Township of Horsham, PA
Montgomery County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Township Council of Horsham Township as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Nuisances — See Ch. 142.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 164.
[Adopted 12-14-2005 by Ord. No. 297]
A. 
No person, firm or corporation owning or occupying any property within Horsham Township shall permit any grass or weeds or any vegetation whatsoever, not edible or planted for some useful or ornamental purpose, to grow or remain on such premises so as to exceed a height of 10 inches; nor shall any noxious vegetation prohibited by the Noxious Weed Control Law (3 P.S. § 255.8) or by regulations of the Department of Agriculture be propagated within Horsham Township, including:
(1) 
Marijuana.
(2) 
Chicory, succory or blue daisy.
(3) 
Canadian thistle.
(4) 
Multiflora rose.
(5) 
Johnson grass.
B. 
Any grass, weeds or other vegetation growing upon premises in Horsham Township in violation of any of the provisions of this section is hereby declared to be a nuisance and detrimental to the health, safety, cleanliness and comfort of the inhabitants of Horsham Township.
The owner of any premises, or the occupant of premises occupied by other than the owner, shall remove, trim or cut all grass, weeds or other vegetation growing or remaining on such premises in violation of the provisions of § 73-1.
A. 
Horsham Township Council, or any officer or employee of Horsham Township designated thereby for this purpose, is hereby authorized to give notice, by personal service or by United States Mail, to the owner or occupant, as the case may be, of any premises whereon grass, weeds or other vegetation is growing or remaining in violation of the provisions of § 73-1 of this chapter, directing and requiring such occupant to remove, trim or cut such grass, weeds or vegetation so as to conform to the requirements of this chapter, within five days after receipt of such notice.
B. 
Whenever, in the judgment of the Horsham Township officer or employee designated, it shall appear to be impractical to give notice as above provided, either because the owner or occupant cannot readily be found or because a search for the owner or occupant would entail unreasonable delay, the Horsham Township Council or any officer or employee of Horsham Township designated thereby for that purpose may give notice by posting conspicuously on the property where such nuisance exists a notice or order directing and requiring that such nuisance be abated within 10 days.
C. 
In case any person, firm or corporation shall neglect, fail or refuse to comply with such notice within the period of time stated therein, the Horsham Township Council may order the removal, trimming or cutting of such grass, weeds or vegetation, and the cost thereof together with a penalty of 10% of the cost thereof shall be collected by Horsham Township from such person, firm or corporation, in the manner provided by law, including but not limited to filing of a municipal claim against the property in question.
Any person, firm or corporation who shall violate any of the provisions of this chapter shall, upon conviction before a District Justice, be subject to a penalty of not less than $200 nor more than $500, plus costs of prosecution, and, in default of payment of such fine and costs, to imprisonment not to exceed 30 days, or both such fine and imprisonment. Each day that a violation continues may be regarded as a separate offense and punishable as such.
[Adopted 12-9-2015 by Ord. No. 2015-6]
The purpose of this article is to preserve and protect private and public property from the damaging spread of certain bamboo grasses, protect indigenous plant materials from the invasive spread of bamboo, and maintain the general welfare of residents of Horsham Township.
A. 
Definitions. As used in this article, the following terms shall have the meanings indicated:
BAMBOO
Any monopodial (running) tropical or semitropical grasses from the genera Phyllostachys or Pseudosasa, including, but not limited to, Phyllostachys aureosulcata. (yellow groove bamboo). In addition, this definition includes common bamboo, golden bamboo and arrow bamboo.
BAMBOO OWNER
Any person who has planted and/or grows bamboo on his or her property; who maintains bamboo on his or her property; or who permits bamboo to grow or remain on his or her property, even if the bamboo has spread from an adjoining property.
PERSON
Any individual, corporation, partnership, joint venture, unincorporated association, municipal corporation or agency, other group acting as a unit, or combination thereof.
TOWNSHIP
The Township of Horsham, County of Montgomery, Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
B. 
Applicability. For purposes of this article, 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 bamboo owner.
C. 
Prohibition.
(1) 
Upon the effective date of this article, the planting or growing of bamboo shall be prohibited within the Township, unless:
(a) 
The root system of such bamboo plant is entirely contained within a planter, barrier, or other vessel, located entirely above ground level, and of such design, material, and location as to entirely prevent the spread/growth of the bamboo's root system beyond the container in which it is planted; or
(b) 
The root system is contained within a barrier, constructed in accordance with the following specifications, and only after a permit is issued by the Township:
[1] 
The barrier shall be composed of high-density polypropylene or polyethylene, 40 mil or heavier;
[2] 
Portions or sheets of the barrier shall be secured or joined together by the use of stainless steel clamps or stainless steel closure strips designed for such barriers;
[3] 
The entire perimeter of the barrier shall be more than 30 inches below ground level and more than three inches above ground level; and
[4] 
When installed, the barrier shall slant outward from the bottom to the top.
(2) 
Any person who hereafter plants or grows, or causes to be planted or grown, bamboo within the Township, except as under the conditions set forth in Subsection C(1)(a) and (b) above, shall be deemed to be in violation of this article, and shall be subject to such penalties as are set forth herein.
