AN ORDINANCE OF THE BOROUGH OF BRIDGEVILLE, AMENDING CHAPTER 2 OF ITS CODE OF ORDINANCES, STREETS AND SIDEWALKS, TO ADD PROVISIONS BANNING CAMPING ON PUBLIC AND PRIVATE PROPERTY AND PROVIDING PENALTIES FOR VIOLATIONS THEREOF.

WHEREAS, the Borough of Bridgeville previously enacted Chapter 21 in its Code of Ordinances, which provides rules and regulations for the Borough’s streets; and

WHEREAS, the Borough of Bridgeville desires to further amend and supplement Chapter 21 to specifically provide that camping as defined in this ordinance shall not be permitted to occur on the Borough s streets:

NOW, THEREFORE, BE IT ORDAINED AND ENACTED by Borough Council, by authority of same, as follows:

This Ordinance shall be hereinafter known and cited as the “Bridgeville Borough Camping Ordinance.

SECTION 1. Purpose.

The purpose of this Ordinance shall be to ensure that the streets and public areas within the Borough should be readily accessible and available to residents and the public at large. The use of these areas for camping purposes or storage of personal property interferes with the rights of others to use the areas for which they were intended. Such activity can constitute a public health and safety hazard which adversely impacts neighborhoods and commercial areas. Camping on private property without the consent of the owner, proper sanitary measures and for other than a minimal duration adversely affects private property rights as well as public health, safety, and welfare of the Borough. The purpose of this chapter is to maintain streets, parks and other public and private areas within the Borough in a clean, sanitary and accessible condition and to adequately protect the health, safety and public welfare of the communitynity, while recognizing that, subject to reasonable conditions, camping and camp facilities associated with special events can be beneficial to the cultural and educational climate in the Borough. Nothing in this chapter is intended to interfere with otherwise lawful and ordinary uses of public or private

Section 2. Definitions.

Unless the particular provisions or the context otherwise requires, the definitions contained in this section shall govern the construction, meaning, and application of words and phrases used in this chapter:

“Camp” means to place, pitch or occupy camp facilities; to live temporarily or overnight in a camp facility; to use camp paraphernalia.

“Camp facilities” include, but are not limited to, tents, huts, vehicles, vehicle camping outfits or temporary shelter.

“Camp paraphernalia” includes, but is not limited to, bedrolls, tarpaulins, cots, beds, sleeping bags, hammocks, cooking facilities, heating devices, generators, and similar equipment.

“Borough Manager” means the Borough Manager or designee.

“Establish” means setting up or moving equipment, supplies or materials on to public or private property to “camp” or operate camp facilities.

“Maintain” means keeping or permitting equipment, supplies or materials to remain on public or private property in order to camp or operate camp facilities.

“Operate” means participating or assisting in establishing or maintaining a camp or camp facility.

“Private property’.’ means all private property including, but not limited to, streets, sidewalks, alleys, and improved or unimproved land.

“Public property” means all public property including, but not limited to, streets, sidewalks, alleys, improved or unimproved land and parks.

“Special Event” means programs operated by the Borough, youth or school events, marathons or other sporting events, scouting activities, and may also include a residential property owner requesting permission to allow visiting friends or relatives to camp or utilize camp facilities on their private property during short term stays of no more than two days.

“Store” means to put aside or accumulate for use when needed, to put for safekeeping, to place or leave in a location.

“Street” means a street, alley, way or place of whatever nature, publicly maintained and open to the use of the public for purposes of vehicular travel. “Street” includes highway, as that term is defined in the Pennsylvania Motor Vehicle Code.

SECTION 3. Unlawful camping.

  1. It is unlawful and a public nuisance for any person to camp, occupy camp facilities, or use camp paraphernalia in the following areas:
    • Any public property; or
    • Any private property.
  2. It is not intended by this chapter to prohibit overnight camping on private residential property by friends or family of the property owner, so long as the owner consents and the overnight camping is limited to not more than two (2) consecutive nights.
  3. Nothing in this chapter is intended to prohibit or make unlawful, activities of an owner of private property or other lawful user of private property that are normally associated with and incidental to the lawful and authorized use of private property for residential or other purposes; and provided further, nothing is intended to prohibit or make unlawful, activities of a property owner or other lawful user if such activities are expressly authorized by the other chapters of the Bridgeville Code of Ordinances, or other laws, ordinances and regulations.
  4. The Borough Manager may, as provided in Section 5 below, issue a temporary permit to allow camping on public or private property in connection with a special event.

