1428.01 SHORT TITLE
This chapter shall be known as the Uniform Construction Code Ordinance.
1428.02 ADOPTION OF UNIFORM CONSTRUCTION CODE
(a) The Pennsylvania Construction Code Act, 35 P.S. § 7210.101, et seq., as may in the future be amended, is hereby adopted as the building code of Township of Lawrence Park.
(b) The Township adopts and incorporates by reference those codes recited at 34 Pa. Code § 403.21, as may in the future be amended, as its Construction Code; provided, that the Township does not adopt administrative and enforcement provisions of said codes insofar as such provisions are inconsistent with or conflict with the UCC, regulations at 34 Pa. Code § 401.1, et seq., and this chapter.
(c) The Township adopts by reference regulations governing training and certification, administration and other matters governing implementation of the UCC as adopted by the Department of Labor and Industry, as may in the future be amended.
1428.03 APPLICATION OF CODES AND STANDARDS
Codes adopted by this chapter to govern construction and other regulated activities shall also govern the use, occupancy and condition of buildings and structures following issuance of a UCC certificate of occupancy. The Board of Commissioners shall have authority to designate persons responsible for administration and enforcement of such codes following construction and other activity regulated by the UCC, and such code administration and enforcement personnel shall have all authority to inspect premises, issue notices (including stop work, unsafe building and other orders) and take other actions as are necessary to ensure compliance with standards of said codes.
1428.04 ADDITIONAL CONSTRUCTION STANDARDS
In addition to the standards as set forth in the UCC and codes adopted in Section 1428.01 of this chapter, all construction activity subject to the UCC and this chapter shall further comply with the following requirements:
(a) Design Frost Depth. Use forty-eight inches to the bottom of footing.
(b) Design Snow Load. Use a roof snow load of 40 psf (pounds per square foot) applied as per Section 1608 of the International Building Code.
(c) Design Wind Load. Use values and methodology provided in Section 1609 of the International Building Code for the specific structure type and condition.
(d) Knox Box. A “Knox Box” or box containing a key which will allow for entry by fire department personnel shall be installed outside the main door of a commercial or industrial building.
(e) Table R301.2(1). Table R301.2(1) of the International Residential Code shall be as set forth on Appendix A to Ordinance 455-04.
1428.05 GENERAL APPLICATION OF REGULATIONS
This chapter shall apply to and govern the construction, alteration, repair, movement, equipment, removal, demolition, location, maintenance, occupancy or change of occupancy of every building or structure and to the installation, enlargement, alteration, repair, removal, conversion or replacement of electrical, gas, mechanical, and plumbing systems which occurs on or after the effective date of this chapter and all existing buildings or structures which are not legally occupied. Exceptions to application of the UCC as set forth in the Act and/or administrative regulations shall apply and are incorporated herein by reference.
1428.06 APPLICATION OF OTHER ORDINANCES
This chapter shall not be deemed to modify or amend any other municipal ordinances, including but not limited to the Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance, the Zoning Ordinance and the Stormwater Management Ordinance, except as expressly stated in this chapter or in the UCC. This chapter is intended to apply to and govern construction and other activities which are expressly subject to the UCC and to continuing use, occupancy and maintenance of buildings and structures after issuance of a UCC certificate of occupancy as provided in the adopted codes.
(a) No application for a construction or other UCC permit shall be accepted, nor shall any proposed construction plan be considered for any property in the Township until the applicant has first complied with all other regulations governing the proposed activity, these including but not limited to subdivision, land development, zoning, and stormwater management regulations and required workers’ compensation and liability insurance.
(b) Prior to submitting an application for a construction or other permit under the UCC, the property owner or other qualified applicant shall submit to the Township’s Zoning Administrator an application for a zoning permit on a form prescribed by the Board of Commissioners. A zoning permit shall not be issued unless the application complies with all regulations exclusive of those under this chapter. Any appeal from issuance, denial, suspension or revocation of a zoning permit shall be taken to the Zoning Hearing Board in accordance with provisions of the Zoning Ordinance.
(c) For purposes of this chapter, a zoning permit shall pertain to all regulations in the Zoning Ordinance, Subdivision and Land Development Ordinance, Stormwater Management Ordinance, and other State or Federal Laws, ordinances of the Township or regulations which pertain to the proposed use or activity, excepting only the UCC, this chapter and regulations implementing the UCC.
