Second class township code, the




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Compiler's Note: Section 4 of Act 69 of 2015, which amended section 1517, provided that Act 69 shall not be construed to repeal or modify any township ordinance in effect on the effective date of Act 69 or affect any proceeding or enforcement of any township ordinance instituted prior to the effective date of Act 69.

Section 1518.  Building and Housing Inspectors.--(1518 repealed Nov. 24, 2015, P.L.427, No.69)

 

Section 1519.  Building Lines.--The board of supervisors may by ordinance establish and maintain uniform building lines upon any or all public streets or highways of the township.



Section 1520.  Numbering of Buildings.--The board of supervisors may by ordinance require and regulate the numbering of buildings.

Section 1521.  Insect, Pest and Vector Programs.--The board of supervisors may appropriate moneys toward insect, pest and vector programs.

Section 1522.  Sewage Treatment Facilities Regulations.--The board of supervisors may by ordinance make regulations respecting the installation of individual or community sewage treatment facilities under the act of January 24, 1966 (1965 P.L.1535, No.537), known as the "Pennsylvania Sewage Facilities Act."

Section 1523.  Surplus Foods.--The board of supervisors may appropriate moneys for the handling, storage and distribution of surplus foods obtained through a Federal, State or local agency.

Section 1524.  Community Nursing Services.--The board of supervisors may appropriate moneys to nonprofit associations or corporations which provide community nursing services.

Section 1525.  Mental Health Centers.--The board of supervisors may appropriate moneys toward any nonprofit association or corporation which operates or conducts a mental health center.

Section 1526.  Hospitals.--The board of supervisors may appropriate not exceeding one dollar ($1) for each township resident each year toward the erection, maintenance or support of any medical center or hospital building facilities. If the total cost of the purchase or erection exceeds one hundred thousand dollars ($100,000), approval by the appropriate health planning agency is required. The number of residents is determined from the latest official census.

Section 1527.  Public Safety.--The board of supervisors may adopt ordinances to secure the safety of persons or property within the township and to define disturbing the peace within the limits of the township.

Section 1528.  Ambulances and Rescue and Life Saving Services.--The board of supervisors may acquire, operate and maintain motor vehicles for the purposes of conveying persons to and from hospitals, and it may appropriate moneys toward ambulance and rescue and life saving services and make contracts relating thereto.

Section 1529.  Nuisances.--The board of supervisors may by ordinance prohibit nuisances, including, but not limited to, the storage of abandoned or junked automobiles, on private and public property and the carrying on of any offensive manufacture or business.

Section 1530.  Regulation of Dogs.--The board of supervisors may by ordinance prohibit and regulate the running at large of dogs.

Section 1531.  Animal Shelters.--The board of supervisors may appropriate moneys to foster, encourage or assist the operation of humane societies, animal shelters or animal control centers or programs.

Section 1532.  Regulation of Business.--(a)  The board of supervisors may license and regulate by ordinance the following business activities within the township:

(1)  Transient merchants conducting business within the township, except farmers selling their own produce, or to any sale of goods, wares or merchandise donated by the owners thereof, the proceeds of which are to be applied to any charitable or philanthropic purpose or the imposition or collection of any license fee upon insurance companies or their agents or insurance brokers authorized to transact business under the insurance laws of this Commonwealth.

(2)  Cable television companies operating within the township to the extent allowed by Federal and State law and regulation.

(3)  Restaurants operating within the township. This power includes the power to inspect these establishments.

(4)  Junk dealers and the establishment and maintenance of junk yards and scrap yards, including, but not limited to, automobile junk yards or automobile grave yards.

(b)  The board of supervisors may establish license fees for regulated businesses enumerated in subsection (a). These fees shall bear a reasonable relationship to the cost of administering the ordinance and regulating, inspecting and supervising each business. Licenses may be issued on an annual or monthly basis and any fee charged to transient merchants shall not exceed three hundred dollars ($300) per year or twenty-five dollars ($25) for each month or part of a month. ((b) amended Dec. 18, 1996, P.L.1142, No.172)

Section 1533.  Dangerous Structures.--The board of supervisors may by ordinance require the owner to remove any nuisance or dangerous structure on public or private grounds after notice to the owner to do so. In the owner's default, the board of supervisors may remove the nuisance or structure and collect the cost of the removal, together with the penalty imposed by the ordinance, from the owner by summary proceedings or under law for the collection of municipal liens.

