Pennsylvania Second Class Township Code

Article 16, Section 1601, Ordinances

53 P.S. 66601.



(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 All proposed ordinances, whether original, amended, repealed, revised, consolidated or codified, shall be published not more than sixty days nor less than en days before passage at least once in one newspaper circulating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. 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. 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.

(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.

(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 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 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 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 cornmon 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.