Township of Caln, PA
Chester County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Commissioners of the Township of Caln 2-26-2004 by Ord. No. 2004-4; amended in its entirety 4-12-2018 by Ord. No. 2018-05. Subsequent amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Board of Building Appeals — See Ch. 9.
Planning Commission — See Ch. 32.
Building construction — See Ch. 59.
Contractors — See Ch. 67.
Driveways — See Ch. 74.
Health and sanitation — See Ch. 89.
Sewage disposal systems — See Ch. 124.
Streets and sidewalks — See Ch. 134.
Subdivision and land development — See Ch. 137.
Zoning — See Ch. 155.
There is hereby adopted by the Board of Commissioners of Caln Township the International Property Maintenance Code, 2018 Edition, published by the International Code Council, Inc. Not fewer than three copies of the International Property Maintenance Code, 2018 Edition, are filed in the office of the Secretary of Caln Township, and the same is hereby adopted and incorporated as fully as if set out at length herein.
The following sections of the International Property Code, 2018 Edition, are hereby amended and revised as follows:
A. 
Section 101.1, Title, is amended by the insertion of "Caln Township."
B. 
Section 103.5, entitled "Fees," is amended to read as follows:
103.5. Fees and inspections/reinspections. The Board of Commissioners shall, by resolution, adopt a schedule of fees which shall be kept on file by the Township Secretary and shall be reviewed and revised as necessary by the Board of Commissioners.
C. 
Section 106.4 is amended to read as follows:
106.4. Violation penalties. Any person who shall violate any of the provisions of this chapter or fail to comply with any order issued pursuant to any section thereof shall be guilty of a summary offense and, upon conviction thereof, shall be punished by a fine of not less than $100 per day nor more than $1,000 per day, plus costs and attorneys' fees, and, upon default of the payment of the fine and costs, imprisonment not exceeding 30 days. Each day that a violation continues after due notice has been served shall be deemed a separate offense.
D. 
Sections 111.1 through 111.8 are deleted and the following is substituted in their place:
111. Means of Appeal. Appeals from the decisions, actions, orders or other requirements of the Township Code Enforcement Officer shall be taken to the Western Chester County Board of Building Appeals.
E. 
Section 112.4 shall be amended to read as follows:
112.4. Failure to comply. Any person who shall continue any work after having been served with a stop-work order, except such work as that person is directed to perform to remove a violation or unsafe condition, shall be in violation of this ordinance and subject to the violations and penalties set forth in Section 106.
F. 
Section 302.4 is completed by the insertion of the following: "eight inches."
G. 
Section 304.14 is completed by the insertion of the following dates: May 1; September 30.
H. 
Section 602.3 is completed by the insertion of the following dates: September 1; June 15.
I. 
Section 602.4 is completed by the insertion of the following dates: September 1; June 15.
J. 
A new Chapter 9 shall be added which shall provide as follows:
CHAPTER 9
RENTAL PERMITS
901. Rental permits. An owner of a dwelling unit, housekeeping unit, rooming unit or rooming house in the Township must hold a valid rental permit issued by the Township Code Enforcement Officer prior to leasing or renting such dwelling unit, housekeeping unit, rooming unit or rooming house.
902. Application for rental permit; form and content. An application for a rental permit shall be made in writing, signed and sworn to by the owner(s) of record, on forms furnished by the Township with the applicable fee. Such form shall include at least the following information:
1.
The names and addresses of all of the owners of the dwelling unit, housekeeping unit, rooming unit or rooming house;
2.
The name, address and telephone number of the person authorized to collect rents or fees from the dwelling unit, housekeeping unit, rooming unit or rooming house;
3.
The name, local address and telephone numbers, business and home, of a local agent who is authorized to act on behalf of the owner, if any;
4.
The address of the dwelling unit, housekeeping unit, rooming unit or rooming house;
5.
The type of dwelling unit, housekeeping unit, rooming unit or rooming house;
6.
