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Chapter 1-100. Definitions, Construction, Penalties and Enforcement
§ 1-101. Title.
§ 1-102. Effective Date.
§ 1-103. Definitions.
§ 1-104. Construction.
§ 1-105. Amendments and Additions.
§ 1-106. Severability.
§ 1-107. Repeals and Saving Provisions.
§ 1-108. Certification.
§ 1-109. Fines and Penalties.
§ 1-110. Service of Notice of Violation.
§ 1-111. Fraud or Deceit in Obtaining Licenses or Permits.
§ 1-112. Notices of Violation.
(1) This comprehensive revision and codification of all the general ordinances of the City shall be known and may be cited as "The Philadelphia Code". 1
(1) The Code shall become effective sixty days after its approval.
(2) The authority to promulgate regulations under the Code shall become effective immediately upon the approval of the Code.
(3) Rules and regulations promulgated prior to the enactment of the Code shall remain in force until revoked, modified, or superseded.
(1) Unless otherwise provided in the Code, the following definitions apply:
(a) Agency. Any office, department, board, or commission of the City including any officer, employee, or other authorized representative thereof, other than the Council or the courts.
(b) Charter. The Philadelphia Home Rule Charter.
(c) City. The City of Philadelphia.
(d) Code. The Philadelphia Code.
(e) Commonwealth. The Commonwealth of Pennsylvania.
(f) Council. The Council of the City of Philadelphia.
(i) Person. 4 An individual, partnership, corporation, or association, including those acting in a fiduciary or representative capacity whether appointed by a court or otherwise. Whenever used in any clause prescribing or imposing a penalty, the term "person" as applied to partnerships or associations shall include the partners or members thereof, and if applied to corporations, the officers thereof.
(j) Whoever. 5 Any "person" as herein defined. Whenever used in any clause prescribing or imposing a penalty, the term "whoever" shall include any person who causes an act to be done, whether directly performed by himself or otherwise or who aids, abets, counsels, commands, induces or procures its commission.
(2) The singular shall include the plural, and the plural, the singular. Words used in the masculine gender shall include the feminine and neuter. Words used in the past or present tense shall include the future.
(3) Any word not specifically defined shall be construed according to its common usage.
(1) The arrangement and classification of the several provisions of the Code have been made for the purpose of a convenient and orderly arrangement. No inference, implication, or presumption of legislative construction shall be drawn because of the location of any provision, nor shall any outline, analysis, index, or descriptive matter relating to the contents of the Code be given any legal effect.
(2) Section captions are part of this Code. However, references to Sections are not intended to be exclusive, or to exclude other Sections which may be applicable.
(3) Footnotes are not part of the Code. They are included to indicate the historical sources of the provisions of the Code.
(4) Regulations may be issued by the appropriate agency, pursuant to § 8-407 of the Charter, to implement any of the provisions of this Code.
§ 1-105. Amendments and Additions. 6
(1) Amendments and additions to the Code shall be enacted in such form that pertinent provisions are set forth in full with:
(a) words which are eliminated by the adoption of the amendment printed between brackets; and
(b) words which are added by the passage of the amendment underscored or italicized.
(2) After the approval of any such amendment or addition, the substantive changes made shall be incorporated into the Code under the supervision of the Law Department. The Law Department is authorized, when incorporating changes into the Code or when updating prior versions of the Code, and without denoting in the Code that changes were made: 6.1
(a) to standardize into a single format regularly occurring words or symbols for which there are two or more generally accepted methods of representing precisely the same term (such as "feet" and "ft."; or "percent" and "%"); and
(b) to standardize numbering and lettering of Code sections and subsections.
(c) In no instance shall a word be replaced by a synonym of that word and no change shall be made in a circumstance where the use of the replacement word or symbol, or a change in section or subsection numbering or lettering, could alter the meaning of the Code language.
(d) The Law Department shall periodically provide to the Chief Clerk of Council a listing of the standardized words or symbols being used.
(e) In the event of a discrepancy between the Code and the certified copy of an ordinance, the certified ordinance shall control.
(3) The Procurement Department, with the assistance of the Law Department, shall publish and distribute by March 31 of each year a supplement to the Code which shall include all amendments and additions to the Code during the previous calendar year. Each amendment or addition shall be designated by Title, Chapter and Section numbers for easy reference. Each supplement shall be placed after the Index in the Code.
