Township of Abington, PA
Montgomery County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Commissioners of the Township of Abington as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Burning — See Ch. 85.
Garbage, rubbish and refuse — See Ch. 92.
Loitering — See Ch. 104.
Noise — See Ch. 106.
Abandoned refrigerators — See Ch. 128.
Sound equipment — See Ch. 140.
[Adopted 2-11-1954 by Ord. No. 742]

§ 108-1 Prohibited acts.

It shall be unlawful for any person, firm or corporation, either directly or indirectly or by its agents, to do, authorize, aid or abet any of the following-described acts, the prohibition of which is intended to promote the general safety, health, comfort and convenience of the township:
A. 
To injure or destroy any property, owned either by the township or by other persons, in or along any public highway or place in the township.
B. 
To start or cause or permit to be started any bonfire or fire for the purpose of burning any paper, debris, rubbish, straw, shavings or leaves or any other substances within the limits of any public street in the township.
C. 
To cast any paper boxes or store wastes, earth, brick, stone, coal, wood, ashes, lime, shavings, rubbish or any substance of any kind, except for the purpose of immediate loading or removing, on any public highway or sidewalk within the township.
D. 
To drive any wagon, cart, automobile or other vehicles, or to ride any bicycle or motorcycle, or to coast or sled-ride upon any sidewalk within the township, provided that this subsection shall not be construed to prohibit the use of entrances from the public highway to private property.
E. 
To throw, drop or place, or cause to be thrown, dropped or placed, upon any of the public highways, sidewalks or public places within the township, or upon any porch, step or yard of any house or store along any of the public highways within the township, any posters, circulars, bills, handbills or other advertising matter of any kind or description whatever.
F. 
To throw, drop or place, or cause to be thrown, dropped or placed, upon any of the highways, sidewalks or other public places within the township, any paper, paper boxes or literature of like kind or nature, or waste matter of any kind whatsoever.
G. 
To nail, tack, hang or otherwise append any sign, notice or advertisement of any kind whatsoever on any tree, post or pole of any description within the township, except on private property and then only by permission of the owner.
H. 
To drive or cause to be driven any cart or wagon or motor vehicle containing garbage, earth, rubbish or any materials of like character through any public highway in the township unless such cart, wagon or motor vehicle has a good and sufficient tailboard and body sufficiently tight and closed at the sides and bottom to prevent the contents from dropping off the vehicle and a cover to eliminate odors or prevent contents from blowing off the vehicle.
I. 
To ride horseback upon sidewalks or sidewalk areas, school ground or recreation areas, or to gallop, canter or trot a horse upon streets in built-up areas, but walking a horse only upon streets in the built-up areas shall be permitted.
J. 
To harbor a dog or dogs which continually bark.
K. 
To blow horns of motor vehicles where such hornblowing is unnecessary and only serves to annoy residents.
L. 
To use the public streets as a proving ground, amusement thoroughfare or other objectionable practices by operators of motor vehicles.
M. 
To permit the growing and accumulation of grass, weeds, plants and shrubbery in any sidewalk area.
N. 
Fireworks.
[Added 6-8-1995 by Ord. No. 1750]
(1) 
To sell or dispense or use at any public function or gathering, including but not limited to parades, sporting events or races, circuses or fairs, flea markets, fireworks displays or other special events, the following items:
(a) 
Aerosol containers which dispense foam, string, paint or gases.
(b) 
Fireworks, including caps, firecrackers, smoke bombs or any item which must be ignited by match, striking or throwing.
(c) 
Water guns or any like items which propel liquids.
(2) 
The Abington Township Police Department is authorized under this subsection to confiscate the aforementioned items at the aforementioned events.

§ 108-2 Violations and penalties.

[Amended 9-14-1978 by Ord. No. 1472]
Any person, firm or corporation or its agents violating this article shall, upon conviction thereof, be subject to a fine of not less than $5 and not more than $100 for each offense and, in default of payment of the fine, shall be committed to the township lockup for a period not exceeding 48 hours.
[Adopted 7-9-1959 by Ord. No. 955]

§ 108-3 Liability.

Any person who creates, continues or maintains any public or common nuisance within the Township of Abington shall be deemed guilty of a violation of this article and shall be liable for the expense and abatement and remedy thereof as well as such fines and penalties as may be imposed.

§ 108-4 Definitions.

