Proposed Ordinance

MOUNT GRETNA BOROUGH

 ORDINANCE NUMBER _____

            AN ORDINANCE AMENDING THE CODIFIED ORDINANCE OF MOUNT GRETNA BOROUGH, CHAPTER 137 (RENTAL PROPERTY) PROVIDING FOR AMENDMENTS TO DEFINITIONS FOR BEDROOM, DAY GUEST, SHORT-TERM RENTALS, AND TENANTS, PROVIDING FOR ADDITIONAL: DUTIES OF OWNERS OR MANAGERS OF RESIDENTIAL RENTAL UNITS, ADDITIONAL RESIDENTIAL RENTAL LICENSE REQUIREMENTS AND LICENSE FEE,  INSPECTION CRITERIA FOR A SHORT-TERM RENTAL LICENSE,  DUTIES OF OCCUPANTS AND TENANTS OF RESIDENTIAL RENTAL UNITS, PROHIBITING RENTALS OF A SALE OR TRANSFERRED PROPERTY UNTIL SUCH TIME AS THERE IS AN INSPECTION AND THE ISSUANCE OF A CERTIFICATE OF OCCUPANCY, AND INCREASED PENALTY PROVISIONS, AND VIOLATIONS CONSIDERED A NUISANCE:   AMENDING CHAPTER 181 (VEHICLES AND TRAFFIC) OF THE CODIFIED ORDINANCE OF MOUNT GRETNA BOROUGH,  §181-18(A) ADDING ADDITIONAL STREETS WHERE PARKING IS PROHIBITED EXCEPT BY PERMIT, 181-19 (VIOLATION AND PENALTIES) SUBPARAGRAPH A AND B  INCREASING THE MINIMUM AND MAXIMUM FINES FOR PARKING VIOLATIONS, AND 181-18(C) (3) REGARDING OWNERSHIP OF PERMITS.

            BE IT ORDAINED AND ENACTED by the Mount Gretna Borough Council, and it is hereby ordained and enacted by the authority of the same.

THE CODIFIED ORDINANCE OF MOUNT GRETNA BOROUGH, CHAPTER 137 (RENTAL PROPERTIES) IS HEREBY AMENDED AS FOLLOWS:

SECTION ONE:  §137-2 (Definitions) of a Bedroom, Day Guest, and Short-Term Rentals and Tenants is hereby amended to read as follows:

BEDROOM – A room designed to be used for sleeping purposes with two means of ingress (one of which may be a window acceptable under the building code), including a door which can be closed for purposes of privacy, a closet, and in close proximity to a bathroom.  Space used for eating, cooking, bathrooms, toilet rooms, closets, halls, storage, lofts, or utility rooms and similar uses are not considered bedrooms.  Space used or intended for general and informal everyday use such as a living room, den, sitting room or similar is not to be considered a bedroom.”

DAY GUEST – A visitor to the rental property but not constituting an occupant between the hours of 8:00 a.m. and 11:00 p.m.

SHORT-TERM RENTALS – Any dwelling unit owned or managed by a person, firm or corporation which is rented or leased for a period of less than 30 consecutive days for a minimum reservation of three (3) consecutive days during which time the owner or manager is not present on a full-time basis.

TENANT – An occupant of a residential rental unit with whom a legal relationship with the owner exists pursuant to a Lease or other legally enforceable agreement under the laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.  The minimum age of the tenant shall be 25 years of age.

SECTION TWO:  §137-3 (Duties of owners or managers of residential rental units) is hereby amended to add paragraphs E, F, G, H, and I to read as follows:

E.        An owner must reside within 20 miles of the short-term rental property.  If the owner resides at a location over 20 miles from the short-term rental property, an agent or local contact person must be selected to act as a manager for the short-term property.

F.        A manager must reside or have an office within 20 miles of the short-term rental property.  The Borough must be notified in writing within 7 days if there is a change in the identity of the manager.”

G.        Any advertisement by the owner of the rental units shall include the following information:

  1. The total number of overnight guests permitted;
  2. The total number of day guests permitted from 8:00 a.m. until 11:00 p.m.;
  3. On-street parking is by permit only and two street parking permits will be provided and any violation is subject to a ticket and fine being issued by the Cornwall Borough Police.
  4. Minimum age of the tenant.
  5. The rental is located in a Chautauqua Residential Community.

