor design temperature for the locality shall be as indicated in Appendix D of the International Plumbing Code.
417.4 Occupiable work spaces. Indoor occupiable work spaces shall be supplied with heat during the period from November 1 to April 1 to maintain a temperature of not less than 65° F. (18° C.) during the period the spaces are occupied.
Exceptions:
1.
Processing, storage and operation areas that require cooling or special temperature conditions.
2.
Areas in which persons are primarily engaged in vigorous physical activities.
417.5 Room temperature measurement. The required room temperatures shall be measured three feet (914 mm) above the floor near the center of the room and two feet (610 mm) inward from the center of each exterior wall.
B. 
Amendment to Chapter 1 of the 2005 Borough of Lansdowne Property Maintenance Code. Sections 104 through 107 of Chapter 1, Administration, shall be amended to read as follows:
[Amended 12-19-2018 by Ord. No. 1321]
CHAPTER 1
ADMINISTRATION
Section 104
Violations
104.1 Unlawful acts. It shall be unlawful for a person, firm or corporation to be in conflict with or in violation of any of the provisions of this Code.
104.2 Enforcement action for violations. Any violation of the provisions of this Code may be cause for a citation, a violation ticket and/or a notice of violation to be issued to the violator. The Code Officer shall have authority to decide whether to issue a ticket pursuant to Section 104.3 below or a notice of violation and/or citation pursuant to Section 104.4 below.
104.3 Violation Ticket. A notice of violation or violation ticket shall be served upon a violator by handing it to the violator, by handing it at the residence of the person to be served to an adult member of the household or other person in charge of the residence, by leaving or affixing the notice or violation ticket to the property where the violation exists, by handing it at any office or usual place of business of the violator, to his/her agent or to the person for the time being in charge thereof, or by mailing the notice to the violator's address of record.
104.3.1 Contents of violation ticket. The violation ticket shall be in accordance with the following:
1. Be in writing.
2. Include a description of the real estate sufficient for identification
3. Include a statement of the violation or violations and why the notice is being issued.
4. Include a penalty amount as determined pursuant to Section 104.4.1 below.
5. Include a statement that the violation ticket shall be paid within 30 days of the date printed on the violation ticket.
104.3.2 Issuance of citation upon nonpayment. If the person on whom the violation ticket has been served shall not pay the ticket within such thirty-day period, the Code Officer shall issue a citation to such person, and commence the scheduling of a hearing on the violation before the Magisterial District Justice.
104.4 Notice of violation and opportunity to comply. If the Code Officer determines that a responsible person should be provided with an opportunity to cure a violation, the Code Officer shall provide a notice of violation or order to the person responsible for the violation in accordance with Section 105.
104.4.1 Time for compliance. Unless specified elsewhere, all violations shall be corrected in a time period as prescribed by the Code Officer but in no case shall such time for compliance exceed 90 days, unless approved by the Director of Code Enforcement Any person affected may appeal such decisions in accordance to Section 112.
Exception: Repairs impacted by weather. The Borough recognizes the period from November 1 until April 1 of the following calendar year as the period in which exterior projects relative to painting, excavations and structural repairs to walls roofs, concrete, and masonry, may be subject to adverse weather conditions. Any person under orders to make repairs, may request an extension of time from the code officer in which to complete such repairs on the basis of adverse weather conditions. Such request shall be in writing. Eligible repairs for such extensions shall be restricted to exterior projects only. No extensions of time shall be granted for any violations that render the property unsafe as described in Section 108 unless the Director of Code Enforcement is satisfied that special provisions have been made to minimize the dangers.
104.5 Prosecution of violation. Any person failing to comply with a notice of violation or order served in accordance with Section 105 shall be deemed guilty of a summary offence, and the violation shall be deemed a strict liability offense. If the notice of violation is not complied with or a violation ticket is not paid within the time required by Section 104.3.2, the Code Officer shall institute the appropriate proceeding at law or in equity to restrain, correct or abate such violation, or to require the removal or termination of the unlawful occupancy of the structure in violation of the provisions of this code or of the order or direction made pursuant thereto.
104.6 Violation penalties.
104.6.1 Violation ticket penalties. The Borough Council shall establish monetary fines for violations of certain provisions of this Code by resolution from time to time. Any violation ticket shall set forth the then current amount of the fine for the violation described on the violation ticket. In no event shall fines exceed $1,000. If a violation ticket is not paid within the time required by Section 104.3.1 above, the penalty may be increased in accordance with Section 104.6.2.
104.6.2 Penalties upon citation. Any person who fails to comply with any of the provision of this Property Maintenance and Minimum Housing Code, or any provision of any rule or regulation adopted by the Council or the Code Enforcement Officer pursuant to authority granted by this code, or fails to correct, within the time set by the Code Enforcement Officer, the defects for which a property has been cited, shall be fined not less than $100 nor more than $1,000 or imprisoned not more than 30 days in the County Jail, or both such fine and imprisonment. A separate offense shall be deemed committed each day during or on which a violation or noncompliance occurs or continues.
104.7 Abatement of violation. The imposition of the penalties herein prescribed shall not preclude the Borough from instituting appropriate action to restrain, correct or abate a violation, or to prevent illegal occupancy of a building, structure or premises, or to stop an illegal act, conduct, business or utilization of the building, structure or premises.
104.8 Liens for Charges. Any cost associated with any action taken by the Borough on such premises to correct or abate any violations of this Code or to secure the premises shall be charged against the real estate upon which the structure is located. Such cost shall include all associated Borough employee, engineering and contracted services costs plus an administrative handling charge. Failure of the owner to pay such cost shall result in a lien upon such real estate, which shall include all associated attorney filing fees.