As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
GARBAGE
The refuse from animal and vegetable matter after it has been prepared as food for humans (except oyster and clam shells), and all refuse, animal and vegetable matter after it has been used as food for humans, including all kitchen waste of animal or vegetable nature such as vegetables, meat, fish, fruit, bone or fat, kitchen wastes resulting from the preparation of foods or any other organic substance subject to fermentation and decay.
PERSON
Any individual, partnership, association or corporation as well as all officers, agents, servants, employees or others acting for any of the same, and shall be taken as applying in the singular or plural, as the case may require.
PUBLIC OR COMMON NUISANCE
That which is set up, maintained or continued so as to be injurious to the health or an obstruction to the use of property by interfering with the repose, health, safety or life of the public.
WATERS OF THE TOWNSHIP OF ABINGTON
Includes all streams and springs and all bodies of surface or ground water, whether natural or artificial, within the boundaries of the Township of Abington.

§ 108-5 Refuse.

A. 
No house refuse, offal, pomace, garbage, dead animals, decaying vegetable matter or organic waste substances of any kind shall be thrown or deposited or allowed to drain into any ravine, ditch or gutter, upon any road, street or highway, into any waters of the Township of Abington or on any public place within the limits of the township, or upon private property, vacant or occupied, and be permitted to remain exposed upon the surface of the ground; and no putrid or decaying animal and vegetable matter shall be kept in any house, cellar or adjoining buildings in an unsanitary manner on any premises.
B. 
Refuse receptacles shall not be placed at the curb for collection more than 12 hours before disposal time and must be removed from the curb at least 12 hours after the same have been emptied.

§ 108-6 Insects.

A. 
All marshes or swamps and all pools or ponds, either natural or artificial, shall be maintained by the owners free from the breeding of mosquitoes. If treatment is required to prevent the breeding of mosquitoes, it shall be accomplished by filling, draining, stocking with larvae-eating fish, treating with larvicide or mineral oil or by some other method approved by the Township of Abington Department of Public Health.
B. 
The owner of any ground, vacant or occupied, must remove and destroy all nests of tent caterpillars as soon as they become evident in the early spring and shall take all steps necessary to remove the breeding source to prevent a reoccurrence of the same.

§ 108-7 Water supply.

A. 
No owner or occupant of any premises shall maintain any well, spring, cistern or other source of water supply used for drinking or household purposes to which the public has or may have access and which is polluted or which is so situated or constructed that it may become polluted in any manner that may render such water supply injurious to health.
B. 
Manure shall not be allowed to accumulate in any place where it can prejudicially affect any source of drinking water or where, as a source of fly breeding, it may become a menace to public health.

§ 108-8 Drainage.

A. 
No person shall drain, empty, pump or allow to drain into any gutter, watercourse, alley or street the contents of any sink, cesspool or privy vault or any kitchen, laundry or other waste water or any liquid deleterious to health used by any manufacturer or other person in any trade or otherwise, from any dwelling premises, place of business, manufactory, hotel, restaurant or other place or building in the Township of Abington. Such drainage, when not connected with the public sewer, must be collected into properly constructed cesspools or reservoirs provided with proper traps and properly covered, and the contents of said cesspools shall be cleaned and removed at sufficiently frequent intervals to prevent the contents from overflowing.
B. 
No person shall drain, empty, pump or allow to drain onto any other person's property any water or discharge from any swimming pool. Such drains, when directed onto a public highway, right-of-way or storm sewer, shall be constructed under the sidewalk area or conducted over the sidewalk area by temporary means so as not to interfere with the use of the sidewalk area by the public or cause a nuisance. The disposition of swimming pool water or swimming pool discharge into the Abington Township sanitary sewer system is prohibited.
[Amended 5-14-1970 by Ord. No. 1281]
C. 
No person shall drain, empty, pump or allow to drain onto any other person's property any water from any pool, whether portable or permanent, nor shall any person permit such drainage to run onto any sidewalk area or public right-of-way, and, further, such drainage shall be properly underdrained where the same is to empty into any public highway, right-of-way or storm sewer.
[Added 10-11-1962 by Ord. No. 1081]

§ 108-9 Disposition of rubbish.

A. 
No paper, trash, rubbish, ashes, junk, waste or discarded materials of any kind shall be thrown, deposited or dumped into any ravine, ditch or gutter, upon any road, street or highway or on any public place within the limits of the Township of Abington.
B. 
Builders or land developers must remove all tree trunks, stumps, limbs and brush from land under development and level all ground so same will not retain pools of water. Where sidewalks are installed, developers must keep sidewalks free from mud and other debris at all times and keep grass cut in sidewalk areas.
C. 
Occupied properties must be kept free of cans, garbage, bottles or other trash and rubbish. All accessory buildings and garages shall be maintained in such a condition as not to become unsightly or constitute a nuisance by reason of health or safety.
[Amended 10-11-1962 by Ord. No. 1081]
D. 
Nothing in this article shall be construed to prohibit municipal dumps maintained by the township.