(d) Upon issuance of a zoning permit for the proposed activity, all construction design, plans and activity shall be conducted in accordance with terms of the issued zoning permit, and with regulations of other Township ordinances and approved subdivision, development and/or stormwater management plans.
(e) Except for those matters which are certified in writing by the Township’s Zoning Administrator not to require issuance of a Township zoning or other permit, no application for UCC construction or other permit shall be accepted nor any permit issued until such Township zoning or other permit has first been issued.
(f) In performance of plan review, inspection and other services required under the UCC, the retained Building Code Official(s) and Construction Code Officials shall ensure that such construction is designed and conducted in strict conformity with the approved zoning permit. Failure to design or perform construction in conformity with the issued zoning permit shall be grounds for issuance of corrective notices, stop work orders and other administrative enforcement measures under the UCC. The retained Building Code Official, in writing, shall notify the Township’s Zoning Administrator immediately upon detecting any violation of an issued zoning permit and/or approved building location in the plans.
(1) Location of building(s) must be in accordance with the issued zoning permit. During a foundation inspection, the Building Code Official shall review and certify compliance with location of buildings and structures as shown on the zoning permit by confirmation of location on a copy of the zoning permit. If such inspection discloses a violation of the zoning permit, the Township’s Zoning Officer shall be notified immediately. In other cases, the Zoning Officer shall be furnished with a copy of the confirmed zoning permit site plan within seven days after the foundation inspection.
(2) No approval of any stage of construction shall be issued where such construction is in violation of or deviates from terms of the issued zoning permit.
(3) No UCC certificate of occupancy shall be issued where the construction is in violation of terms of an issued zoning permit.
(4) The Zoning Administrator and other Township officials responsible for enforcement of regulations other than those in the UCC and this chapter shall retain full authority to enforce such regulations. A stop-work order issued by a Township officer after violation of a regulation subject to the zoning permit shall be communicated to the Building Code Official, who shall suspend work on UCC-related activities for the subject property until such time as the Township certifies that violations of the zoning permit have been corrected.
(5) A UCC certificate of occupancy issued by the retained Building Code Official shall constitute a certification that construction has been performed which meets requirements of the UCC and shall authorize occupancy and use of the constructed improvement(s).
(6) The Building Code Official shall not issue a certificate of occupancy until the Zoning Administrator has confirmed that all requirements of the issued zoning permit have been fully complied with.
(7) Within five business days after receipt of notice from the Building Code Official that it has completed final inspection and aside from requirements of the zoning permit, is able to issue a UCC certificate of occupancy, the Zoning Administrator shall determine whether all requirements in the zoning permit and other Township ordinances have been complied with and either authorize the Building Code Official to issue the certificate of occupancy if requirements of the zoning permit have been satisfied or advise the Building Code Official and the applicant in writing of those measures which must be taken for a certificate of occupancy to be issued.
(g) Where an application for a permit pertains only to the installation, repair, removal, maintenance or alteration of equipment, does not involve or pertain to construction activity requiring a building permit, and further does not involve construction activity other than to the interior of a building or structure, a change of use of the building or property and/or activity which would require subdivision, land development or stormwater management regulation, an application for zoning permit shall not be required prior to receipt of and action on a UCC permit. This exception shall be strictly construed and is not intended to apply when such activities are conducted in circumstances that do involve local regulations.
1428.07 UCC ADMINISTRATION SERVICES
All services pertaining to review and approval of construction plans, UCC applications for permits, inspection of construction, consideration of requests for variances or extensions of time under the UCC, administrative enforcement of the UCC and this chapter, issuance of a UCC certificate of occupancy, notices to the Township’s Zoning Administrator and representation n proceedings before the Board of Appeals and, as witness(es) in civil or criminal enforcement proceedings prosecuted by the Township shall be performed by the Building Code Official(s), Construction Code Official(s) and other persons employed or contracted by the firm retained by the Township under written contract to provide such services. The Township shall not perform any such services itself or through its employees.
