Property Maintenance Code
- The exterior of a structure shall be maintained in good repair, structurally sound and sanitary, and not pose a threat to the public health, safety or welfare.
- Owners of property situate in the Township of Abington, whether such property is occupied or vacant, must keep the property reasonably free of weeds, wild honeysuckle, underbrush, cans, bottles or any other refuse or debris which may create or may tend to create a harbor for rats or other hazard to the public health and safety of others. Owners of all such property must keep the grass cut on their premises, including the grass in the sidewalk areas adjoining their premises.
- All premises and exterior property shall be free from weeds or plant growth in excess of 10 inches. Weeds shall be defined as all grasses, annual plants and vegetation, other than trees or shrubs; however, this shall not include cultivated flowers and gardens.
- All fences, retaining walls or similar structures shall be constructed in a workmanlike manner and properly maintained in a state of good repair.
- All accessory structures, including detached garages, sheds, cabanas and swimming pools shall be maintained in structurally sound conditions and in overall good repair.
- Each structure to which a street number has been assigned shall have such number displayed so that it can be easily observed and readable from the public right-of-way.
- Each dwelling must have at least one smoke detector on each floor and a minimum of two smoke detectors per dwelling. Smoke detectors save lives.
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As a property owner, you have certain obligations. Protect your investments and health of the occupants by maintaining your property in good repair.
- Do all repairs in an approved manner, using proper materials in accordance with all applicable codes.
- Keep the exterior of the structure free of broken glass, loose roofing and siding shingles, peeling paint and crumbling stone or bricks.
- Maintain doors and windows, including storm doors and screens, in good working condition. Functional doors and windows may be critical in emergency situations.
- Maintain driveways and walkways in proper states of repair, free of hazardous conditions.
- Maintain property free of rodents and parasites.
- Keep all yards or lots free of unsightly materials, debris, and junk materials which may cause fire hazards or may act as breeding places for vermin and insects.
- Properly dispose of garbage and rubbish in containers with lids. Don't place garbage or trash receptacles at the curb earlier than (1) day prior to scheduled pickup. All containers must be returned to their original storage place within (1) day after pickup.
- Take care of pets. Don't allow pets to run free. Dogs must be leashed at all times when not on the premises of the owner or keeper. Any animal which creates offensive odors, excessive noises, or unsanitary conditions may not be harbored in the Township. Curb your dog, and clean up waste daily.
- Cut and trim all trees, weeds, hedges, shrubbery, and underbrush abutting on the streets or sidewalks. Provide at all times a clear passage of eight (8') feet above the sidewalks and fourteen (14') feet above the street.
- Properly maintain all vehicles. It is against the law to keep or store any vehicle on either a public street or on a private property which is not operable or which does not have a current license plate and/or a current registration.
- Maintain dwelling in a clean and sanitary condition, free of conditions which might encourage rodent infestations.
- Properly dispose of garbage and rubbish in containers with lids.
- Maintain yard in a neat and sanitary manner, free of litter, junk, abandoned/unlicensed vehicles and animal waste.
- Notify owner when repairs are needed and allow reasonable time for owner to complete repairs before contacting township officials.
Frequently Asked Questions
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Q: Am I allowed to grow bamboo on my property? Is my neighbor allowed to grow bamboo on their property?
A: Private property owners are permitted to grow bamboo on their property, under certain conditions. The root structure of bamboo is not permitted to grow within 10 feet of any pavement, sidewalk or public road within the Township. Bamboo is permitted to grow up to the property lines separating private properties, but the bamboo owner is required to contain the bamboo on their property, as outlined in the Township Code.
Q. Can bamboo be contained on my property and if so, how?
A. Yes, bamboo can be contained on your property, but due to the great costs involved in its removal/remediation, it is recommended that you consult an expert for advice.
Q: My neighbor has bamboo on their property that is coming onto my property. What can I do?
A: A property owner may have a private cause of action against a neighboring property owner that allows bamboo to cross onto their property or otherwise fails to properly contain the bamboo on their property. You should consult an attorney to determine your rights regarding bamboo encroaching from your neighbor's property.
Q: Can the Township take care of the bamboo problem on my property or on my neighbor's property?
A: No, the Township can only take care of a bamboo problem if the bamboo is encroaching on public pavement, sidewalk or public road. Bamboo encroaching onto private property from another private property is a dispute between the property owners. The Township can cite the offending property owner under the Township Code, but the property owners are responsible for their own properties.
Q: My neighbor can't afford to take care of the bamboo. What can I do?
A: You are entitled to install the containment methods outlined in the Township Code at your property line at your expense.
Q: My neighbor allowed bamboo to encroach onto my property, and that bamboo has now spread to a neighboring property from my property. Who is responsible?