§ 108-10 Cases and carts.

No person, firm or corporation shall place or cause to be placed along any public highway, right-of-way, sidewalk area, occupied or unoccupied private property any empty or filled milk cases, bread cases or shopping carts.

§ 108-11 Exposure of foods for sale.

A. 
No person, firm or corporation shall expose for sale in any public place in the Township of Abington any bakery products or articles of foodstuffs prepared for human consumption and not requiring additional cooking procedure, including olives, pickles, cheese, salads, spiced or cooked meats, relishes, jams and preserves, potato chips, confections, shelled nuts, etc., unless these articles are so covered as to be thoroughly protected from dust, dirt, flies and other vermin.
B. 
Public places, within the meaning of this article, shall include restaurants and taverns, grocery, delicatessen, confectionery and department stores, bakery shops, markets, stands and containers.
C. 
Fruits, produce and other foodstuffs displayed for sale on the outside paving or exterior floor level of any public place shall be raised at least 18 inches above the said outside paving or exterior floor level or sidewalk grade, as the case may be.

§ 108-12 Weeds; bamboo.

[Amended 5-8-1980 by Ord. No. 1509; 10-9-2014 by Ord. No. 2055]
A. 
Owners of property situate in the Township of Abington, whether such property is occupied or vacant, must keep the property reasonably free of weeds, invasive honeysuckle vines, underbrush, cans, bottles or any other refuse or debris which may create or may tend to create a harbor for rats or other hazard to the public health and safety of others. Owners of all such property must keep the grass cut on their premises, including the grass in the sidewalk areas adjoining their premises.
B. 
Owners of such property must correct all violations of this section within 10 days of written notice by the Township.
C. 
Bamboo.
(1) 
Purpose and intent. The purpose of this Subsection C is to control the planting, cultivating or growing of certain running bamboo grasses in the Township of Abington and to require barriers to prevent the invasive spread of existing running bamboo into other areas of the Township.
(2) 
Definitions. As used in this section, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
BAMBOO
Any monopodial (running) tropical or semitropical grasses from the genera Bambusa, including but not limited to Bambusa, Phyllostachys, Fallopia and Pseudosasa, as well as common bamboo, golden bamboo, arrow bamboo, and Japanese bamboo.
BAMBOO OWNER
Any property owner or resident who has planted and/or grows bamboo, or who maintains bamboo on his/her property, or who permits bamboo to grow or remain on the property even if the bamboo has spread from an adjoining property. Any property owner of or resident at property on which bamboo is found on the property will be considered a bamboo owner, except any property owner or resident who:
(a) 
Has provided satisfactory proof to the Township that, within a reasonable period of time after discovering the encroachment of bamboo onto the property from an adjoining or neighboring property, he/she advised the owner of such property of his/her objection to the encroachment of the bamboo; and
(b) 
Has initiated steps for the removal of the bamboo from the property, including remedies at law.
TOWNSHIP
The Township of Abington, Montgomery County, Pennsylvania.
(3) 
General provisions.
(a) 
For purposes of this chapter, bamboo found growing upon a property shall constitute presumptive evidence that the bamboo was planted and/or grown by and/or with the consent of the property owner, tenant, or other individual, entity or corporation having control of the property.
(b) 
Prohibition. Except as provided in § 108C(3)(d) of this Code, upon the effective date of this chapter, the planting or growing of bamboo shall be prohibited within the Township, and no persons, property owners, tenants, or other individuals, entities, or corporations having control of property within the Township shall plant, cultivate, or cause to grow any bamboo on any lot or parcel of ground within the Township. Any person who thereafter plants or grows, or causes or allows to be planted or grown, bamboo within the Township shall be deemed to be in violation of this chapter and shall be subject to such penalties as are set forth herein.
(c) 
This section shall not be deemed to alter any rights at common law or otherwise that any property owner may have to recover the cost of removal of bamboo on his or her own property that has run over from a neighboring property.
(d) 
Exceptions:
[1] 
The root system of such bamboo plants is entirely contained within an above-ground-level planter, barrel or other vessel of such design, material, and location as to entirely prevent the spread of growth of the bamboo plants' root system beyond the container in which it is planted; or
[2] 
The root system is contained within a barrier, constructed in accordance with the following specifications, and only after a compliance inspection is performed and a permit issued by the Township:
[a] 
The barrier itself shall be composed of high-density polypropylene or polyethylene, with a thickness of 40 mm or more;
[b] 
Each portion worksheet of the barrier shall be secured or joined together by the use of stainless steel clamps or stainless steel closure strips designed to be used with such barriers;
[c] 