H.       Post an emergency fire escape route.

I.         Provide the Borough with the total number of bedrooms and the maximum sleeping accommodation occupancy for the residential unit not to exceed five bedrooms based upon the definition of a bedroom as set forth herein.

SECTION THREE:  §137-4 (Residential retail license requirements; license fee) is hereby amended to read as follows:

            Subparagraph A is hereby amended to eliminate the words “if available” after the words “e-mail address”.

            A new Subsection B is hereby amended to read as follows:

B.  No person shall operate or allow for the operation of a short-term rental without first obtaining a short-term rental license from the Borough.  Operation of a short-term rental without a valid short-term rental license is a violation of this article.

Subsection C is amended to add subparagraphs (3) and (4) as follows:

            (3)       A total number of bedrooms and maximum number of overnight guests.

            (4)       A total number of day guests permitted.

Subsection D is hereby amended to read as follows:

            Renewal license applications must be submitted by the Owner or, if applicable, the Manager, of each residential rental unit to the Borough no later than October 1st of each calendar year and inspections completed no later than November 1st of each calendar year which license renewal shall be valid from January 1st to December 31st of the following year.  The renewal license approval shall be by Borough Council at a regular and/or special meeting in November and/or December of each and every year at which meeting the owner shall be in attendance.

            Any new application for a rental license occurring after January 1st and before October 1st of each year will be considered for approval by Borough Council after compliance with this article and at a regular and/or special meeting of Borough Council to review the same.  At such meeting the owner shall be in attendance

Subsection E (1) is amended to eliminate the words “if available” after the words “e-mail address.

Subsection E (4) is hereby amended to read as follows:

4.         Tender the Borough the annual licensing fee intended to cover the Borough’s costs for administrating this article.  The fee shall be established by Resolution adopted by the Borough Council based on costs experience

A new subsection G is hereby added to read as follows:

            G.  The applicate shall prepare and present a current copy of a Notice to the Borough which is clearly visible and legible which shall be posted within the structure on or adjacent to the inside of the front door containing the following information:

  1. The name and telephone number of the owner of the unit and the name and telephone number of the person in charge;
  2. The street address of the property;
  3. The maximum number of occupants permitted for an overnight stay in the short-term rental and the maximum number of day guests permitted at any one time based upon the provisions of this article and notification that day guests may not be on the property on any day before 8:00 a.m. or after 11:00 p.m.;
  4. Parking on the public street is by permit only with two parking permits provided for the rental unit;
  5. Any other on-street parking shall be subject to a ticket and fine as issued by the Cornwall Borough Police;
  6. Trash, refuse, and recyclable containers shall be placed at the street only within 24 hours of the pick-up date and must be removed from the street within 24 hours after the pick-up date.  All trash and refuse containers shall be stored in a leak-proof plastic or metal container with a secured lid.  All recyclable containers shall be stored in a plastic or metal container preferably with a secured lid.  Storage of trash, refuse, and recyclables in plastic bags is prohibited.
  7. The occupant, owner, or guests may be cited and fined for creating a nuisance or disturbance or for violating any provisions of the Borough’s Ordinances and laws of the Commonwealth of Pennsylvania;
  8. The rental occupants are required to make the unit available for inspection by the Enforcement Officer pursuant to the provisions of this article;
  9. All fireworks on the premises and within the Borough are prohibited;
  10. All open flame outdoor burning is prohibited except in an approved grill for purposes of cooking;
  11. The day time phone number for the Cornwall Borough Police and the dispatch number for non-day time phone calls regarding police matters Monday – Friday, 8:00 a.m. to 4:00 p.m. (717-274-2071), after hours non-emergency 717-272-2054 (Dispatch).  For fire and police emergencies dial 911.  The hours and phone numbers set forth herein may be added and/or changed by a Resolution adopted by Mount Gretna Borough Council.

A new subsection H is hereby added as follows:

H.        The owner shall provide the name, address, and website of any advertisement for the rental of any unit set forth herein and shall provide to the Borough within five (5) days of any changes to the same during the course of the rental license effected time period.

A new subsection I is hereby added as follows:

            I          Signature of both the owner and the person in charge.  If the property is owned by more than one owner, than all owners of the property are required to sign the application.  If the property is owned by a corporate entity, such as an LLC, authorized members and/or shareholders of such entity are required to sign the application and designate a person in charge.