Section 1534.  Fireworks and Inflammable Articles.--The board of supervisors may:

(1)  By ordinance regulate and prohibit the manufacture of fireworks or inflammable or dangerous articles.

(2)  Grant permits for supervised public displays of fireworks and adopt rules and regulations governing the displays.

(3)  By ordinance adopt rules and regulations not inconsistent with State regulations relating to the storage of inflammable articles.

(4)  By ordinance impose other safeguards concerning inflammable articles as may be necessary.

Section 1535.  Human Services.--The board of supervisors may, under the provisions of the act of December 10, 1974 (P.L.865, No.292), entitled "An act authorizing municipalities to expend Federal general revenue sharing or general funds for social service programs for the poor, the disabled and the aging, and to jointly cooperate in the sponsorship, establishment, administration, maintenance and operation of such programs," by ordinance or resolution appropriate moneys for social service programs for the poor, the disabled and the aging.

Section 1536.  Cemeteries.--(a)  The board of supervisors may by ordinance make rules and regulations regarding the location, operation and maintenance of cemeteries in the township.

(b)  When any cemetery or burial ground is abandoned or is being neglected, the board of supervisors may give notice to the owner directing the removal of weeds, refuse and debris from the cemetery within thirty days. If the removal is not completed within thirty days after the notice, the board of supervisors shall provide for the removal to be done by employes of the township or persons hired for that purpose at the expense of the township. All costs of removal shall be assessed against the owner of the cemetery, if known, and collected under section 3302(b).

(c)  The cemetery shall remain open to the public under the regulation and control of the board of supervisors.

Section 1537.  Burial Plots of Service Persons.--The board of supervisors may purchase plots of ground in any cemetery or burial ground for the interment of deceased or former service men and women who at the time of their death maintained legal residence within the township.

Section 1538.  Care of Memorials.--The board of supervisors may maintain and repair any soldiers' monument or memorial existing or erected within the township and may receive funds from persons or organizations for those purposes.

Section 1539.  Libraries.--The board of supervisors may, in accordance with the act of June 14, 1961 (P.L.324, No.188), known as "The Library Code," appropriate moneys toward any nonprofit association or corporation which operates or conducts a library or contract with or make grants to counties or municipal corporations for the furnishing of library service to the township.

Section 1540.  Observances and Celebrations.--The board of supervisors may appropriate moneys for the observance of holidays, centennials or other anniversaries or for township celebrations or civic projects or programs.

Section 1541.  Historical Property.--The board of supervisors may acquire by purchase or by gift, repair, supervise, operate and maintain ancient landmarks and other property of historical or antiquarian interest and make appropriations to nonprofit associations or corporations organized to acquire and maintain historical properties.

Section 1542.  Community Development.--The board of supervisors may undertake community development programs, including, but not limited to, urban renewal, public housing, model cities programs and neighborhood development projects.

Section 1543.  Industrial Promotion.--The board of supervisors may make appropriations to an industrial development agency.

Section 1544.  Tourist Promotion Agencies.--The board of supervisors may appropriate moneys not in excess of ten cents (10¢) for each resident of the township, as determined by the latest official census, to any tourist promotion agency, as defined in the act of April 28, 1961 (P.L.111, No.50), known as the "Tourist Promotion Law," to assist the agencies in carrying out tourist promotional activities.

 

Compiler's Note: The act of April 28, 1961 (P.L.111, No.5), known as the "Tourist Promotion Law," referred to in this section, was repealed by the act of July 4, 2008 (P.L.621, No.50), known as the Tourist Promotion Act.

Section 1545.  Nonprofit Art Corporations.--The board of supervisors may appropriate moneys, not exceeding an amount equal to one mill of the real estate tax, to any nonprofit art corporation for the conduct of its artistic and cultural activities. For the purposes of this section, the term "nonprofit art corporation" means a local arts council, commission or coordinating agency or any other nonprofit corporation engaged in the production or display of works of art, including the visual, written or performing arts and the term "artistic and cultural activities" includes the display or production of theater, music, dance, painting, architecture, sculpture, arts and crafts, photography, film, graphic arts and design and creative writing.

