Township of Middle Smithfield, PA
Monroe County
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Table of Contents
Table of Contents
[HISTORY: Adopted by the Board of Supervisors of the Township of Middle Smithfield as indicated in article histories. Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Littering — See Ch. 132.
[Adopted 6-10-1998 by Ord. No. 86]
This chapter shall be known and may be cited as the "Middle Smithfield Township Nuisance Ordinance."
For purposes of this article, the following terms, phrases, words and their derivations shall have the meanings given herein. When not inconsistent with the context, words used in the present tense include the future, words in the plural number include the singular number, and words in the singular number include the plural number, and the word "shall" is always mandatory and not merely directory.
ABANDONED OR JUNKED MOTOR VEHICLE
Any vehicle in nonserviceable condition or without having both a current inspection sticker and current registration plate.
BOARD OF SUPERVISORS
The Board of Supervisors of Middle Smithfield Township, Monroe County, Pennsylvania.
NUISANCE
The unreasonable, unwarrantable or unlawful use of public or private property which causes injury, damage, hurt, inconvenience, annoyance or discomfort to any person or resident in the legitimate enjoyment of his or her reasonable rights of person or property.
OWNER
A person owning, leasing, occupying, or having charge of any premises within the Township.
PERSON
Any natural person, firm, partnership, association, corporation, company, club, copartnership, society or any organization of any kind.
TOWNSHIP
The Township of Middle Smithfield which is located in Monroe County, Pennsylvania.
Nuisances, including, but not limited to the following, are hereby declared to be illegal and are prohibited:
A. 
Storing or accumulating the following:
(1) 
Garbage or rubbish.
(2) 
Unless otherwise permitted by the Township, junk material, including but not limited to unused or abandoned machinery, equipment or appliances and all forms of waste and refuse of any type of materials, including scrap metal, glass, vehicle tires, industrial waste and other salvageable materials, in a manner such that they can be seen from any public highway, road, street, avenue, lane or alley.
B. 
Unless otherwise permitted by the Township, storing or accumulating abandoned or junked motor vehicles, mobile homes or trailers that can be seen from any public highway, road, street avenue, lane or alley. All such vehicles must be moved within 30 days or, if at vehicle repair businesses, within 60 days.
C. 
Storing or accumulating more than three antique or collector motor vehicles for restoration which are neither sheltered by a building nor enclosed behind an evergreen or solid fence as permitted by applicable zoning ordinances, or storing or accumulating in an unorderly fashion three or fewer antique or collector motor vehicles for restoration.
D. 
Draining or flowing, or allowing to drain or flow, by pipe or other channel, whether natural or artificial, any foul or offensive water or drainage from sinks, bathtubs, wash stands, lavatories, water closets, swimming pools, privies or cesspools of any kind or nature whatsoever, or any foul or offensive water, or foul or offensive drainage of any kind, from property along any public highway, road, street, avenue, lane or alley, or from any property into or upon any adjoining property.
E. 
Draining or flowing, or allowing to drain or flow, any water or drainage from any property along any public highway, road, street, avenue, lane or alley in the Township, into or upon the cartway or traveled portion of any public highway, road, street, avenue, lane or alley in the Township.
F. 
Burning of tires or tar products.
G. 
Maintaining, or causing to be maintained, any dangerous structure, including but not limited to abandoned or unoccupied buildings or parts of buildings in a state of dilapidation or disrepair.
H. 
Permitting or allowing any well, cistern or open pit to be or remain uncovered.
I. 
Pushing, shoveling or otherwise depositing snow upon the cartway or traveled portion of any public highway, road or street which is maintained by the Township or by the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania and allowing same to remain thereon.
J. 
Allowing or permitting any excavation, material excavated or obstruction on or adjoining any highway, street, or road to remain opened or exposed without the same being secured by a barricade, temporary fence or other protective materials.
A. 
Whenever a condition constituting a nuisance is created or maintained, the Board of Supervisors shall cause written notice to be served upon the owner in one of the following manners:
(1) 
By making personal delivery of the notice to the owner;
(2) 
By handing a copy of the notice, at the residence of the owner, to an adult member of the family with which the  person resides, but if no adult member of the family is found, then to an adult person in charge of such residence;
(3) 
By fixing a copy of the notice to the door at the entrance of the premises in violation;
(4) 
By mailing a copy of the notice to the last known address of the owner, by certified mail; or
(5) 
By publishing a copy of the notice in a local newspaper of general circulation within Monroe County, Pennsylvania, once a week for three successive weeks.
B. 
Such notice shall set forth in what respect such condition constitutes a nuisance, whether removal is necessary and required by the Township or whether the situation can be corrected by repairs, alterations or by fencing or boarding or in some way confining and limiting the nuisance. Such notice shall require the owner to commence action in accordance with the terms thereof within 20 days, and thereafter to comply fully with its terms with reasonable dispatch, with all material to be supplied and work to be done at the owner's expense; provided, however, if any provision of § 136-3F, H, I or J is violated, and if the circumstances require immediate corrective measures, such notice shall require the owner to immediately comply with the terms thereof.
