1444.01     DUTIES OF CODE ENFORCEMENT OFFICER

The Code Enforcement Officer shall:

(a)        Make, or cause to be made, all inspections of dwellings, dwelling units, rooming houses, rooming units and other premises in the Township and determine the conditions thereof, and whether or not there exists a violation of any provision of this Housing Code, or any rule or regulation issued thereunder.  Such inspections shall be coordinated with other inspection services of the Township.

(b)       Issue a notice for the person or persons responsible for compliance under this Housing Code of any alleged violation of any provision of this Housing Code, or any rule or regulation issued hereunder, in accordance with the provisions of Section 1444.04.

(c)        Issue rooming house permits in compliance with this Housing Code as are required under Section 1448.08 and issue rental unit licenses as are required under Section 1448.085.

(d)       Report to the Board of Township Commissioners any noncompliance with the notice provided for in subsection (b) hereof.

(e)        Appear at all hearings conducted by the Board of Township Commissioners and testify as to the compliance or violation of any dwelling, dwelling unit, rooming house and/or rooming unit in the Township with this Housing Code.

(f)        Placard any dwelling unfit for human habitation, as defined in this Housing Code.

(g)       At the end of each calendar year, submit a written report to the Board of Township Commissions on the procedures used in the administration of this Housing Code, the number of violations found and notices issued, rooming house permits issued and the results of inspections or surveys made by him/her with recommendations for further action.

1444.02     DUTIES OF BOARD OF TOWNSHIP COMMISSIONERS

The Board of Township Commissioners shall:

(a)        Upon receipt of a report by the Code Enforcement Officer, as provided for in Section 1444.01(d), or upon written request for a hearing by any person receiving such notice as provided in Section 1444.01(b), supported by affidavits as to the facts, upon a form to be provided by the Code Enforcement Officer, give notice to the person or persons responsible for compliance with this Housing Code to appear before the Board on the date specified in the notice to show cause why the dwelling, dwelling unit, rooming house or rooming unit reported to be in violation with this Housing Code should not be put in a sanitary condition, repaired, vacated or demolished, or otherwise brought into compliance, or why a rooming house permit as required in Section 1448.08 or rental unit license as required in Section 1448.085 should be denied, suspended or revoked, both or either in accordance with a statement of particulars set forth in the Code Enforcement Officer’s notice provided for in Section 1444.01(b).

(b)       Hold a hearing and hear such testimony as the Code Enforcement Officer or any person having an interest in said dwelling, dwelling unit, rooming house or rooming unit shall offer relative to it.  For the purpose of conducting such hearing, the Board of Township Commissioners may require the attendance, testimony, report and/or recommendation of others concerning the subject matter of said hearing.

(c)        Make written findings of fact from the testimony offered pursuant to subsection (b) hereof as to whether or not the dwelling, dwelling unit, rooming house or rooming unit is in violation with this Housing Code.

(d)       Issue an order based upon findings of fact made pursuant to subsection (c) hereof commanding the person or persons responsible for compliance with this Housing Code to put in a sanitary condition, repair, vacate, demolish or otherwise bring into compliance, any dwelling unit, rooming house or rooming unit, within such reasonable time which shall be not less than ten days and not more than ninety days as the Board of Township Commissioners may determine necessary under the circumstances of the case.  Such order shall also notify the person or persons responsible for compliance with this Housing Code that, in default of such action by the persons responsible, the Township may proceed to perform such work, repair, vacation or demolition and collect the costs thereof in accordance with paragraph (f)(2) hereof.

(e)        Deny or issue an order suspending or revoking any rooming house permit required in Section 1448.08 or rental unit license required in Section 1448.085 based upon findings of fact made pursuant to subsection (c) hereof.

(f)        If the person or persons responsible fails to comply with the order provided for in subsection (d) hereof or fails to cease operation of any rooming house for which the rooming house permit has been denied, suspended or revoked as provided for in subsection (e) hereof, within the time specified by the Board of Township Commissioners, the Board of Township Commissioners shall:

(1)        Institute prosecution before any District Justice or Court of Common Pleas against any persons not complying with the order provided for in subsection (d) or subsection (e) hereof; and

(2)        In such case as the circumstances warrant, at the discretion of the Board of Township Commissioners, issue an order to the Code Enforcement Officer to cause such dwelling, dwelling unit, rooming house or rooming unit to be put in a sanitary condition, repaired, vacated or demolished, as the facts may warrant, in accordance with the standards of this Housing Code, and with the assistance of the Township Solicitor cause the costs of such work, repair, vacation or demolition to be charged against the land on which the dwelling, dwelling unit, rooming house or rooming unit existed, as a Municipal lien, or to be recovered in a suit at law against the person or persons responsible for compliance with this Housing Code.