1428.08 MUNICIPAL FEES, FORMS AND PROCEDURES
The Board of Commissioners, by resolution, is authorized to establish and amend fees and deposits for services provided by the Township in the administration of this chapter and matters relating to applications submitted and permits or certificates issued pursuant to this chapter, and is authorized to specify the time period(s) by which such fees or deposits shall be paid. The Board of Commissioners, by resolution, is authorized to adopt forms for use in administration and enforcement of this chapter and to establish and amend rules, regulations and procedures to implement this chapter.
(a) Permits for approval of construction under the UCC shall be on such form(s) as are adopted for use by the Board of Commissioners, as may in the future be amended.
(b) Except as expressly authorized in the UCC or in the administrative regulations governing its implementation, no construction or other activity regulated by the UCC shall be conducted or commenced without a permit therefor first being issued.
(c) A construction permit shall be valid for a period of one year from the date of issuance, provided that construction shall commence within six months after the date of issuance. Upon written request and with good cause shown prior to the deadline for commencement of construction, the Building Code Official in his/her discretion may extend the deadline for commencement of construction for a period not exceeding six months. Upon written request and with good cause shown prior to expiration of a permit’s term, the Board of Commissioners in its discretion may extend the validity of a permit for a period not to exceed one year.
(1) An applicant’s application for a permit prior to the applicant’s being prepared to commence construction shall not constitute good cause.
(2) The Board of Commissioners shall have exclusive authority over requests for extension as to permits issued prior to the effective date of this chapter.
(d) Permits, applications for permits and actions on permits pertaining solely to repair or replacement of equipment shall be administered as set forth at 34 Pa. Code § 403.1, et seq., as may in the future be amended.
1428.09 FEES FOR UCC PLAN REVIEW, INSPECTIONS AND CERTIFICATIONS
Fees for review and approval of construction plans, inspections, certifications and other services by a third-party firm retained by the Township which are required under the UCC and this chapter with respect to regulated construction activity shall be as established in contract(s) entered into between the Township and such firm(s). Such retained firm(s) shall further be entitled to assess fees for additional services (including meetings, additional inspections, proceedings, copies, etc.) required or requested as to particular matters, as authorized by Resolution adopted by the Board of Commissioners.
The Board of Commissioners by Resolution is authorized to require payment by applicants of deposits to be applied to payment of fees as incurred by the Township and/or the firm(s) retained by the Township for performance of services required by the UCC and this chapter. Deposit payments in excess of final fees shall be refunded to the payor upon issuance of the final certificate required by the retained firm(s) or the Township, as is applicable.
(a) Deposits payable to the Township shall be held by the Treasurer in an interest-bearing account restricted to use for payment of fees imposed for services provided by the Township. Interest on such funds shall be retained by the Township.
(b) Deposits payable to the firm(s) retained by the Township for performance of duties under the UCC shall be payable to said firm(s) and shall be retained by said firm(s) for that specific purpose. Said firm(s) shall be obligated to account to the payor for disposition of said sums. No application for UCC construction permit shall be accepted unless accompanied by payment of the required deposit or fees.
1428.11 PROMPT PAYMENT OF FEES AND DEPOSITS REQUIRED
All fees and deposits imposed or required by Resolution adopted by the Board of Commissioners and/or under contract with the firm(s) retained by the Township to perform services required by the UCC and this chapter shall be payable in full to the proper entity by the date(s) set forth in such Resolution(s) and contract.
(a) No application for a permit, certificate or other service to be provided by the Township shall be accepted unless all fees and deposits required therefor are paid with the application or other request.
(b) No application for UCC construction permit or construction plan approval shall be accepted or referred to the retained firm(s) unless all fees and deposits required therefor are paid with such application.
(c) If an initial deposit fund has been or soon will be exhausted, the Township’s Zoning Administrator or the retained firm(s), as the case may be, shall have authority to require that the applicant pay one or more additional deposits toward fees for additional services.
(d) If a fee or deposit due under this chapter, Resolution of the Board of Commissioners or contract with retained firm(s) is not paid in full by the date required therefor, the Township or the retained firm, as the case may be, shall not perform any inspection, review or other service and shall not issue any permit, report or certificate until such time as the required fee or deposit has been paid in full.