The number of dwelling units or rooming units in the building for which a permit is sought; and
7.
The names of the tenants/occupants of the dwelling unit, housekeeping unit, rooming unit or rooming house.
903. Permit fees. Every person applying for a rental permit shall supply such information as the Township Code Enforcement Officer requires and shall pay a yearly fee in accordance with the fee schedule approved and adopted by the Board of Commissioners by resolution, which schedule shall be available for public inspection at the Township.
904. Issuance of rental permit. Upon receipt of a completed rental application and applicable permit fee and payment of all delinquent sewer and trash bills and taxes owed to the Township, the Township Code Enforcement Officer will issue a rental license to the property owner or responsible local agent. All rental properties within the Township are subject to inspections as specified in Sections 910 and 911 of this chapter.
905. Term of permit. Unless previously revoked or suspended, a rental permit shall remain in force for the remainder of the then-current calendar year. At or prior to the end of said calendar year, application shall be made for renewal of all such permits for the next succeeding calendar year. Yearly fees must be submitted to the Township by January 31 of each year.
906. Time for registration; renewal; transfer of ownership.
906.1. The registration and permitting of all rental dwelling units, housekeeping units, rooming units and/or rooming houses shall occur within 90 days after the enactment of this chapter and, thereafter, by January 31 of each year.
906.2.In the event of a transfer of ownership of a dwelling unit, housekeeping unit, rooming unit or rooming house, the new owner shall notify the Township Code Enforcement Officer of the transfer at least 14 days prior to date of the transfer of ownership. The new owner shall provide the Township with all information that is requested on the permit application pursuant to Section 902 of this chapter.
907. Occupation of premises without registration and permit prohibited. It shall be unlawful for the owner(s) of any dwelling unit, housekeeping unit, rooming unit or rooming house, other than an owner-occupied single-family dwelling, or any agent acting for such an owner, to allow occupancy for any dwelling unit, housekeeping unit, rooming unit or rooming house by another or to represent to the general public that such premises or any part thereof is for rent, lease or occupancy unless such dwelling unit, housekeeping unit, rooming unit or rooming house is currently registered and permitted and said registration and permit have not been revoked, suspended or invalidated.
908. Official notices served on local agent. All official notices of the Township relating to the dwelling unit, housekeeping unit, rooming unit or rooming house shall comply with Section 107 of this Code and be served on the owner of record or his or her designated local agent and shall be posted in a conspicuous place either within the dwelling unit, housekeeping unit, rooming unit or rooming house or the common area shared by all occupants of the premises.
909. Suspension of registration; violations. Whenever the Township Code Enforcement Officer determines that there has been a violation of this chapter or has reasonable grounds to believe that a violation of this chapter has occurred, the Township Code Enforcement Officer may suspend a rental permit in accordance with the procedures set forth in Section 107, Notices and Orders. The suspension shall be in addition to and not in lieu of the remedies set forth in Section 106, Violations.
910. Inspection and access to rental dwelling units. The Township Code Enforcement Officer is hereby authorized and directed to make inspections of the condition of any dwelling unit, housekeeping unit, rooming unit or rooming house located in the Township that is subject to the provisions of this Chapter 9. All non-owner-occupied units shall be inspected prior to initial occupancy, subsequent occupancy(ies) or once during a period not to exceed three years. Upon display of proper identification, the Township Code Enforcement Officer is authorized to enter, examine and survey such units and premises on weekdays during normal business hours or at such other time as may be necessary in an emergency or as mutually agreed upon by the owner and occupant and the Township Code Enforcement Officer.
911. Changes in occupancy to be reported. Prior to each initial occupancy and each change in occupancy of any dwelling unit, housekeeping unit, rooming unit or rooming house, the owner, operator, or designated agent of either shall be jointly and severally liable to have the premises inspected by the Township Code Enforcement Officer. The owner, operator or designated agent shall file with such Township notice of such change on a form to be supplied by the Township, which form shall be signed by the owner, operator, or designated agent as aforesaid and shall contain all of the following information:
1.