New subsections J, K, and L are hereby added as follows:  

J.         If not already provided, a copy of the Deed to the property evidencing the ownership of the same.

            K.        If there is a Deed Restriction and/or a Homeowner’s Association restriction prohibiting rental, a written waiver of the provisions be provided with the application and if not provided, the application for a license will not be approved.

            L.        The owner and the person in charge to acknowledge in writing they have received, read and understood a copy of the rental property ordinance contained in Chapter 137 of the Codified Ordinance of Mount Gretna Borough.

SECTION FOUR:  §137-4.1 (Inspections)

            Subsection B is hereby amended to read as follows:

            B.  After the initial inspection, and unless specifically stated below, the Enforcement Officer shall be permitted to inspect each residential unit every year thereafter to ensure compliance of this article;

Subsection C is hereby amended to read as follows:

            C.        The Enforcement Officer shall be permitted to inspect a residential rental unit whenever there is probable cause to believe that a violation of the within article is present.  Under such circumstances, the Enforcement Officer shall provide the owner, or if applicable, the manager, with 24-hours’ notice of an inspection under this subsection;

The last sentence of subsection D is hereby amended to read as follows:

            The rental license shall not be issued until payment is made as set forth herein.

SECTION FIVE:  §137-4.2 (Short-term rentals). 

Subsection C is amended to read as follows:

            C.        The maximum number of day guests allowed at any one time, in addition to the overnight occupants, shall be equal to the approved number of overnight occupants (i.e. – 6 overnight occupants would equal 6 day guests);

Under subsection D, numbers 1, 2, and 3 after the word “smoke”, the following is hereby added “and carbon monoxide detectors.”

Subsection 8 is amended to read as follows:

            8.         Provide a fire extinguisher, 10# Type ABC, mounted in the kitchen at a conspicuous location with a current charge testing pad.

New subparagraphs 14-30 are hereby added as follows:

            “14.     Gas, electrical and water shut-off shall be identified by label and shall be accessible at all times and not secured from tenants in owner’s lock-out areas.

            15.       Each bedroom shall be provided with an emergency exit opening which operates without the use of keys, tools, or special hardware.

            16.       The front door and all other exit doors shall be operable for exit without the use of keys, tools, or special hardware.

            17.       Garage space and area storing flammable products shall have a fire resistance separation from the occupied structure space.  Both a smoke and carbon monoxide detector are required if the garage is attached to the dwelling.

            18.       Posted house number must be visible from street view and shall be on a reflective sign for emergency response team.

            19.  Leak proof containers provided with closed-fitting covers for storage, removal and disposal of rubbish and garbage.  Recyclable containers shall be in plastic or metal containers preferably with a closed-fitting cover for storage and removal.

            20.       Plumbing fixtures shall be maintained in safe, sanitary and functional conditions.

            21.       Dwelling shall be provided with heating facilities capable of maintaining a room temperature of 68º Fahrenheit in all habitable rooms, bathrooms and toilet rooms.

            22.       Maintain property in good repair, sanitation, and safe.

            23.       Fuel fired equipment shall be in good working order and provided with compliance combustible air and installed in approved location.

            24.       Carbon monoxide detectors required.  Water heater shall have the temperature and pressure release valve installed and in working order.

            25.       Clothes dryer shall exhaust to the exterior in accordance with the manufacturer’s specification.

            26.       Each habitable room shall have as a minimum two (2) electric receptacles.

            27.       Each stairway, kitchen, bathroom, furnace room, laundry room shall be provided with a luminaire.

            28.       Each bathroom and laundry room shall have as a minimum of one (1) electric receptacle.”

            29.       Compliance with the posting requirements of notices set forth in this article. 

            30.       The above may be added to and/or changed by Resolution adopted by Borough Council.

            Subsection E (3) is hereby amended to read as follows:

            3.  Certificate of Use and Occupancy from the Enforcement Officer shall include the number of bedrooms meeting the definition of a bedroom as set forth in this article.

Subsection E is hereby amended to add the following:

            (4)  A copy of the Hotel License issued by the County of Lebanon.