Section 1546.  Neighborhood Crime Watch Programs.--The board of supervisors may appropriate moneys toward a neighborhood crime watch program. No township or township official is subject to contractual, tort or other liability as a result of making an appropriation under this section.

Section 1547.  Public Rewards.--The board of supervisors may offer rewards for information leading to the arrest and conviction of persons who commit capital or other crimes within the township or for the violation of any township ordinance.

Section 1548.  Municipality Authorities.--The board of supervisors may by ordinance or resolution individually or in cooperation with other municipal corporations form municipality authorities as authorized by the act of May 2, 1945 (P.L.382, No.164), known as the "Municipality Authorities Act of 1945," specify the project or projects to be undertaken by the authorities, appoint members and establish their compensation.

 

Compiler's Note:  The act of May 2, 1945 (P.L.382, No.164), referred to as the Municipality Authorities Act of 1945, was repealed by the act of June 19, 2001 (P.L.287, No.22). The subject matter is now contained in 53 Pa.C.S. Ch. 56 (relating to municipal authorities).

Section 1549.  Racetracks.--(a)  In addition to the powers and duties imposed upon the township supervisors by this act or any other provision of law, the township supervisors shall have the power and duty to secure the health, safety and welfare of persons and property by adopting an ordinance prohibiting the conducting of live horse race meets by a licensed corporation at a racetrack located within the area of fifty air miles from the center of an existing, currently licensed racetrack, notwithstanding the provisions of the act of December 17, 1981 (P.L.435, No.135), known as the "Race Horse Industry Reform Act," provided that a majority of electors of the township approve a referendum pursuant to subsection (b) prohibiting the conducting of such horse race meets within the township.

(b)  The township supervisors may, or upon the petition of a number of electors of the township equal to at least twenty-five percent of the highest number of votes for a public office of the township at the last preceding municipal election shall, adopt a resolution directing the county board of elections to place a referendum question on the ballot for the primary or general election, with respect to the conducting of live horse race meets by licensed corporations within the township. The question shall be in the following form:

Shall live horse race meets conducted by licensed corporations be prohibited within the area of fifty air miles from the center of an existing, currently licensed racetrack?

(c)  The definitions provided for in the "Race Horse Industry Reform Act" shall apply to this section.

Section 1550.  Conservation District.--The board of supervisors may make appropriations to a conservation district as defined in the act of May 15, 1945 (P.L.547, No.217), known as the "Conservation District Law."

(1550 added June 22, 2000, P.L.400, No.55)

Section 1551.  Watershed Associations.--The board of supervisors may make appropriations to nonprofit watershed associations for watersheds serving the township. Such appropriations may not be used to undertake litigation against any municipal corporation or to seek redress against any individual landowner.

(1551 added July 5, 2005, P.L.37, No.11)

Section 1552.  Counties.--The board of supervisors may make appropriations to the county in which the township is situated for land acquisition related to community and economic development projects located within the township.

(1552 added July 7, 2006, P.L.1049, No.106)

Section 1553.  Emergency Services.--(a)  The township shall be responsible for ensuring that fire and emergency medical services are provided within the township by the means and to the extent determined by the township, including the appropriate financial and administrative assistance for these services.

(b)  The township shall consult with fire and emergency medical services providers to discuss the emergency services needs of the township.

(c)  The township shall require any emergency services organizations receiving township funds to provide to the township an annual itemized listing of all expenditures of these funds before the township may consider budgeting additional funding to the organization.

(1553 added Mar. 17, 2008, P.L.47, No.7)

 

ARTICLE XVI



ORDINANCES

 

Section 1601.  Ordinances.--(a)  The board of supervisors may adopt ordinances in which general or specific powers of the township may be exercised, and, by the enactment of subsequent ordinances, the board of supervisors may amend, repeal or revise existing ordinances. All proposed ordinances, whether original, amended, repealed, revised, consolidated or codified, shall be published not more than sixty days nor less than seven days before passage at least once in one newspaper circulating generally in the township. Public notices shall include either the full text or a brief summary of the proposed ordinance which lists the provisions in reasonable detail and a reference to a place within the township where copies of the proposed ordinance may be examined. ((a) amended Jan. 22, 2014, P.L.2, No.2)