[Added 3-8-2000 by Ord. No. 97[1]]
A. 
Any person aggrieved by a notice of violation may request and shall then be granted a hearing before the Board of Supervisors; provided that such person files with the Board of Supervisors, within 10 days after notice of the violation, a written petition, signed by such person, requesting a hearing and setting forth a brief statement of the grounds therefor and accompanied with the applicable filing fee. The hearing shall commence not later than 30 days after the date on which the petition was filed unless postponed for sufficient cause.
B. 
After such hearing, the Board of Supervisors shall sustain, modify or overrule the notice of violation.
[1]
Editor's Note: This ordinance also provided for the renumbering of former §§ 136-5 through 136-8 as §§ 136-6 through 136-9, respectively.
If the owner, after receiving due notice, refuses to comply with the terms thereof:
A. 
The owner shall be guilty of a violation of this article and shall, upon conviction thereof, pay a fine of not more than $1,000 and the costs of prosecution and, in default of payment of such fine and costs of prosecution, to undergo imprisonment to the extent allowed by law for the punishment of summary offenses, provided further that each day's continuance of a violation shall constitute a separate offense.
B. 
The Board of Supervisors may direct the removal, repair or alteration, as the case may be, to be done by the Township and to certify the costs thereof to the Township Solicitor. The cost of such removal, repairs or alteration shall be a lien upon such premises from the time of such removal, repairs and alterations, which date shall be determined by the certificate of the person doing such work and filed with the Township Secretary, and which claim shall be filed against the owner of the subject premises in the manner allowed by law for the filing of a municipal lien.
C. 
The Township, by means of a complaint in equity, may compel the owner of the premises to comply with the terms of any notice of violation or seek any such other relief as any such court of competent jurisdiction is empowered to afford.
If any section, subsection, sentence, clause, phrase or portion of this article is for any reason held to be invalid or unconstitutional by any court of competent jurisdiction, such portion shall be deemed a separate, distinct and independent provision, and such holding shall not affect the validity of the remaining portions thereof.
All ordinances or parts of ordinances inconsistent herewith are hereby repealed.
This ordinance shall take effect five days after its enactment.
[Adopted 7-27-2012 by Ord. No. 187]
Words and phrases defined by the Blight Act[1] shall have the same meaning in this article unless the context clearly indicates otherwise.
[1]
Editor's Note: The Neighborhood Blight Reclamation and Revitalization Act. See 53 Pa.C.S.A. § 6101 et seq.
A. 
Unless otherwise required by law, the Township, including any Township board, commission, committee, officer or employee, shall deny issuing to an applicant a municipal permit if the applicant owns real property in any municipality for which there exists on the real property:
(1) 
A final and unappealable tax, water, sewer or refuse collection delinquency on account of the actions of the owner; or
(2) 
A serious violation of state law or a code and the owner has taken no substantial steps to correct the violation within six months following notification of the violation and for which a fine or other penalties or a judgment to abate or correct were imposed by a magisterial district judge or municipal court, or a judgment at law or in equity was imposed by a court of common pleas.
B. 
A municipal permit shall be denied to an applicant other than an owner if:
(1) 
The applicant is acting under the direction or with the permission of the owner; and
(2) 
The owner owns real property satisfying the conditions of Subsection A of this § 136-11.
C. 
No permit shall be denied under Subsection A(2) where the judgment, order or decree is subject to a stay or supersedeas by an order of court or automatically allowed by statute or rule of court. Where a stay or supersedeas is in effect, it is the obligation of the property owner to so inform the Township.
D. 
No permit shall be denied under this section if the permit is necessary to correct a violation of state law or a code.
E. 
The Township permit denial shall not apply to an applicant's delinquency on taxes, water, sewer or refuse collection charges that are under appeal or otherwise contested through a court or administrative process.
F. 
Each denial issued under this section shall comply in all respects with 53 Pa.C.S.A. § 6131, as it may be amended from time to time, and all other applicable laws and regulations.
The Board authorizes the institution of an action under § 6111 of the Blight Act against any owner of any real property that is in serious violation of a code or for failure to correct a condition which causes the property to be regarded as a public nuisance, and the placement of a lien against the assets of the owner after a judgment, decree or order is entered by a court of competent jurisdiction against the owner for an adjudication under § 6111, subject to the requirements and procedures of the Blight Act.
This article is intended to implement the Blight Act on a municipal level. This article shall be construed consistent with the Blight Act. Nothing in this article shall be construed to abridge or alter the remedies now existing at common law or by statute or ordinance. The provisions of this article are in addition to such remedies.
A devisee or heir of an inherited property shall be entitled to relief from this article, but only to the extent required by § 6144 of the Blight Act.