D. 
Regulation.
(1) 
Bamboo shall not be planted, maintained, or otherwise be permitted to exist within 40 feet of the edge of the pavement or traveled portion of any public roadway in the Township. Any bamboo owner whose property contains bamboo shall remove and abate the growth of the bamboo within 40 feet of edge of the pavement or traveled portion of a public road in the Township.
(2) 
Whether planted or growing in a container or contained within a barrier, all bamboo plants shall be located, trimmed, and maintained so that no part of the plant (including stalks, branches, leaves, and/or roots) shall extend nearer than ten feet to any property line.
(3) 
When removing and destroying bamboo, all rhizome disposal must be by incineration only. No composting or trash disposal of rhizomes shall be allowed.
E. 
Preexisting bamboo.
(1) 
Any bamboo that has been planted or otherwise permitted to grow on any property within the Township prior to the effective date of this article may remain on such property, subject to compliance with this article.
(2) 
Each bamboo owner shall be responsible to ensure that the bamboo planted or growing on the property prior to the effective date of this article does not encroach or grow upon any adjoining or neighboring property, including all public property and rights-of-way. Such bamboo owners shall be required to take such measures as are reasonably expected to prevent such invasion or encroachment, including, but not limited to, the installation of sheathing composed of metal or other material impenetrable by bamboo at a sufficient depth within the property line or lines where the bamboo is planted or is growing to prevent the growth or encroachment upon adjoining or neighboring property by the bamboo.
(3) 
Replanting prohibited. Any bamboo existing on a property prior to the effective date of this article may not be replanted or replaced in kind once such bamboo is or has become, for any reason, dead, destroyed, uprooted, or otherwise removed, except in compliance with the provisions of this article.
F. 
Removal from Township property.
(1) 
Encroachment. In the event that bamboo growing on a bamboo owner's property invades or grows onto Township property, including, but not limited to right-of-ways, the Township shall notify the bamboo owner in writing that the bamboo has invaded the Township property and that the bamboo owner is responsible for the removal of such running bamboo from the Township property. This encroachment notice shall be sent by certified mail, return receipt requested, and by regular mail to the last known address of the bamboo owner, and a copy of the notice shall also be posted in a conspicuous location on the bamboo owner's property.
(2) 
In the event that the bamboo owner does not remove 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 of the encroachment notice, the Township, at its discretion, may remove such bamboo from the Township property. The bamboo owner shall be liable and responsible to the Township for all costs incurred in removing the bamboo from the Township property. Such costs may be assessed against the property of the bamboo owner, and in the event that the costs remain unpaid more than 30 days after the demand of payment has been made by the Township on the bamboo property owner, the Township may lien the property of the bamboo owner for these costs.
(3) 
In the event that the Township is compelled to undertake the removal of bamboo, as provided for above, neither the Township nor its employees, contractors, or agents shall have any liability to the bamboo owner for any damages or other claims arising out of the removal of such bamboo. In the event such removal entails or causes damages to the property of any other person or entity other than the bamboo owner, the bamboo owner shall be responsible for such damages.
A. 
Notice of violation.
(1) 
Each bamboo owner shall be responsible to ensure that any bamboo on his or her property does not violate the provisions of this article. In the event that there is any bamboo growing in violation of the provisions of this article, the Township shall notify the bamboo owner in writing of the existence of said violation. Said notice of violation shall be served by handing it directly to the bamboo owner; by mailing it to the last known address of the bamboo owner; or by posting the property at a conspicuous location.
(2) 
Any bamboo owner receiving a notice of violation shall bring his or her property into compliance with this article within 30 days of the owner's receipt of said notice. If the bamboo owner fails to bring his or her property into compliance with the notice and this article, then the Township may issue a nontraffic citation against the bamboo owner.
(3) 
In addition, where a bamboo owner does not remedy and correct the violations set forth in any notice of violation issued to his or her, the Township may remove any bamboo that is in violation of this article located upon the bamboo owner's property; take all reasonable action to eradicate its regrowth; and/or restore any real property to its natural condition prior to such removal and eradication. Any costs incurred by the Township in removing any bamboo and/or remedying any violation of this article shall be at the expense of the bamboo owner, and in the event that the costs remain unpaid more than 30 days after the demand of payment has been made by the Township on the bamboo owner, the Township may lien the property of the bamboo owner for these costs.
B. 
Violations, penalties, and remedies.
(1) 
Any person violating any of the provisions of this article shall, in addition to the other charges hereinbefore provided for each offense, upon summary conviction before any Magisterial District Judge, pay a fine not exceeding $1,000, plus all court costs, including reasonable attorney's fees, incurred as a result of the prosecution. Each and every day in which a person shall be in violation of this article shall constitute a separate offense.
(2) 
In addition, the Township Council may institute suits, in equity or at law, to restrain, prevent, or abate a violation of this article. Such proceedings may be initiated before any court of competent jurisdiction. The expense of such proceedings shall be recoverable from the violator in any manner as may now or hereafter be provided by law.