Subsection F (4) is hereby amended to read as follows:

            4 – Trash and recyclable pick-up days and notification that trash, refuse, and recyclable containers shall be placed at the street only 24 hours prior to its scheduled pick-up date and shall be removed within 24 hours after the trash and recyclable pick-up date.  Trash and refuse shall not be left or stored on the exterior of the property except in secure, water-tight metal or plastic containers or similar containers designed for storage, with a limit of three (3) secured containers.  Recyclable containers shall not be left or stored on the exterior of the property accept in secure plastic or metal containers or similar containers designed for storage, with a limit of one (1) recyclable container. 

Subsection F is amended to add subsection (7) as follows:

            7.  The daytime phone number for the Cornwall Borough Police and the dispatch number when the Cornwall Police Department is unavailable for daytime phone calls.  The current numbers are:  Cornwall Borough Police: 717-274-2071 (Monday – Friday 8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. Dispatch Number after hours: 717-272-2054.

            8.         The phone number for a local hospital, emergency room, and ambulance service.

SECTION SIX:  §137-5 (Duties of occupants and tenants of residential rental units) i

            Subparagraph C is hereby amended to read as follows:

            “C.  It shall be the duty of each tenant and occupants to abide by ordinances of Mount Gretna Borough, particularly the refuse, noise, and parking ordinances.”  Codified Ordinance Chapters 155, Solid Waste, Article I, Chapter 118, Noise, and Chapter 181, Vehicles and Traffic.  The Ordinances may be reviewed at the Borough website, http://borough.mountgretna.com.

Short-term rental occupants or guests shall not engage in disorderly conduct or disturb the peace and quiet of any nearby neighborhood or persons by loud, unusual or excessive noise, tumultuous or offensive conduct, public indecency, threatening, quarreling, challenging to fight, or fighting, or creating a dangerous or physically offensive condition.

Subsections D, E, F, G, and H are hereby added as follows:

            D.        A tenant may not sub-lease all or a portion of the residential rental unit;

  • All fireworks on the premises or within the Borough of Mount Gretna are prohibited;
  • All open burning, except an approved charcoal grill for purposes of cooking is prohibited.
  • Organized high stake gambling is prohibited.
  • Time shares are prohibited.

SECTION SEVEN:  §137-6 (Sale or transfer of residential rental units)

  The second sentence is hereby amended to read as follows:

            No rentals shall occur on a sale or transferred property until such time as an approved inspection, the issuance of a Certificate of Occupancy, and a new rental license has been issued by the Borough.

SECTION EIGHT:  §137-7 (Enforcement; license reinstatement fee)

Subsection F is hereby amended to read as follows:

F.        Borough Council or its authorized agent may reinstate a residential rental license if the owner or manager corrects the reason for the revocation of the residential rental license and has paid the residential rental license reinstatement fee as set by Resolution adopted by Borough Council.

SECTION NINE: §137-8 (Appeals; fees)

            The third sentence is hereby amended to read as follows:

            The appeal shall be accompanied by an appeal fee which shall be set by a Resolution adopted by Borough Council.

SECTION TEN: §137-9 (Violation and penalties)

Subsection A (1) is hereby amended to read as follows:

            (1)  The marketing of a short-term rental in which the advertised occupancy of a tenant and/or day guest and time limit for day guests and public street parking requirements permitted by this article or which promotes any other activity which is prohibited by this article shall be a violation of this article.

A new subsection D is hereby added as follows:

            D.  The penalty provisions set forth herein shall not limit enforcement of any Borough Ordinance or Pennsylvania State statute by the Cornwall Borough Police who are authorized to enforce Borough and State laws within the Borough.”

            Subparagraph B (1) is hereby amended to read as follows:

            “(1) This chapter shall be enforced by action brought before a magisterial district judge in the same manner provided for the enforcement of summary offenses under the Pennsylvania Rules of Criminal Procedure.

            Any person, partnership, corporation, or other entity who or which violates or permits a violation of the provisions of this article shall, upon conviction in a summary proceeding, pay a fine of not less than $200.00 nor more than $1,000.00 per violation, plus all court costs and reasonable attorney’s fees incurred by the Borough in the enforcement proceedings.  Each day a portion thereof that a violation exists or continues shall constitute a separate violation.