The name of the owner and phone number.
2.
The name of the owner's designated agent, if any, and phone number.
3.
The location of the dwelling unit, housekeeping unit, rooming unit or rooming house.
4.
The effective date of the change in occupancy.
K. 
A new Chapter 10 shall be added which shall provide as follows:
CHAPTER 10
USE AND OCCUPANCY CERTIFICATE UPON TRANSFER OF PROPERTY
1001. Intent and definitions. It is the intent of this chapter to comply with the provisions of the Municipal Code and Ordinance Compliance Act, 68 P.S. §§ 1081 — 1083, including definitions set forth therein (the "Act"). In compliance with the Act, the following words and phrases shall have the meanings given to them in this chapter unless the context clearly indicates otherwise:
DATE OF PURCHASE. The closing date on which title and right to possess the property transfers to the purchaser and in cases where the property is sold pursuant to the act of May 16, 1923 (P.L. 207, No. 153), referred to as the "Municipal Claim and Tax Lien Law," the first day following the right of redemption period authorized under the Municipal Claim and Tax Lien Law.
SUBSTANTIAL VIOLATION. A violation of an adopted building, housing, property maintenance or fire code or maintenance, health or safety nuisance ordinance that makes a building, structure or any part thereof unfit for human habitation and is discovered during the course of a municipal inspection of a property and disclosed to the record owner or prospective purchaser of the property through issuance of a municipal report.
TEMPORARY ACCESS CERTIFICATE. A certificate issued by the Township as a result of the municipal inspection of a property incident to the resale of the property that identifies at least one substantial violation, and the purpose of the certificate is to authorize the purchaser to access the property for the purpose of correcting substantial violations.
TEMPORARY USE AND OCCUPANCY CERTIFICATE. A certificate issued by the Township as a result of the municipal inspection of a property incident to the resale of the property that reveals a violation but no substantial violation, and the purpose of the certificate is to authorize the purchaser to fully utilize or reside in the property while correcting violations.
UNFIT FOR HUMAN HABITATION. A condition which renders a building or structure, or any part thereof, dangerous or injurious to the health, safety or physical welfare of an occupant or the occupants of neighboring dwellings. The condition may include substantial violations of a property that show evidence of: a significant increase to the hazards of fire or accident; inadequate sanitary facilities; vermin infestation; or a condition of disrepair, dilapidation or structural defects such that the cost of rehabilitation and repair would exceed 1/2 of the agreed-upon purchase price of the property.
USE AND OCCUPANCY CERTIFICATE. A certificate issued by the Township stipulating that the property meets all ordinances and codes and may be used or occupied as intended.
VIOLATION. A violation of a properly adopted building, housing, property maintenance or fire code or maintenance, health or safety nuisance ordinance that does not rise to the level of a substantial violation and is discovered during the course of a municipal inspection of a property and disclosed to the record owner or prospective purchaser of the property through issuance of a municipal report.
1002. Certificate of use and occupancy required upon transfer or sale of property and change in tenants for commercial properties. Whenever there is a change in ownership, or transfer of title to an existing building or structure which would have required an occupancy permit for its use or initial occupancy, or when the tenant changes in a nonresidential property, or upon written request from the owner of an existing building or structure, the Township Code Enforcement Officer shall issue a certificate of use and occupancy in the manner as set forth in this chapter. It shall be the responsibility of the owner or owner's agent to request this inspection.
1003. Inspection fee. The inspection fee for the issuance of a use and occupancy certificate required under Section 1002 above shall be established by resolution of the Board of Commissioners, as may be amended from time to time. The inspection fee shall cover the initial inspection and one follow-up inspection. Each subsequent follow-up reinspection will be charged at a rate to be determined by resolution of the Board of Commissioners. The initial fee must be paid at the Township Building at the time of application and any subsequent reinspections that are required must be paid at the Township Building prior to reinspection appointment. Applications for a use and occupancy inspection shall be requested and occur at least 14 days prior to the scheduled transfer or settlement of said property.