A: Both you and your neighbor are responsible. While your neighbor should not have allowed bamboo to encroach onto your property, you are responsible for ensuring that the bamboo does not encroach onto other properties from your property.
No vehicle, trailer, watercraft or parts thereof may be parked on the grass or lawn area. Trailers must be currently registered and are limited to a maximum of 18 feet in length and/or 80 inches in width if parked on the street.
Grass and weeds must be maintained below 10 inches in height at all times.
Please contact our animal control officer at 267-536-1590. If it is an emergency dial 9-1-1.
Please contact 267-536-1000 extension 4 to make a report.
The Township does not regulate the maintenance of trees on private property. It is an owner’s responsibility to provide for the safety of trees on his or her property and within the immediate right of way in front of the property. Owners should regularly visually inspect their trees. If a tree appears to be in failing health, have the tree inspected by a certified arborist and follow the arborist’s recommendations.
If a tree loses it limbs or falls, it is the responsibility of the property owner where the debris landed to clean-up the debris. Residents or businesses are encouraged to contact fully insured tree companies to assist in large debris removal. The Township will not remove debris from private property. The Township will only move debris blocking the street. In those circumstances, Public Works will be deployed to the area of concern and move the tree if it is safe to do so. It remains the responsibility of the property owner to discard the debris.
In some circumstances, the tree canopy may cross property lines. It is the right of the neighbor, who may be impacted by dead or damaged limbs on their property line, to trim the tree as long as it does not negatively impact the overall health of the tree. The Township does not have any authority over residential trees, and disputes will need to be resolved amongst the property owners.
PREVENTION: The ISA brochure, “Recognizing Tree Risk,” provides a checklist that property owners can use to identify common tree defects that contribute to tree risk and to understand how tree risk can be managed.
SAFE RESPONSE TO STORM DAMAGE: The ISA brochure, “Safe Response to Tree-Related Storm Damage,” provides a checklist that property owners can use to quickly assess the damages, take safety precautions and hire an arborist.
All vehicles must be currently registered and inspected. No vehicle is permitted to be in a state of disrepair. Please contact 267-536-1000 extension 4 if you would like to make a report.
Please contact one of the Traffic Safety Officers at 267-536-1076 or 267-536-1078 to report.
Property owners are responsible for ensuring upkeep and maintenance of curbs and sidewalks.
Property owners are responsible for the maintenance of any street trees adjoining their property. Trees and other vegetation should be maintained so that there is a minimum of 8’ clearance above the public sidewalk and 14’ of clearance above the roadway.
When trimming your lawn, please remove any grass clippings left in the street and sidewalk area. These clippings if left in the street end up in our storm sewer system, leading to eco pollution in our rivers and waterways.
Dumping of yard waste (including leaves and grass), chemicals, and other items is ILLEGAL! If you see someone putting anything in the storm drains, call the Engineering and Code Department to report it at 267-536-1011.
Unlike pollution from industry or sewage treatment facilities, which is caused by a limited number of sources, stormwater pollution is caused by the daily activities of people everywhere. Concentrated development in urbanized areas substantially increases impervious surfaces, such as streets, driveways and parking lots. These surfaces are the primary collector of pollutants until a rain washes them into nearby storm drains. Many people do not realize that storm drains do not run to treatment plants, they empty directly into our waterways! For this reason, we have been placing "No Dumping" markers on the stormwater inlets throughout the Township. Eventually all of the stormwater runoff from Abington Township ends up in the Schuylkill and Delaware Rivers.
Common pollutants that can be picked up by stormwater include pesticides, fertilizers, oils, salt, litter, and sediment. When left uncontrolled, contaminated stormwater discharges can result in fish kills, destruction of wildlife habitats, and the contamination of drinking water and recreational waterways. Sediment from yard debris and construction sites can cause stream bank erosion, vegetation destruction, and flooding.
The Township's stormwater drainage system is very important for keeping stormwater runoff from flooding roadways and damaging property. The storm drain inlets in the streets are interconnected by piping and eventually discharged to a larger pipe (storm sewer), ditch or to a stream. The storm drain inlets are spaced along roadways with most located at low points of the street in order to efficiently collect rainwater. Residents may help themselves by insuring that the storm drain inlets are free and clear of leaves and other debris prior to a rain storm. Streams and drainage ditches/swales are also conveyors of stormwater runoff. Dumping or raking leaves and other garden debris into these channels hurts the environment and seriously impacts drainage down stream.
This action is prohibited by Township Ordinance and the regulations of the Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection (PADEP). If a storm drain inlet or other stormwater facility is clogged and not accepting runoff, the Public Works Department should be called at 267-536-1033.