Section 105
Notices and Orders
105.1 Notice to owner or to person or persons responsible. Whenever the Code Officer determines that there has been a violation of this code or has grounds to believe that a violation has occurred or a violation ticket has not been paid within the time required by Section 104.3.1 above, notice shall be given in the manner prescribed in Sections 105.2 and 105.3 to the person responsible for the violation as specified in this code. Notices for condemnation procedures shall also comply with Section 401.3.
105.2 Form. Such notice prescribed in Section 105.1 shall be in accordance with all of the following:
1. Be in writing.
2. Include a description of the real estate sufficient for identification
3. Include a statement of the violation or violations and why the notice is being issued.
4. Include a correction order allowing a reasonable time to make the repairs and improvements required to bring the dwelling unit or structure into compliance with the provisions of this code.
5. Inform the property owner of the right to appeal and the process of appeal.
6. Include a statement of the Borough's right to file a lien in accordance with Section 104.3.
105.3 Method of service. Such notice shall be deemed to be properly served if a copy thereof is:
1. Delivered personally; or
2. Sent by certified or first-class mail addressed to the last known address; or
3. If the notice is returned showing that the letter was not delivered, a copy thereof shall be posted in a conspicuous place in or about the structure affected by such notice.
105.4. Penalties. Penalties for noncompliance with orders and notices shall be as set forth in Section 106.4.
Section 106
Cease and Desist
106.1 Stop work and cease and desist orders. When, in the opinion of the Code Officer, there is an unlawful activity being conducted at a property, or work associated with the abatement of a violation is not being performed properly; or there exists an activity or condition that is detrimental to the peace and good order of the community, or is causing a public nuisance, and the continuation of such activities or conditions will only further exacerbate the situation; or when there is a failure of the property owner to obtain a permit to perform work, then the Code Officer may issue a "stop work" or "cease and desist" order on those persons responsible for such activities or conditions.
106.2 Failure to comply. Such order shall be considered proper notice of violation of this Code. If the persons responsible for such activities or conditions fail to obey such orders, than those persons responsible shall be subject to the violations and penalties as outlined in Section 106.4.
106.2.1 Separate Violations. Failure to comply with a "stop work" and/or "cease and desist" order, shall be considered a separate violation, where such activities or conditions do not require prior notice as spelled out in this Code
Section 107
Means of Appeal
107.1 Application for appeal. Any person directly affected by a decision of the Code Officer or a violation ticket or notice or order issued under this Code shall have the right to appeal to the Board of Appeals, provided that a written application for appeal is filed within 20 days after the day the decision, notice or order was served and all fees associated with such appeals are submitted in accordance to the Borough's fee schedule. An application for appeal shall be addressed to the chairperson of the Borough's Appeals Board and shall be limited to claims that the true intent of this Code or the rules legally adopted there under have been incorrectly interpreted, the provisions of this Code do not fully apply, or the requirements of this Code are adequately satisfied by other means.
107.2 Membership of the Appeals Board. The Appeals Board shall consist of members of the Borough of Lansdowne UCC Appeals Board. The Code Office shall be an ex-officio member but shall have no vote on any matter before the committee.
107.2.1 Chairperson. The Appeals Board shall annually select one of its members to serve as Chairperson.
107.2.2 Disqualification of member. A member shall not hear an appeal in which that member has a personal, professional or financial interest.
107.2.3 Secretary. The Appeals Board shall annually appoint an individual to serve as secretary to the Appeals Board. The secretary shall file a detailed record of all proceedings in the office of the Borough Manager.
107.2.4 Compensation of members. Compensation of members shall be at the discretion of Borough Council and as determined by law.
107.3 Notice of meeting. The Appeals Board shall meet upon notice from the Chairperson, within 30 days of the filing of an appeal, or at stated periodic meetings.
107.4 Open hearing. All hearings before the Appeals Board shall be open to the public. The appellant, the appellant's representative, the Code Officer and any person whose interests are affected shall be given an opportunity to be heard. A quorum shall consist of not less than 2/3 of the Appeals Board membership.
107.4.1 Hearing Procedures. The Appeals Board shall adopt and make available to the public through the secretary procedures under which a hearing will be conducted. The procedures shall not require compliance with strict rules of evidence, but shall mandate that only relevant information be received.
107.5 Postponed hearing. When the full Appeals Board is not present to hear an appeal, either the appellant or the appellant's representative shall have the right to request a postponement of the hearing.
107.6 Appeals Board decision. The Appeals Board shall consider all facts relevant to the appeal. The committee may modify or reverse the decision of the Code Officer only by a concurring vote of a majority of the total number of appointed Appeals Board members present, but in no case shall the decision deviate from the spirit and intent of the code.
107.6.1. Records and copies. The decision of the Appeals Board shall be recorded. Copies shall be furnished to the appellant and to the Code Officer.
107.6.2. Administration. The Code Officer shall take immediate action in accordance with the decision of the Appeals Board.
107.7 Court review. Any person, whether or not a previous party of the appeal, shall have the right to apply to the appropriate court for a writ of certiorari to correct errors of law. Application for review shall be made in the manner and time required by law following the filing of the decision in the office of the chief administrative officer.
107.8 Stays of enforcement. Appeals of notice and orders (other than imminent danger notices) shall stay the enforcement of the notice and order until the appeal is heard by the Appeals Board.