            If there are any uncured or repeated violations of this article in any rolling 12 calendar month period, the fine shall be increased by $200.00, $300.00, and $400.00 for each subsequent repeat violation.

            Subsection C is hereby amended to read as follows:

            “C.  Nonexclusive remedies.  The penalty provisions set forth herein shall not limit the appropriate officers or agents of the Borough to seek legal or equitable relief in the Court of Common Pleas of Lebanon County, including an injunction to enforce compliance with this article.

            Subsections D, E, F, and G are hereby added as follows:

D.        In addition, but not limited to any of the above provisions, the Borough may either revoke, or deny an application to renew, a short-term rental permit for three (3) uncured or repeated violations of this article in any rolling twelve (12) calendar month period.  The revocation, suspension, or denial to renew a short-term rental permit as a result of the three (3) uncured repeated violations set forth therein shall be at the sole discretion of Borough Council.

            E.        The ownership of rental properties by affiliated entities or common ownership of multiple entities shall be considered one in the same owner and all closely related family member shall be considered as one owner. For purposes of violation of this article it shall include where there are three (3) uncured or repeated violations in a rolling 12 calendar month period, by affiliated entities of common ownership as set forth herein involving multiple rental properties shall be considered to be violated by one owner.

            F.        Any repeated violation of Mount Gretna Borough Ordinances or State statutes by an owner or tenant resulting in a summary conviction before a District Magistrate as a result of summary proceedings filed by Cornwall Borough Police shall be considered a violation of this article where there are three (3) uncured or repeated violations by owners in a rolling 12 calendar month period shall cause a revocation, suspension, or denial to renew a short-term rental permit.”

G.        Street parking by permit only with each dwelling having a permit for two vehicles only.  All other street parking is subject to tickets and fines being issued by the Cornwall Borough Police Department.”

SECTION TEN.  §137-10 (Nuisances) is hereby amended by adding the following:

            “In the interest of promoting the public health, safety and welfare, minimizing the burden on Borough and Community Services and impact on residential neighborhood posed by short-term rentals, in violation of any provisions of this article is declared to be a public nuisance.

THE CODIFIED ORDINANCE OF MOUNT GRETNA BOROUGH, CHAPTER 181 (VEHICLES AND TRAFFIC) IS HEREBY AMENDED AS FOLLOWS: 

SECTION ELEVEN:  Article III (Parking regulations) §181-18(A) (Parking prohibited on impacted streets except by permit) is hereby amended to add the following impacted streets:

Lancaster Avenue from Pinch Road to State Drive;

Lebanon Avenue from Pinch Road to the end;

Muhlenberg Avenue from Lebanon Avenue to the end;

Old Mountain Road from Lebanon Avenue to the end;

Temple Avenue from Old Mountain Road to Muhlenberg Avenue.

force and effect.

SECTION TWELVE.  §181-18(C)(3) is hereby amended as follows:

          Add the following sentence to §(3) at the end:

          All temporary parking permits are owned by Mount Gretna Borough.

SECTION THIRTEEN.  §181-19 (Violations and Penalties) Subparagraphs A and B are hereby amended to read as follows:

  1. Any person who shall violate any provision of this article shall pay a fine of not less than $50.00 or more than $100.00 and any costs associated therewith.  Each day that a violation continues shall constitute a separate violation of any provision of this article;
  2. Any person who shall violate any provision of this article two or more times within a thirty (30) day consecutive period shall pay a fine of not less than $100.00 nor more than $200.00 for the second offense which fine shall be increased by an additional $200.00 nor more than $300.00 for each subsequent violation plus any costs associated therewith.  Each day that a violation continues after three (3) times within a thirty (30) day consecutive period shall constitute a separate violation.

SECTION FOURTEEN:  Severability.

            If any provision of this article shall be deemed determined or declared to be void and invalid in law or otherwise, then only that provision shall be stricken from this article and in all other respects this article shall be valid and continue in full

SECTION FOURTEEN:  This Ordinance shall become effective within five (5) days of enactment.

            ADOPTED this ____________ day of __________________, 2021.

ATTEST:                                                                  MOUNT GRETNA BOROUGH

_________________________________                  BY:________________________________

Linda A. Bell                                                                  William R. Kleinfelter

Secretary                                                                         President

            Approved this _______ day of _________________, 2021.

                                                                                    ____________________________________