Larry, the point is this: Property codes are chock full of stuff that isn't
enforced BECAUSE its an infringement of the individual rights of the
For instance, local PC requires that driveways be paved. None of us on the
block have paved driveways. The borough attorney has a gravel driveway, etc.
Enforcing that code would be unreasonable to most of those who would come
under its effect.
Fact is, in any example thats been discussed so far, no one has found a
reason beyond, "well, its the law" to claim something is illegal.
Further, most of these things would be termed "nuisances." In a five page
paper, litttered with court citations and case law references, the
Commonwealth of Pennsylvania, through its Local Government Commission,
delineates what is permissible by law to make illegal under the property
code. Again, I have this document in pdf form if you'd like to read it. The
most basic requirements are that the "nuisance" must affect more than just
one person, putting it under the property codes, rather than civil law.
Second, it has to pose a hazard to the public (more than just hte guy next
door) to be something that can be made illegal. Just because a fence is 6'
high doesn't mean its a hazard. Just because a Kenworth is a truck doesn't
make it a hazard.
But, if the Kenworth idles all night long, thats disturbing the peace..... a
criminal code misdemeanor. Not a property code violation.
Property codes are duplicate laws that generally do not follow the
recommendation of the state on such codes. Furthermore, they are randomly
enforced based on complaints from one person, and may not pose a hazard to
the public at all.
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