1444.03     RIGHT OF ENTRY

In order to carry out the purpose and provisions of this Housing Code, the Code Enforcement Officer, or his/her agent, upon showing proper identification of office, may enter, examine, survey and inspect any dwelling, dwelling unit, rooming unit and premises on any weekday between the hours of 9:00 AM and 5:00 PM, and in an emergency at any time.  The owner, operator, or occupant of every dwelling, dwelling unit, rooming house, rooming unit and premises shall give the Code Enforcement Officer or his/her agent free access for the purpose of such inspection, examination and survey.

1444.04     NOTICE OF VIOLATION

(a)        Whenever the Code Enforcement Officer determines that there has been a violation of any provision of this Housing Code, he/she shall give notice of the alleged violation in the manner provided in this section to the person or persons responsible for compliance under this Housing Code.

(b)       The notice shall:

(1)        Be in writing;

(2)        Include a detailed statement of the reasons why it is being issued;

(3)        Specify a reasonable time not exceeding thirty days for the performance of any act it requires; and

(4)        Inform the person or persons responsible for compliance of his or her right of a hearing as to whether or not he/she is in violation of the provisions of this Housing Code.

(c)        The notice shall be served upon the person responsible:

(1)        By handing a copy to him or her personally, or by handing a copy to an adult member of his/her family at his/her place of residence;

(2)        If service cannot be accomplished in the manner provided in paragraph (c)(1) hereof, by sending a copy to his/her last known address by certified mail, postage prepaid, accompanied with a request for return receipt;

(3)        If service cannot be accomplished in the manner provided in paragraph (c)(2) hereof, by posting a copy in a conspicuous public place in or about the dwelling, dwelling unit, rooming house or rooming unit affected by such notice.

(d)       The unauthorized removal of any notice or order posted in accordance with this section or any other section of this Housing Code shall constitute a violation of this Housing Code.

1444.05     APPEALS

(a)        Appeals from the decision of the Code Enforcement Officer may be made to the Lawrence Park Township Board of Commissioners by any person aggrieved or by any officer, department, board or bureau of the Township affected by any decision of the Code Enforcement Officer.  Such appeal shall be taken within ten days of the date of service of the notice of violation by filing with the Code Enforcement Officer and with the Lawrence Park Township Commissioners, a notice of appeal specifying the grounds therefor.  The Code Enforcement Officer shall forthwith transmit to the Lawrence Park Township Board of Commissioners all papers constituting the record upon which the action appealed from was taken.

(b)       The Lawrence Park Township Board of Commissioners shall hear and decide appeals from and review any order, requirement, decision or determination made by the Code Enforcement Officer in the enforcement or application of this Housing Code, and upon such appeal may, in accordance with the provisions of this Housing Code, reverse or affirm, wholly or partly, or modify, any such order, requirement, decision or determination.  The Lawrence Park Township Board of Commissioners shall fix a reasonable time for hearing the appeal and shall give due notice to the parties in interest.  Any party may appear at the hearing in person, or by his/her agent or attorney.

(c)        An appeal to the Lawrence Park Township Board of Commissioners shall stay all proceedings in furtherance of the action appealed from, unless the officer from whom the appeal is taken certifies to the Lawrence Park Township Board of Commissioners, after the notice of appeal has been filed with him/her, that in his/her opinion and by reason of facts which he/she shall specify therein, a stay would cause imminent peril to life and property.  Upon such a certification, proceedings shall not be stayed, otherwise than by a restraining order granted by the Lawrence Park Township Board of Commissioners or by a court of record after notice to the officer appealed from and due cause shown.

1444.06     VIOLATIONS

No person shall violate any provision of this Housing Code or any rule or regulation adopted pursuant thereto.  The penalty provided in Section 1444.99 is in addition to any other remedies provided by this Housing Code.

1444.99     PENALTY

Any person who shall violate any provision of this Housing Code, or any rule or regulation adopted pursuant thereto, shall, upon conviction thereof, be sentenced to pay a fine of not less than one hundred dollars ($100.00) nor more than six hundred dollars ($600.00) and cost of prosecution, or, in default of payment of such fine and costs, to undergo imprisonment for not more than thirty days.