1428.12 INTER-MUNICIPAL AGREEMENT
The Board of Commissioners is authorized to enter into one or more inter-municipal agreements with other municipalities in Erie County, to provide for enactment of consistent ordinances implementing, administering and enforcing the UCC and for retention by said municipalities of one or more firm(s) to provide plan review, inspection and administrative enforcement services required under the Act and this chapter.
1428.13 BOARD OF APPEALS
The joint Board of Appeals as established by the Erie County Association of Township Officials is hereby appointed to hear appeals from decisions of the Building Code Official and/or Construction Code Official, along with requests for variances and such other matters as would be heard by a Board of Appeals pursuant to the Pennsylvania Construction Code Act.
1428.14 APPEALS TO BOARD OF APPEALS
(a) Requests for variance from or for extension of time as to regulations of the UCC shall initially be submitted to the Building Code or Construction Code Official retained by the Township, who shall make a determination with due regard for requirements and objectives of the UCC.
(b) An owner or agent of the owner may appeal from the decision of the Building Code or Construction Code Official on a request for variance or request for extension of time or other matter subject to the UCC by filing a petition with the Township on the approved appeal form then currently utilized by the ECATO UCC Board.
(c) The postmark date or date of personal service shall establish the filing date of the appeal and request for variance or extension of time.
(d) An appeal or request for variance or extension of time to the Board of Appeals shall automatically suspend an action to enforce an order to correct until the matter is resolved; provided, that such appeal shall not constitute any basis for the appellant’s continuation of unlawful construction or any excuse therefor.
(e) An action pertaining to an unsafe building, structure or equipment or any other matter subject to the Building Code Official’s authority at 34 Pa. Code §§ 403.81 through 403.84 shall not be stayed by virtue of an appeal.
1428.15 ACTION ON APPEALS
All appeals shall be conducted by the ECATO UCC Board in accordance with the Bylaws of the Board, as adopted and amended from time to time.
1428.16 FEES FOR APPEALS
The Board of Commissioners by resolution shall impose fees for appeals. Such fees shall be paid contemporaneously with submission of an appeal petition.
1428.17 CIVIL AND CRIMINAL ENFORCEMENT ACTIONS
(a) Actions to enforce the UCC and/or this chapter and actions to enjoin unlawful construction or activities or compel action to remedy violations brought in the District Justice Court or Court of Common Pleas of Erie County shall be instituted and prosecuted in the name of the Township. The Building Code Official retained by the Township under contract shall assume responsibility for and assist in prosecution of such actions, including but not limited to filing of complaints and providing testimonial and documentary evidence. If the Township is required to commence an action for enforcement of this chapter or for other relief in equity or at law as a consequence of a violation, the Township’s Zoning Administrator and Solicitor are authorized to prosecute said actions, and the Township, in addition to fines for violation and other relief, shall be entitled to recover from the violator all costs and all attorney’s fees incurred in the proceeding, in accordance with 53 P.S. § 1601 and other ordinances of the Township. The Township’s remedies shall be deemed to be cumulative. Election of one remedy shall not foreclose any alternative remedy.
(b) This section is not intended to modify provisions of the administrative regulations at 34 Pa. Code §§ 403.1 and 403.81-403.84, pertaining to authority of the Building Code Official.
1428.18 LIABILITY OF MUNICIPAL OFFICIALS
Municipal code, zoning and other municipal officers or employees charged with the civil or criminal enforcement of this Code, while acting for the municipality and within the scope of their employment, shall not thereby be rendered liable personally, and are hereby relieved from all personal liability for any damage accruing to persons or property as a result of an act required or permitted in the discharge of official duties.
1428.19 LIABILITY OF RETAINED BUILDING CODE AND CONSTRUCTION CODE OFFICIALS
Building Code Officials and Construction Code Officials (including inspectors) charged with administration and administrative enforcement of this Code, while acting for the retained firm(s) under contract with the Township and within the scope of their employment, shall not thereby be rendered liable personally, and are hereby relieved from personal liability for any damage accruing to persons or property as a result of an act required or permitted in the discharge of such duties.