1004. Inspection of residential properties. Inspection of residential properties shall include the following items in addition to those outlined in the Township's Property Maintenance Code:
1.
Sanitary sewer system inflow.
(a)
Sump pumps, floor drains and roof downspout drains are not to be connected to the public sanitary sewer nor any on-lot wastewater system.
(b)
(Public sewer only) Exterior vent/trap and cleanout for the sewer lateral must be properly capped. The vent must be a minimum of six inches above the ground.
2.
Public water supply must have a pressure-reducing valve on the service line, and the curb box must be intact if applicable.
3.
Handrails and guardrails.
(a)
Handrails (exterior and interior) are to be on one side of the stairs with four or more risers, securely attached, and in good condition. If a handrail is to be replaced or installed, it must comply with current codes.
(b)
Guardrails (exterior and interior) to be on both sides of open stairs or surfaces exceeding 30 inches above floor/grade, securely attached, and in good condition. If a guardrail is to be replaced or installed, it must comply with current codes.
4.
Fuel-burning heating systems. Verification within the last 365 days the oil or gas heating system has been serviced by a qualified service contractor. In lieu of such verification, a copy of the fuel-burning system section of a home inspector's report completed within the last 60 days which confirms that the fuel-burning heating system is in proper working order will suffice.
5.
The face end of the mailbox must be located behind the curb or edge of road.
6.
An operable smoke detector shall be installed in each room used for sleeping purposes. In addition, one operable smoke detector shall be placed in the hallway adjacent to the sleeping areas and on each level of the property, including the basement.
7.
All dwellings shall have approved address numbers placed in a position to be plainly legible and visible from the street or road fronting the property. The numbers shall contrast with their background. Address numbers shall be Arabic numerals or alphabet letters. Numbers shall be a minimum of four inches high with a minimum stroke width of 0.5 inch.
8.
All blank spaces (if any) in the fuse box are to be properly filled.
9.
All windows and doors shall operate as designed from inside each room without the use of keys or tools. (Ex. All windows when raised must remain in raised position.)
10.
All hot-water heaters must have a blowoff pipe attached to the emergency relief valve. Said pipe must be extended to just above floor level.
11.
Every residential property served by the Township's trash and recycling collection program shall maintain and use a recycling cart consistent with the carts which are distributed by the Township for said purposes. If the cart supplied by the Township has been lost, damaged or destroyed, a replacement cart must be secured, used and maintained by the property owner.
1005. Inspection of nonresidential properties. Inspection of nonresidential properties shall include all items outlined in the Township's Property Maintenance Code in addition to items inspected for residential properties, with the following additions:
1.
Means of safe egress.
(a)
A safe, continuous and unobstructed means of egress shall be provided from the interior of the structure to the public way. All doors shall open easily outward.
(b)
Capacity of the exits shall be sufficient to serve the occupant load.
(c)
All means of egress shall be indicated with approved, maintained visible and/or illuminated exit signs where required.
(d)
A sign shall be provided at each floor landing on interior stairways more than three stories above grade.
(e)
Dead-end travel distances shall not exceed 70 feet where the building is equipped with an automatic sprinkler system and not more than 35 feet for those buildings which are not so equipped.
2.
Fire-resistant structures.
(a)
Floors, walls, ceilings and other elements and components are in good condition and have the required fire-resistance ratings.
(b)
Fire doors and smoke barriers are in proper working order and shall not be held open by doorstops, wedges or other unapproved hold-open devices.
3.
Fire-protection systems.
(a)
The proper devices and equipment to detect a fire, actuate an alarm or suppress or control a fire are in proper working order.
(b)
Fire extinguishers are properly located and of the approved type for the areas of use. The extinguisher shall be visible, provided with ready access and maintained in an efficient and safe operating condition in accordance with NFPA 10 and any amendments thereto.
