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(a) Adoption of ordinance.--
(1) In order to administer and enforce the provisions of this act, municipalities shall enact an ordinance concurrently adopting the current Uniform Construction Code as their municipal building code and the current International Fuel Gas Code for the purposes described in section 102 1. Municipalities may adopt the Uniform Construction Code and incorporated codes and the International Fuel Gas Code by reference.
(2) Municipalities shall have 90 days after the promulgation of regulations under section 301 2 to adopt such an ordinance. Municipalities shall notify the department of the adoption of such an ordinance within 30 days. A municipality may adopt such an ordinance at any time thereafter, upon giving the department 180 days' notice of its intention to adopt such ordinance.
(a.1) Counties of the second class.--Notwithstanding the provisions of subsection (a), a municipality located within a county of the second class shall not administer and enforce plumbing code provisions of an ordinance adopting the Uniform Construction Code and incorporated codes for the purposes of section 102. A county of the second class that has adopted a plumbing code and accompanying rules and regulations pursuant to the act of August 24, 1951 (P.L. 1304, No. 315), 3 known as the Local Health Administration Law, shall retain the authority to promulgate and enforce such plumbing code and to make such changes as it deems necessary, provided that such changes meet the minimum requirements as defined in the Uniform Construction Code.
(b) Municipal administration and enforcement.--This act may be administered and enforced by municipalities in any of the following ways:
(1) By the designation of an employee to serve as the municipal code official to act on behalf of the municipality for administration and enforcement of this act.
(2) By the retention of one or more construction code officials or third-party agencies to act on behalf of the municipality for administration and enforcement of this act.
(3) Two or more municipalities may provide for the joint administration and enforcement of this act through an intermunicipal agreement under 53 Pa.C.S. Ch. 23 Subch. A (relating to intergovernmental cooperation).
(4) By entering into a contract with the proper authorities of another municipality for the administration and enforcement of this act. When such a contract has been entered into, the municipal code official shall have all the powers and authority conferred by law in the municipality which has contracted to secure such services.
(5) By entering into an agreement with the department for plan reviews, inspections and enforcement of structures other than one-family or two-family dwelling units and utility and miscellaneous use structures.
(c) Board of appeals.--
(1) A municipality which has adopted an ordinance for the administration and enforcement of this act or municipalities which are parties to an agreement for the joint administration and enforcement of this act shall establish or designate a board of appeals as provided by regulations promulgated by the department to hear appeals from decisions of the code administrator. Members of the municipality's governing body may not serve as members of the board of appeals. A municipality may establish a board of appeals or may establish or designate a joint board of appeals in accordance with 53 Pa.C.S. Ch. 23 Subch. A (relating to intergovernmental cooperation).
(2) An application for appeal shall be based on a claim that the true intent of this act or regulations legally adopted under this act have been incorrectly interpreted, the provisions of this act do not fully apply or an equivalent form of construction is to be used.
(3) When a municipality cannot find persons to serve on a board of appeals who meet the minimum qualifications established by the department, the municipality may fill a position on the board with a qualified person who resides outside of the municipality.
(4) The fee for an appeal to the Board of Appeals for a municipality that is administering and enforcing this act shall not exceed actual costs of the public notice of the hearing, appearance fee for the court reporter and administrative fees as necessary.
(5) In the case of an appeal or request for variance or extension of time involving the construction of a one-family or two-family residential building, the board of appeals shall convene a hearing within 30 days of the appeal. The Board of Appeals shall render a written decision to the parties within five business days, or within ten business days in cities of the first class, of the last hearing. If the board of appeals fails to act within the time period under this paragraph, the appeal shall be deemed granted.
(d) Registration.--Nothing in this act shall allow a municipality to prohibit a construction code official who meets the requirements of Chapter 7 and remains in good standing from performing inspections in the municipality. This section does not alter the power and duties given to municipalities under subsection (b)(1), (3) and (4).
(e) Nonmunicipal administration.--
(1) In municipalities which have not adopted an ordinance for the administration and enforcement of this act, it shall be the duty of the municipality to notify an applicant for a construction permit that it shall be the responsibility of the permit applicant of one-family or two-family dwelling units and utility and miscellaneous use structures to obtain the services of a construction code official or third-party agency with appropriate categories of certification to conduct the plan review and inspections. For one-family and two-family dwelling units and utility and miscellaneous use structures, all of the following five inspections shall be required:
(i) Foundation inspection.
(ii) Plumbing, mechanical and electrical inspection.
(iii) Frame and masonry inspection.
(iv) Wallboard inspection.
