On October 30, 2015, the Governor approved three bills amending the First Class Township Code and the Incorporated Towns Act.
H.B. 904, now Act 51, amends the First Class Township Code’s section on building and housing regulations and inspectors. The Act consolidates existing township powers to regulate construction, occupancy, and property maintenance. It requires first class townships to adhere to the Pennsylvania Construction Code Act, specifically the Uniform Construction Code, when enacting ordinances related to construction and maintenance, and provides for the appointment of property maintenance inspectors. The Act also allows townships to enforce their own ordinances related to building codes and property maintenance in the event that the PA Construction Code is repealed without replacement or voided by the courts.
Additionally, a pair of bills that amend laws deemed inoperative by the courts were approved. H.B. 906, now Act 52, amends the First Class Township Code’s section on failure of an officer to perform his/her duties and H.B. 910, now Act 53, amends the Incorporated Towns Act’s section on filling vacancies in office. The Acts require that officers may only be removed: 1) if the officer commits an infamous crime or the common law crime of misbehavior in office, 2) if the officer is impeached, or 3) by the Governor if there is reasonable cause. A bill is still under consideration that would make the same amendments to the Second Class Township Code.
If you have questions about how these amendments may affect your municipality, please contact our Municipal Law Group.