The barrier shall be installed not less than 30 inches deep;
[d] 
The barrier shall be circular or oblong shaped;
[e] 
Not less than three inches of the barrier shall protrude above ground level around the entire perimeter of the bamboo;
[f] 
When installed, the barrier shall slant outward from bottom to top.
[3] 
Whether planted or growing in a container, as described herein, all bamboo plants shall be located, trimmed and maintained so that no part of the plant, including the root system of the plant, shall be closer than 10 feet to any pavement, sidewalk or public road within the Township. In addition, all bamboo plants shall be maintained such that that portion of the plant that is aboveground shall be trimmed back to a point at least 20 feet from any pavement, sidewalk or public road within the Township.
(e) 
Any bamboo that has been planted or otherwise permitted to grow on any property within the Township prior to the effective date of this chapter may remain on such property subject to compliance with the following:
[1] 
The bamboo shall not be closer than 10 feet to any, pavement, sidewalk, or a public road within the Township. In addition, all bamboo plants shall be maintained such that that portion of the plant that is aboveground shall be trimmed back to a point at least 20 feet from any pavement, sidewalk or public road within the Township.
[2] 
Any bamboo owner whose property contains bamboo shall remove and abate the growth of the bamboo, including the root system of the plant, within 10 feet of the edge of the pavement or traveled portion of a public road in the Township. In addition, all bamboo plants shall be maintained such that that portion of the plant that is aboveground shall be trimmed back to a point at least 20 feet from any pavement, sidewalk or public road within the Township.
[3] 
Each bamboo owner shall be responsible for ensuring that the bamboo planted or growing on the property prior to the effective date of this section is maintained such that it does not encroach or grow upon any adjoining or neighboring property or properties, including all public property and public rights-of-way.
[4] 
If the Township Code Enforcement Officer determines that any portion of such bamboo has been allowed to grow upon, extend roots across, or extend branches, stalks or leaves over any public right-of-way or any private property not owned by or in the possession of such landowner, the property owner or possessor shall be required to comply with the provisions of § 108-12C(3)(d)[2] above.
(f) 
Removal. In the event that the bamboo owner does not remove or contract for the removal of the bamboo from the Township property or does not make an arrangement with the Township for removal of such bamboo within 30 days from the date the Township first provided notice, the Township, at its discretion, may take the appropriate steps to effectuate the removal or arrange for removal of such bamboo, including but not limited to filing an action in equity. The bamboo owner shall be liable and responsible to the Township for all costs incurred in removing the bamboo from the Township property, including reasonable attorneys' fees. Such costs may be assessed against the property of the bamboo owner and entered as a lien on the property. Nothing herein shall be construed to create any affirmative obligation on the part of the Township to abate or remove any bamboo within the Township.
(g) 
Replanting prohibited. Any bamboo either planted or caused to be planted or existing on a property prior to the effective date of this chapter may not be replanted or replaced in kind once such running bamboo is or has become, for any reason, dead, destroyed, uprooted or otherwise removed, unless such replanting is consistent with the provisions of this chapter that apply to new plantings.
D. 
Violations and penalties. Any person, firm or corporation violating any of the provisions of this section shall, in addition to the other charges hereinbefore provided for, upon conviction before any Magisterial District Justice, be guilty of a summary offense and shall be required to pay a fine not exceeding $1,000 and costs of prosecution. Each and every day on which any person, firm or corporation shall be in violation of this section shall constitute a separate offense.
E. 
Severability. The provisions of this section are severable, and if any section, clause, sentence or part or provision thereof shall be held illegal, invalid or unconstitutional, the decision of the court shall not affect or impair the remaining parts and provisions of this section.

§ 108-13 Violations and penalties.

[Amended 11-13-1969 by Ord. No. 1265; 11-8-1984 by Ord. No. 1577]
Any person, firm or corporation found guilty of violating any of the provisions of this article shall, upon conviction thereof, be fined not less than $10 nor more than $100 for the first offense; not less than $25 nor more than $250 for the second offense within a consecutive twelve-month period; not less than $50 nor more than $500 for the third offense within a consecutive twelve-month period; and not less than $200 nor more than $500 for the fourth offense within a consecutive twelve-month period, plus costs of prosecution for each offense, and in default of payment of said fine and costs, the defendant may be sentenced and committed to the township lockup for a period not exceeding 30 days. Each day's failure to comply with any provision of this article shall constitute a separate violation.