1006. Issuance of a use and occupancy certificate. If the Township determines through an inspection that a property meets all ordinances and codes, and may be used or occupied as intended, the Township shall issue a use and occupancy certificate.
1007. Issuance of temporary use and occupancy certificate. If the Township determines through an inspection that a property has at least one violation, the Township shall issue a temporary use and occupancy certificate. The Township shall reinspect the property for the purposes of determining compliance with the Township Code; provided, however, the property owner may request an early inspection and the Township may conduct said reinspection consistent with the business of the Township. In the event that the violation is corrected within 12 months, the Township shall issue a use and occupancy certificate. In the event that the violations are not corrected within 12 months, the Township shall revoke the temporary use and occupancy certificate and may seek fines and penalties pursuant to the applicable section of the Property Maintenance Code or other relevant laws.
1008. Issuance of temporary access certificate. If the Township determines through an inspection that a property has at least one substantial violation, the Township shall issue a temporary access certificate solely for the purpose of correcting the substantial violation. No person shall occupy a property during the term of the temporary access certificate. The Township shall reinspect the property for the purposes of determining compliance with the Township Code; provided, however, the property owner may request an early inspection and the Township may conduct said reinspection consistent with the business of the Township. In the event that the substantial violation is not corrected within 12 months, the Township shall revoke the temporary access certificate and may seek fines and penalties pursuant to the applicable section of the Property Maintenance Code or other relevant laws. In the event that the substantial violation is corrected within 12 months, the Township shall issue a use and occupancy certificate.
L. 
A new Chapter 11 shall be added which shall provide as follows:
[Added 9-13-2018 by Ord. No. 2018-09]
CHAPTER 11
REGISTRATION OF VACANT BUILDINGS
1101. Purpose. The purpose of this chapter requiring the registration of all vacant buildings, including dwellings, and the payment of registration fees is to assist the Township in protecting the public health, safety and welfare, to monitor the number of vacant buildings in the Township, to assess the effects of the condition of those buildings on nearby properties and the areas in which they are located, particularly in light of fire safety hazards and unlawful, temporary occupancy by unauthorized individuals, and to promote substantial efforts to rehabilitate such vacant buildings. The provisions of this chapter are applicable to the owners of such vacant buildings as set forth herein and are in addition to and not in lieu of any and all other local, state and federal regulations, including the Caln Township Code.
1102. Definitions.
1.
Definitions. Unless otherwise expressly stated, the following terms for the purposes of this chapter of the Township Property Maintenance Code shall have the meanings as set forth herein.
BOARDED. Some or all of the building's doors or windows have been covered with plywood, wood or metal sheeting, paneling or other similar materials, for the purpose of preventing entry into the building or damage by persons, animals or the elements of weather.
OCCUPANCY READY. Any building that is vacant but has been recently rehabilitated and a certificate of occupancy has been issued by the Township allowing the building to be lawfully occupied, or, if the property has not been recently rehabilitated, the property meets all minimum code requirements and may be immediately occupied. Whether a building is "occupancy ready" shall be determined by the Codes Department through an inspection of the building.
OCCUPIED. Any building or structure shall be deemed to be occupied if one or more persons actually conducts a lawful business or resides in all or any part of the building as the licensed business-occupant, or as the legal or equitable owner/occupant(s) or tenant(s) on a permanent, nontransient basis, or any combination of the same. For purposes of this section, evidence offered to prove that a building is so occupied may include, but shall not be limited to, the regular receipt of delivery of regular mail through the U.S. Postal Service; proof of continual telephone, electric, gas, heating, water and sewer services; a valid business license, or the most recent, federal, state, or county income tax statements indicating that the subject property is the official business or residence address of the person or business claiming occupancy; or proof of pre- occupancy inspection.
OWNER. Any person, agent, operator, entity having a legal or equitable interest in the property; or otherwise having control of the property, including a mortgage holder foreclosing upon the property, the guardian of the estate, or the executor or administrator of the estate that holds title to the property.
UNSECURED. A building or portion of a building which is open to entry by unauthorized persons without the use of tools or ladders.