(a.1)  If the full text is not included, a copy shall be supplied to the publishing newspaper when the notice is published, and an attested copy shall be filed within thirty days after enactment in the county law library or other county office designated by the county commissioners, who may impose a fee no greater than that necessary to cover the actual costs of storing the ordinances. Filing with the county may be completed by the submission of an electronic copy of the ordinance through a method available, in the sole discretion of the county, to permit receipt by the office storing municipal ordinances. Upon request by the township, the county shall notify the township of the method by which electronic copies may be submitted. The county may store the ordinance electronically, provided that the public is able to access the electronically stored township ordinances during regular business hours at the office or at a remote location. The township shall retain a printed copy of the e-mail and ordinance as transmitted. The date of such filing shall not affect the effective date of the ordinance, the validity of the process of the enactment or adoption of the ordinance; nor shall a failure to record within the time provided be deemed a defect in the process of the enactment or adoption of such ordinance. If substantial amendments are made in the proposed ordinance, before voting upon enactment, the board of supervisors shall at least ten days before enactment readvertise in one newspaper of general circulation in the township a brief summary setting forth all the provisions in reasonable detail, together with a summary of the amendments. Ordinances shall be recorded in the ordinance book of the township and are effective five days after adoption unless a date later than five days after adoption is stated in the ordinance.

((a.1) added Jan. 22, 2014, P.L.2, No.2)

(b)  When maps, plans or drawings of any kind are adopted as part of an ordinance, instead of publishing them as part of the ordinance, the board of supervisors may refer in publishing the ordinance to the place where the maps, plans or drawings are on file and may be examined.

(c)  (Deleted by amendment)

(c.1)  An ordinance enacted by the board of supervisors pursuant to this act shall prescribe the fines and penalties which may be imposed for its violation and shall, unless otherwise specified in another statute, designate the method of its enforcement in accordance with the following:

(1)  Civil enforcement.--Except as provided in paragraph (2), when the penalty imposed for the violation of an ordinance enacted pursuant to the provisions of this act is not voluntarily paid to the township, the township shall initiate a civil enforcement proceeding before a district justice. The civil enforcement proceeding shall be initiated by complaint or by such other means as may be provided by the Pennsylvania Rules of Civil Procedure. An ordinance which is to be enforced through a civil enforcement proceeding may prescribe civil penalties not to exceed six hundred dollars ($600) per violation. In addition to or in lieu of civil actions before a district justice, townships may enforce ordinances in equity. In any case where a penalty for a violation of a township ordinance has not been timely paid and the person upon whom the penalty was imposed is found to have been liable therefor in civil proceedings, the violator shall be liable for the penalty imposed, including additional daily penalties for continuing violations, plus court costs and reasonable attorney fees incurred by the township in the enforcement proceedings. A township shall be exempt from the payment of costs in any civil case brought to enforce an ordinance in accordance with this paragraph.

(2)  Enforcement as summary offenses.--For an ordinance regulating building, housing, property maintenance, health, fire, public safety, parking, solicitation, curfew, water, air or noise pollution, the board of supervisors shall provide that its enforcement shall be by action brought before a district justice in the same manner provided for the enforcement of summary offenses under the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure. The municipal solicitor may assume charge of the prosecution without the consent of the District Attorney as required under Pa.R.Crim.P. No. 83(c) (relating to trial in summary cases). The board of supervisors may prescribe criminal fines not to exceed one thousand dollars ($1,000) per violation and may prescribe imprisonment to the extent allowed by law for the punishment of summary offenses.

(3)  Existing ordinances.--With regard to ordinances enacted prior to May 7, 1996, those regulating building, housing, property maintenance, health, fire, public safety, parking, solicitation, curfew, water, air or noise pollution shall be deemed automatically amended so that they shall be enforced by an action brought before a district justice in the same manner provided for the enforcement of summary offenses in accordance with paragraph (2). All other ordinances enacted prior to May 7, 1996, shall be deemed automatically amended so that they shall be enforced through a civil enforcement proceeding in accordance with paragraph (1).

(4)  Enforcement in equity.--Ordinances may be enforced by a township through an action in equity brought in the court of common pleas of the county where the township is situate.

(5)  Separate offenses.--Ordinances may provide that a separate offense shall arise for each day or portion thereof in which a violation is found to exist or for each section of the ordinance which is found to have been violated.

