MapLink™ | Procedures | Enforcement; Violations and Penalties; Remediation

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Enforcement; Violations and Penalties; Remediation
A. Compliance. Failure to comply with any provision of this chapter; failure to secure or comply with a decision of the Council or Zoning Hearing Board; or the failure to secure a permit, when required, prior to or (when ordered) after the erection, construction, extension, or addition to a building, or prior to or after the use or change of use of land; or failure to secure a certificate of use permit shall be violations of this chapter.

B. Complaints. Whenever a violation of this chapter occurs, any person may file a complaint in regard thereto. All such complaints must be in writing and shall be filed with the Zoning Officer, who shall record receipt of the said complaint and investigate and report thereon.

C. Enforcement notice. When written notice of a violation of any of the provisions of this chapter is served by the Zoning Officer, personally or by certified mail, in the manner prescribed by Section 616.1 of the MPC and set forth in this Subsection C, such violation shall be discontinued or corrected as set forth in said notice.
(1) If it appears to the Borough that a violation of this chapter has occurred, the Borough shall initiate enforcement proceedings by sending an enforcement notice as provided in this Subsection C(2), below.
(2) The enforcement notice shall be sent to the owner of record of the parcel on which the violation has occurred, to any person who has filed a written request to receive enforcement notices regarding that parcel, and to any other person requested in writing by the owner of record.
(3) An enforcement notice shall state at least the following:
(a) The name of the owner of record and any other person against whom the municipality intends to take action.
(b) The location of the property in violation.
(c) The specific violation with a description of the requirements which have not been met, citing in each instance the applicable provisions of the ordinance.
(d) The date before which the steps for compliance must be commenced and the date before which the steps must be completed.
(e) That the recipient of the notice has the right to appeal to the Zoning Hearing Board within a prescribed period of time in accordance with procedures set forth in this chapter.
(f) That failure to comply with the notice within the time specified, unless extended by appeal to the Zoning Hearing Board, constitutes a violation, with possible sanctions clearly described.
(4) In any appeal of an enforcement notice to the Zoning Hearing Board, the Borough shall have the responsibility of presenting its evidence first.
(5) Any filing fee paid by a party to appeal an enforcement notice to the Zoning Hearing Board shall be returned to the appealing party by the Borough if the Zoning Hearing Board, or any court in a subsequent appeal, rules in the appealing party's favor.

Violations and penalties; remedies.
A. Causes of action. In case any building, structure, landscaping, or land is, or is proposed to be, erected, constructed, reconstructed, altered, converted, maintained or used in violation of any provisions of this chapter, the Council or, with the approval of the Council, an officer of the Borough, or any aggrieved owner or tenant of real property who shows that his property or person will be substantially affected by the alleged violation, in addition to other remedies, may institute any appropriate action or proceeding to prevent, restrain, correct or abate such building, structure, landscaping, or land, or to prevent, in or about such premises, any act, conduct, business or use constituting a violation. When any such action is instituted by a landowner or tenant, notice of that action shall be served upon the Borough at least 30 days prior to the time the action is begun by serving a copy of the complaint on the Council. No such action may be maintained until such notice has been given.

B. Enforcement remedies.
(1) Any person, partnership or corporation who or which has violated or permitted the violation of any of the provisions of this chapter shall, upon being found liable therefor in a civil enforcement proceeding commenced by the Borough, pay a judgment of not more than $500 (state law) plus all court costs, including reasonable attorney fees incurred by the Borough as a result thereof. No judgment shall commence or be imposed, levied or payable until the date of the determination of a violation by the District Justice. If the defendant neither pays nor timely appeals the judgment, the Borough may enforce the judgment pursuant to the applicable rules of civil procedure. Each day that a violation continues shall constitute a separate violation, unless the District Justice determining that there has been a violation further determines that there was a good-faith basis for the person, partnership or corporation violating this chapter to have believed that there was no such violation, in which event there shall be deemed to have been only one such violation until the fifth day following the date of the determination of a violation by the District Justice, and thereafter each day that a violation continues shall constitute a separate violation.
(2) The Court of Common Pleas, upon petition, may grant an order of stay, upon cause shown, tolling the per diem fine pending a final adjudication of the violation and judgment.
(3) Nothing contained in this section shall be construed or interpreted to grant to any person or entity other than the Borough the right to commence any action for enforcement pursuant to this section.