SECTION 4. Storage of personal property on public and private property.

It is unlawful and a public nuisance for any person to store personal property, including camp paraphernalia, in the following areas, except as otherwise provided by resolution of the Borough Council:

  • Any public property; or
  • Any private property without the written consent of the owner.

SECTION 5. Permit for special events required.

The Borough Manager may, in his or her discretion, and upon request, issue a permit to establish, maintain and operate a camp or a camp facility in connection with a Special Event. The Borough Manager may consult with various municipal departments prior to issuing any temporary permit. Each department consulted may provide comments regarding any health, safety or public welfare concerns and provide recommendations pertaining to the issuance, denial or conditioning of the permit. A reasonable fee may be set by Borough Council resolution from time to time, shall be paid, in advance, by the applicant. In exercising his or her discretion to issue a temporary permit, the Borough Manager may consider any facts or evidence bearing on the sanitary, health, safety and welfare conditions on or surrounding the area or tract of land upon which the proposed temporary camp or camp facility is to be located.

SECTION 6. Posting copy of permit.

It shall be unlawful for any person to establish, maintain, conduct or carry on any camp or camp facility unless there shall be at all times posted in a conspicuous place upon the area or tract of land upon which the camp or camp facility is located a permit obtained from the Borough Manager in accordance with the provisions of Section 5 of this ordinance.

SECTION 7. Power of the Borough Manager to make rules and regulations.

  1. The Borough Manager is further empowered to ascertain that the operation or maintenance of any camp or camp facilities to which a temporary permit shall apply will in no way jeopardize the public health, safety or welfare and for this purpose may make additional rules and regulations pertaining to their establishment, operation or conduct. The Borough Manager may also impose conditions on the establishment, maintenance and operation of a camp or camp facility, including, but not limited to, security, sanitation facilities, number of occupants, posting of bonds or deposits, insurance, quiet hours, duration of the permit, and permitted activities on the premises.
  2. When the Borough Manager shall issue any permit under the terms of Section 5 of this ordinance, the same may be revoked at any time thereafter by the Borough Manager if the he or she becomes satisfied that the maintenance or continuing operation of the camp or camp facilities is adverse to the public health, safety and welfare.

SECTION 8. Penalties.

  1. Any person who violates or permits a violation of this chapter shall, upon being found liable therefor in a civil enforcement proceeding commenced by the Borough before a Magisterial District Judge, pay a fine of not more than $1,000, plus all court costs, including reasonable attorney’s fees incurred by the Borough, and in default of payment of said fine and costs, to a term of imprisonment not to exceed 30 days. No judgment shall be imposed until the date of the determination of the violation by the Magisterial District Judge. If the defendant neither pays nor timely appeals the judgment, the Borough may enforce the judgment pursuant to the applicable Rules of Civil Procedure. Each day a violation exists shall constitute a separate offense. Further, the appropriate officers or agents of the Township are hereby authorized to seek equitable relief, including injunction, to enforce compliance herewith.
  2. Repeat Offences. Any person, after having been cited and found guilty of violating this Ordinance on more than one occasion, who is again found camping on public property shall be deemed to have committed a criminal trespass and prosecuted as such to the full extent permitted under the law.

SECTION 9. Repealer.

All ordinances or resolutions or parts of ordinances or resolutions, insofar as they are inconsistent herewith, be and the same are hereby repealed.

SECTION 10. Severability.

If any sentence, clause, section or part of this Ordinance is for any reason found to be unconstitutional, illegal or invalid, such unconstitutionality, illegality, or invalidity shall not affect or impair any of the remaining provisions, sentences, clauses, sections, or parts of this Ordinance. It is hereby declared that this Ordinance would have been adopted to have such constitutional, illegal or invalid sentence, clause section or part thereof not been included therein.

SECTION 11. Effective Date.

This Ordinance shall take effect immediately upon adoption as provided under law.