(6)  Payment to treasurer.--All fines and penalties collected for the violation of any township ordinance shall be paid to the township treasurer.

(7)  Enforcement officers or agents.--The board of supervisors may delegate the initial determination of ordinance violation and the service of notice of violation to such officers or agents as the township shall deem qualified for that purpose.

(d)  The board of supervisors may prepare or have prepared a consolidation or codification of the general body of township ordinances or the ordinances on a particular subject. The board of supervisors may adopt the consolidation or codification as an ordinance of the township, except the required advertised notice of the proposed adoption of the consolidation or codification shall include a listing of its table of contents. The procedure for the consolidation or codification of township ordinances as a single ordinance may also be followed in enacting a complete group or body of ordinances repealing or amending existing ordinances as may be necessary in the course of preparing a consolidation or codification of the township ordinances, except that the advertisement giving notice of the proposed adoption shall list, in lieu of a table of contents, the titles only of each of the ordinances in the complete group or body of ordinances.

(e)  In the same manner as other ordinances, the board of supervisors may adopt, by reference to a standard or nationally recognized code in a township ordinance, all or any portion of the code as an ordinance of the township. No portion of any code which limits the work to be performed to any type of construction contractor or labor or mechanic classification shall be adopted. Copies of the proposed code or portion or amendment shall be filed with the township secretary at least ten days before the board of supervisors considers the proposed ordinance and upon enactment kept with the ordinance book and available for public use, inspection and examination.

(f)  Any person aggrieved by the adoption of any ordinance may make complaint as to the legality of the ordinance to the court of common pleas.

(1601 amended Dec. 18, 1996, P.L.1142, No.172)

 

Compiler's Note: Pennsylvania Rule of Criminal Procedure No. 83(c), referred to in subsec. (c.1)(2), was renumbered Pennsylvania Rule of Criminal Procedure No. 454 on March 1, 2000, effective April 1, 2001.

Compiler's Note: Section 28 of Act 207 of 2004 provided that any and all references in any other law to a "district justice" or "justice of the peace" shall be deemed to be references to a magisterial district judge.

 

ARTICLE XVII



PUBLIC BUILDINGS

 

Section 1701.  Township Buildings.--(a)  The board of supervisors may procure by purchase, gift, devise or the exercise of eminent domain a lot or lots of ground located within the township and erect or use buildings thereon for township purposes. No land or property used for any cemetery, burying ground, public or parochial school, educational or charitable institution, seminary or place of public worship shall be taken or appropriated under this section.



(b)  Subject to the restrictions contained in section 3402, townships in counties of the second class A may enter upon and appropriate historic land and structures which are privately owned, provided the sole purpose of the taking is the preservation and maintenance of the property for its historic value and the Pennsylvania Historical and Museum Commission or the county historical society has certified both the historic value of the property and that it is not being maintained in an appropriate manner.

Section 1702.  Use of Public Land Acquired for Other Purposes.--When the board of supervisors desires to take any public lands previously granted or dedicated to a use or purpose for which they are no longer used, it shall pass an ordinance declaring its intention and shall petition the court of common pleas for leave to file the bond of the township to secure any person or persons who may be entitled to compensation for the taking. The court shall direct notice to be given by publication in at least one newspaper circulating generally in the township. The court may increase the amount of the bond, shall hear all exceptions that are filed against the petition and the sufficiency of the bond and may grant or deny the request of the petition. Upon the granting of the petition and the approval of the bond, the board of supervisors may enter lands for the purposes of erecting public buildings. The bond, which shall be in the name of the Commonwealth for the use of any person or persons who are entitled to damages by reason of the taking of the lands, shall remain on file for their use and benefit.

Section 1703.  How Damages Are Assessed.--The compensation and damages arising from taking, using and appropriating private or public property for township purposes shall be ascertained, determined, awarded and paid under this act for eminent domain proceedings.

Section 1704.  Garages and Warehouses.--The board of supervisors may purchase or lease land inside or outside the limits of the township and erect garages, warehouses or other buildings as may be necessary for handling and storing equipment, materials and supplies.

 

ARTICLE XVII-A



UNIFORM CONSTRUCTION CODE, PROPERTY MAINTENANCE

CODE AND RESERVED POWERS

(Art. XVII-A added Nov. 24, 2015, P.L.427, No.69)

 

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