Chapter 92. BUILDINGS, DANGEROUS

[HISTORY: Adopted by the Borough Council of the Borough of Newport 11-5-1980 by Ord. No. 223 (Ch. 4 of the 1985 Code). Amendments noted where applicable.]
GENERAL REFERENCES
Uniform construction codes — See Ch. 99.
Property maintenance — See Ch. 173.

§ 92-1. Dangerous or dilapidated buildings defined.
All buildings or structures which have any or all of the following defects shall be deemed "dangerous buildings":

  1. Those which have been damaged by fire, wind or other causes so as to have become dangerous to the life, safety, morals or the general health and welfare of occupants or people of Newport Borough because of the potential of injury, including that which would result from the condition of the premises, possible collapse, or fire.
  2. Those which have become or are so dilapidated, decayed, unsafe, unsanitary or which so utterly fail to provide the amenities essential to decent living that they are unfit for human habitation or are likely to cause accidents, sickness or disease, so as to work injury to the health, morals, safety, or general welfare of those living therein as well as other citizens of the Borough.
  3. Those which have parts thereof which are so attached or otherwise erected that they might fall and injure members of the public or adjoining property.
  4. Those which because of their general condition are unsafe, unsanitary or dangerous to the health, morals, safety or general welfare of the people of the Borough.

§ 92-2. Dangerous buildings as nuisances.
All dangerous buildings within the terms of § 92-1 of this chapter are hereby declared to be public nuisances and shall be repaired, vacated or demolished as hereinbefore and hereinafter provided.

§ 92-3. Investigation procedures.
Whenever it shall be reported or come to the attention of any Borough official or police officer that any building or structure, completed or in the process of construction, or any portion thereof, is in a dangerous condition, such person having knowledge thereof shall report same to the Borough Council, and the Council shall immediately cause an investigation and examination to be made of such building or structure. If such investigation or examination indicates such building or structure to be dangerous in accordance with the standards of § 92-1 of this chapter, a written report of such investigation shall be submitted to the Council, specifying the exact condition of such building or structure and setting forth whether or in what respect the structure is dangerous and whether the structure is capable of being properly repaired or whether it shall be removed as a dangerous structure.

§ 92-4. Hearing procedures.
The Council shall:

  1. Upon receipt of a report in accordance with § 92-3 of this article, give written notice to the owner, occupant, mortgagee, lessee, agent and all other persons having an interest in said building as shown by land records of the Recorder of Deeds of Perry County, to appear before the Board on the date specified in the Notice to show cause why the building or structure reported to be a dangerous building should not be repaired, vacated or demolished in accordance with the statement of particulars set forth in the notice provided for herein in § 92-6C.
  2. Hold a hearing and hear such testimony as the owner, occupant, mortgagee, lessee or any other person having an interest in said building, shall offer relative to the dangerous building.
  3. ake written findings of fact from the testimony offered pursuant to Subsection B as to whether or not the building in question is a dangerous building within the terms of § 92-1 hereof and constitutes a nuisance.
  4. Particularize the reasons why the building in question is a dangerous building.
  5. Issue an order based upon findings of fact made pursuant to Subsections C and D demanding the owner, occupant, mortgagee, lessee or any other person having an interest in the said building to repair, vacate or demolish any building found to be a dangerous building within the terms of this chapter.

 

§ 92-5. Standards for repair, vacation or demolition.
The following standards shall be followed in substance by the Council in ordering repair, vacation or demolition:

  1. If the dangerous or dilapidated building can be repaired as determined by the Council so that it will no longer exist in violation of the terms of this chapter, it shall be ordered repaired.
  2. If the dangerous or dilapidated building or structure is in such condition as to make it dangerous to the health, morals, safety or general welfare of its occupants, it shall be ordered to be vacated.
  3. In any case where a dangerous or dilapidated building or structure cannot be reasonably repaired as determined by Council, it shall be demolished. In cases where a dangerous or dilapidated building or structure is a fire hazard existing or erected in violation of the terms of this chapter, the Fire Prevention Code or ordinance or any Statute of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, it shall be demolished.

§ 92-6. Enforcement procedures.

  1. If any structure is deemed to be a dangerous building within the standards set forth in § 92-1 of this chapter, the Council shall forthwith cause written notice to be served upon the owner, occupant, lessee, mortgagee, agent and all other persons having an interest in said building as shown by the records of the Recorder of Deeds of Perry County.
  2. The notice required by this section shall be served personally upon the owner of a dangerous building if the owner resides in the Borough or personally upon his agent if such agent resides within the Borough. If personal service as required herein cannot be obtained or if the owner resides outside the Borough, such notice shall be sent to the owner of a dangerous building by registered mail at the last known address thereof.
  3. The notice shall identify the building or structure deemed dangerous and contain a statement of the particulars which made this building or structure a dangerous building and an order requiring the same to be put in such condition as to comply with the terms of the order of this article, provided in any case where the notice prescribed the repair of any structure, the owner thereof shall have the option to remove such structure in lieu of making the repairs thereto within the time limits herein set forth.
  4. Such notice shall require any person notified to repair, vacate or demolish any building to commence the work or act required by the notice within 15 days of such notice and to complete such repair or removal within 45 days thereof.
  5. The Council shall cause to be placed on all dangerous buildings a notice reading substantially as follows:
    "This building has been found to be a dangerous building by the Council of the Borough of Newport. This notice is to remain on this building until it is repaired, vacated or demolished in accordance with the notice which has been given to the owner, occupant, lessee, mortgagee, or agent of this building. The removal of this notice is unlawful until compliance is made under the terms contained in the notice given to the above named party."

§ 92-7. Violations and penalties.
[Amended 4-9-1985 by Ord. No. 238]

  1. Any person, firm or corporation who shall violate any provision of this chapter shall, upon conviction thereof, be sentenced to pay a fine of not more than $600, and/or to imprisonment for a term not to exceed 30 days.[Amended 1-8-2013 by Ord. No. 348]
  2. Any person removing the notice provided for in § 92-6E hereof shall, upon conviction before the Magisterial District Judge, be subject to the same penalties as set forth above.
  3. If the owner, occupant, mortgagee, lessee or any person having an interest in said building, as shown by the land records of the Recorder of Deeds of Perry County, fails to comply with any notice or order to repair, vacate, or demolish any dangerous building within 30 days, the Council is empowered to cause such building or structure to be repaired, vacated or demolished by the Borough and to cause the costs of such repair, vacation or demolition, together with a penalty of 10% to be charged against the land on which the building existed as a municipal lien or to recover such costs in a suit at law against the owner or other such person having an interest in the building; provided, the recovery of such cost and expense, together with the penalty, may be in addition to the penalty imposed in Subsections A and B.[Amended 1-8-2013 by Ord. No. 348]

§ 92-8. Emergency cases.
In cases wherein it reasonably appears that there exists an immediate danger to the life or safety of any person caused or created by a dangerous building as defined herein, the Council shall cause the immediate repair, vacation or demolition of such dangerous building. The cost of such emergency repair, vacation or demolition of such dangerous building shall be collected in the same manner as provided for in § 92-7.