Marple Township, PA, moves to minimize vacant property troubles with registry


Marple Township, PA: An unanimous vote to create a vacant property registration ordinance came from the township commissioners in order to get a handle on growing discontent due to vacant and abandoned properties.


The ordinance applies to any building vacant for at least 30 days. Each building identified and notified must include street address and parcel number, relevant paperwork, and names and addresses of all owners. If none of the owners have a listed address in Pennsylvania, the name and address of a caretaker that lives in-state and has been designated as the responsible party for all instances pertaining to the property must be included.


 “A one-time, six (6) month waiver of the fee may be granted by the Board of Commissioners upon application of the owner and upon review and advice of the Township Code Enforcement Officials within 15 calendar days of the date of the bill for registration fee,” if architectural plans in accordance with city permits and planning procedures have been submitted, or if the building is satisfactorily demonstrated to be under rehab or demolition, or if the property is actively being marketed for sale or lease, according to the ordinance specifications.


The registration fee is $50, and after registration is processed, an inspection can occur to see if the property complies with city codes, the inspection fee being $130, with potential notification of violation and fines to follow.


Failure to register can result in fines up to $500 for the first offense, $1,000 for the first two continual offenses, and up to $5,000 for the third offense and each offense after. Unpaid fees and fines can result in a lien against the property.


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