(v) Final inspection. The final inspection shall not be deemed approved until all previous inspections have been successfully completed and passed.
(2) In municipalities which have not adopted an ordinance for the administration and enforcement of this act, it shall be the duty of the municipality to notify the department and an applicant for a construction permit that it shall be the responsibility of the owner of structures other than one-family or two-family dwelling units and utility and miscellaneous use structures to obtain the services of the department or a third-party agency with appropriate categories of certification under contract to the department to conduct the plan review and inspections required by this act.
(3) A copy of the final inspection report shall be sent to the property owner and to the builder and to a lender designated by the builder.
(4) In municipalities which require a building permit or a certificate of occupancy but do not conduct inspections, the code administrator shall also be required to submit a copy of the report to the municipality. No certificate of occupancy shall be issued for a building unless it meets all of the applicable accessibility provisions of the Uniform Construction Code or has been granted a variance for the requirements it does not meet. A certificate of partial occupancy may be issued if the space to be occupied complies with the accessibility requirements contained in the Uniform Construction Code unless a variance for the space has been obtained in accordance with this act.
(f) Private right of action.--
(1) In relation to complaints arising out of Chapter 11 (Accessibility) of the Uniform Construction Code, any individual, partnership, agency, association or corporation who reasonably believes there is a violation of the accessibility provisions of this act and its regulations by a governmental entity or private owner may file a complaint with the body responsible for enforcement of the Uniform Construction Code. The complaint shall be in writing, shall be verified and shall set forth the grounds for the complaint. Within 60 days after the receipt of the complaint, the code enforcement body shall respond to the complaint by acknowledging receipt of the complaint in writing. The enforcement body shall investigate the complaint and respond to the complainant in writing with its findings, determinations and any enforcement measures initiated or contemplated within 120 days after the receipt of the complaint. For the purpose of investigating a complaint, an employee of the enforcement organization may inspect at reasonable times the building or building site which is the subject of the complaint and may make any additional investigation deemed necessary for the full and effective determination of compliance with this act and regulations promulgated pursuant to it.
(2) Any individual, partnership, agency, association or corporation aggrieved by a final determination of the enforcement agency of a complaint filed pursuant to paragraph (1) hereof may file a petition for review within 30 days of the final determination in the Commonwealth Court pursuant to 42 Pa.C.S. § 763(a) (relating to direct appeals from government agencies). The decision of the enforcement agency shall not be reversed unless it is found to be arbitrary, capricious, illegal or not supported by substantial evidence.
(3)(i) Any individual, partnership, agency, association or corporation who filed a complaint pursuant to paragraph (1) and received no written response from the enforcement agency acknowledging receipt of its complaint within 60 days or received a response from the enforcement agency indicating that a violation was found but enforcement measures were not contemplated or enforcement measures were contemplated but such measures were not initiated after a period of 60 days from said response may bring a civil action in the appropriate court of common pleas against the agency for failure to enforce the provisions of this act and the regulations promulgated thereto or a building owner or owner's agent for a violation of any provisions of this act or regulations promulgated pursuant to it.
(ii) If the court finds a violation of this act or of regulations adopted pursuant to it, the court may enjoin construction or remodeling of the building, direct the correction of violations within a reasonable and specified time period or order such other relief deemed appropriate. The court, in issuing any final orders in any action brought pursuant to this section, may award costs of litigation, attorney and expert witness fees to any party whenever the court determines such an award is appropriate. The court may, if a temporary restraining order or preliminary injunction is sought, require the filing of a bond or equivalent security in accordance with the rules of civil procedure.
(iii) An architect or licensed design professional who has complied with the provisions of this act and its regulations and prepared construction documents in accordance with accepted professional standards shall have no further liability pursuant to litigation commenced under this section.
(g) Technical assistance to municipalities.--The Governor's Center for Local Government Services in the Department of Community and Economic Development shall be the principal agency for developing and providing technical assistance to municipalities for implementing, administrating and enforcing the provisions of this act.
(h) Interpretation of Uniform Construction Code.--In interpreting a provision of a code adopted by regulation of the department as part of the Uniform Construction Code, a construction code official, a board of appeal and a court shall consider and may rely upon relevant written interpretations of the ICC or any organization whose referenced standard is relevant and listed in the Uniform Construction Code, or the regulations promulgated under this act or any municipal construction code ordinance.
Cite this article: FindLaw.com - Pennsylvania Statutes Title 35 P.S. Health and Safety § 7210.501. Administration and enforcement - last updated January 01, 2019 | https://codes.findlaw.com/pa/title-35-ps-health-and-safety/pa-st-sect-35-7210-501/
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