VACANT. A building or structure shall be deemed to be vacant if no person or persons actually, currently conducts a lawfully licensed business, or lawfully resides or lives in any part of the building as the legal or equitable owner(s) or tenant-occupant(s), or owner-occupants, or tenant(s) on a permanent, nontransient basis.
Section 1103. Evaluation, applicability and registration.
1.
Initial evaluation. Immediately after the effective date of this chapter, the Codes Department is authorized to evaluate all buildings in the Township believed to be unoccupied on the effective date of this chapter and shall make a determination for each as to whether the building is vacant within the meaning of this chapter. The determination shall be in writing and shall state the factual basis for the determination. The Township Code Enforcement Officer shall, within 10 days of determining that a building is vacant, send notice of his written determination to the last owner of record listed on the most recent Chester County tax roll. Said notice of determination shall be sent to the owner or designated agent by certified mail, return receipt requested. However, if the address of the owner or designated agent is unknown and cannot be ascertained by the Codes Department in the exercise of reasonable diligence, copies of the notice shall be posted in a conspicuous place on the property affected and serve as proper notice. Any appeals from the determination of the Codes Department shall be made as described in Section 1104 of this chapter. The written notice sent to the owner or the owner's agent shall describe the conditions that render the property vacant and shall demand registration within 15 days of the receipt of such notice. The owner or operator of vacant premises shall register with the Codes Department no later than 15 days after being notified by a Township Code Enforcement Officer of the requirement to register.
2.
Applicability. The requirements of this chapter shall be applicable to any owner of any building that has been vacant for more than 45 consecutive days. Each such owner shall cause to be filed a registration statement, which shall include the street address and parcel number of each such vacant building, the names and addresses of all owners, as hereinafter described, and any other information deemed necessary by the Township. The registration fee(s) as required by this chapter shall be billed by the Township and shall be paid by January 1 of each year.
3.
Registration statement and fees. Registration shall be required for all vacant buildings, whether vacant and secure, vacant and unsecured, vacant and boarded, or occupancy ready, and shall be required whenever any building has remained vacant for 45 consecutive days or more. In no instance shall the registration of a vacant building and the payment of registration fees be construed to exonerate the owner, agent or responsible party from responsibility for compliance with any other building code requirement. The owner of the vacant property as of November 1 of each calendar year shall be responsible for the payment of the nonrefundable yearly registration fee, except buildings deemed "occupancy ready" by the Township and actively for sale or lease shall be exempt from imposition of the annual registration fee. However, buildings deemed "occupancy ready" by the Township shall only be exempt from imposition of the annual registration fee for no more than one billing cycle. The owner of a vacant building shall be responsible for the annual payment of a nonrefundable registration fee in an amount established by resolution of the Board of Commissioners.
1104. Appeal rights. Within 10 days of a determination by the Codes Department that a building is vacant, an owner shall have the right to appeal the requirement to register a building and/or the imposition of the registration fees to the Western Chester County Board of Buildings Appeal consistent with their appeal procedures and processes which can be found in Part I, Chapter 9, of the Township Code. On appeal, the owner shall bear the burden of providing satisfactory objective proof of occupancy.
1105. Delinquent registration fees as a lien. After the owner is given notice of the amount of the registration fee due, except for those owners that have properly perfected an appeal pursuant to applicable subsections above or are otherwise exempt, and the owner fails to pay the amount due, said amount shall constitute a debt due and owing to the Township, and the Township may commence a civil action to collect such unpaid debt and such unpaid amount shall be a lien against the subject property.
1106. Duty to amend registration statement. If the status of the registration information changes during the course of any calendar year, it is the responsibility of the owner, responsible party or agent for the same to contact the Township within 30 days of the occurrence of such change and advise the Codes Department in writing of those changes.
1107. Exceptions. This chapter shall not apply to any building owned by the United States, the commonwealth, the county, the Township, nor to any of their respective agencies or political subdivisions.