1428.20 LIABILITY OF TOWNSHIP AND BUILDING CODE OFFICIAL
Notwithstanding the foregoing, the Township shall not be liable for claims, actions, actions or causes of action, demands or expenses of any nature whatsoever arising from performance of plan review, inspection, administration, administrative enforcement, issuance of inspection reports or UCC occupancy certificates or other matters within the scope of duties of the firms retained by the Township for performance of such services. All contracts with firms or persons for performance of such services shall specify that such persons or firms shall be independent contractors solely responsible for the proper performance of such services, and that such retained persons or firms shall hold the Township harmless against and indemnify the Township for any and all claims, actions, actions or causes of action, demands or expenses of any nature whatsoever arising from performance of plan review, inspection, administration, administrative enforcement, issuance of inspection reports or UCC occupancy certificates or other matters performed under contract with the Township.
1428.21 ENFORCEMENT OF OTHER ORDINANCES
This chapter is not intended and shall not be interpreted to amend or limit the Township’s authority to administer and enforce other ordinances governing development, land use or stormwater management. In the event of a violation of any other Township ordinance in connection with development of land, construction or use which pertains to matters other than construction standards governed by the UCC, the Township shall have full authority to enforce such other ordinances without regard to the owner’s compliance with the UCC. Where authorized by such other ordinances, the Township shall issue stop work, cease and desist and other orders necessary to ensure compliance with other regulations, such orders to control when in conflict with regulations of the UCC and this chapter.
1428.22 REPORTS BY RETAINED CONSTRUCTION OFFICIALS
The persons or firms retained by the Township under contract to provide services under the UCC and this chapter shall retain for the Township and as property of the Township all documents received and generated in performance of its duties, and shall provide to the Zoning Administrator such reports and documents as are required in the contracts, these to include at a minimum:
(a) Written certification of approval of construction plan.
(b) Copy of site plan after foundation inspection certifying location of all buildings.
(c) Monthly report of inspections conducted.
(d) Weekly reports of building activity.
(e) Decisions of Board of Appeals pertaining to the municipality.
(f) UCC Certificate of Occupancy.
1428.23 COORDINATION WITH OTHER INSPECTIONS
The Building Code Officials and Construction Code Officials retained under contract with the Township shall not be obligated to perform inspections of construction of improvements other than are subject to the UCC and additional standards of this chapter. Said retained officials shall, however, provide to the Township, water and sewer authorities and other entities responsible for regulating construction of improvements or connections to water and sewer lines such notices of schedule inspections and construction status as is deemed necessary by the Township to put such other entities on notice so that they may inspect matters subject to their authority in timely fashion as construction activities proceed.
If any section, subsection, sentence, clause, phrase or portion of this chapter or its application to any person, property or circumstances is for any reason held invalid or unconstitutional by any court, such holding shall not be construed to affect the validity of any of the remaining provisions of this chapter or its application, for such portion shall be deemed as a separate, distinct and independent provision from the remaining provisions which shall be and remain in full force and effect. It is declared the legislative intent that this chapter would have been adopted had such valid or unconstitutional provision or its application not been included herein.
All ordinances or parts of any ordinances inconsistent herewith are hereby repealed as of a date sixty days after the Uniform Construction Code in its entirety takes effect.
1428.26 EFFECTIVE DATE
This chapter shall be effective immediately upon its enactment. As this chapter is enacted to adopt the Uniform Construction Code, which is to become effective in its entirety as set forth in Act 1999-45, this chapter shall take effect and all ordinances or parts of ordinances inconsistent with this chapter shall be repealed as of a date sixty days after the date on which the Uniform Construction Code in its entirety takes effect.
(a) Any person or entity committing any acts prohibited herein (or in the Uniform Construction Code as adopted by this ordinance) shall violate this ordinance and commit a summary offense.
(b) Each day that a violation continues shall be considered a separate violation.
(c) Violators shall be responsible for all costs incurred by the Township, including reasonable attorney’s fees.
(d) A fine in an amount not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000) per violation and per day of violation is hereby prescribed for violations of this chapter. The fine for violations which involve failure or refusal to comply with orders or directives of the Building Code Official shall be in an amount not less than five hundred dollars ($500) and not more than one thousand dollars ($1,000) per violation and per day of violation.
(e) Upon conviction, any person violating any provision of this chapter shall be sentenced to pay fines as prescribed in subsection (d) above, plus costs and with all attorneys’ fees incurred by the Township in the proceeding.