(4) Commencing on March 31, 1984 and every four (4) years thereafter, the Procurement Department, with the assistance of the Law Department, shall publish and distribute a new and up-to-date edition of the Code in lieu of an annual supplement.
(5) The initial annual supplement to the Code, which supplement shall make the Code current through December 31, 1982, shall be published by December 31, 1983.
(6) At least five (5) copies of the Code, with annual supplements, shall be available for public inspection during regular City office hours. Notice of time and place where the Code is on public display shall be advertised at least once a year in the same publications as are used for publication of Councilmanic notices.
(1) The provisions of the Code are severable, and if any provision or application is held illegal, such illegality shall not affect the remaining provisions. It is the legislative intent of the Council that the Code would have been adopted if such illegal provision had not been included and any illegal application had not been made.
§ 1-107. Repeals and Saving Provisions. 7
(1) The ordinances listed in Appendix "A" of the Code, entitled "Repealer of All General Ordinances Herein Codified," are repealed as of the effective date of this Code.
(2) The ordinances listed in Appendix "B" of the Code, entitled "Repealer of General Ordinances Since January 1, 1854 and Heretofore Repealed by Implication, Superseded, or Otherwise No Longer in Effect" are repealed as of the effective date of the Code.
(3) Except as otherwise provided, all other general ordinances, enacted or approved from January 1, 1701 to the effective date of the Code, are repealed as of the effective date of the Code.
(4) All special ordinances enacted from January 1, 1701 to the effective date of the Code are saved to the extent that they are not superseded or repealed by the Charter, subsequent ordinance, or statute, and except insofar as they may be in any way inconsistent with the provisions of the Code. Special ordinances include, but are not limited to, ordinances which are enacted to:
(a) authorize loans by the City and to provide for the issuance, redemption, and payment of City bonds;
(b) make appropriations of public funds and to adopt capital budgets and capital programs;
(c) ratify or approve any contract or agreement to which the City is a party, such as:
(.1) Airport Authority Agreement (1953 Ordinances, p. 766);
(.2) Housing Authority Agreement (1938 Ordinances, p. 441);
(.3) Parking Authority Agreement (1950 Ordinances, p. 8);
(.4) Penn Tower Agreement (1955 Ordinances, p. 407);
(.5) Philadelphia Transportation Company Agreement (1907 Ordinances, p. 153, as amended);
(.6) Southeast Philadelphia Railroad Agreement (1954 Ordinances, p. 764);
(.7) United Gas Improvement Company Agreement (1926 Ordinances, p. 22, as amended);
(d) validate or legalize any act or omission of any department, board, or commission of the City;
(e) grant any right, privilege, or franchise to any person;
(f) establish the name or to change the name of any street;
(g) authorize the opening, grading, improving, or paving of any street;
(h) authorize the construction of sewers;
(i) authorize the laying of water pipe and water mains;
(j) establish parks, playgrounds, recreation centers, or public squares;
(k) place any street upon or to strike any street from the City plan, or to vacate any street;
(l) authorize the sale, lease, or other grant of any interest in City-owned real estate;
(m) establish or to revise the lines and grades of any street;
(n) authorize district changes in zoning maps;
(o) levy and fix the annual tax rate on real estate;
(p) authorize the purchase, condemnation, lease, or other acquisition of premises, structures, and facilities required by the City.
(5) Subject to the limitations contained in Section 18 of the Act of April 21, 1949, P.L. 665, 53 P.S. § 3421.18, all Acts of Assembly applicable to cities of the first class are superseded to the extent that they are in any way inconsistent with the Code.
(6) The repealer provisions of this Chapter or elsewhere in the Code shall not affect:
(a) any act done or any right or liability accrued, but all rights and liabilities accrued under any ordinance or statute herein repealed or superseded shall continue and may be enforced in the same manner as if such repeal had not been made;
(b) any offense or violation committed and any penalty or forfeiture incurred under any ordinance or statute hereby repealed or superseded, all of which may be prosecuted and punished in the same manner as if the Code had not been approved;
(c) any petition, hearing, or other process pending before any agency;
(d) any ordinance or part of any ordinance relating to the indebtedness of the City.
(7) Nothing in the Code shall be construed to repeal the provisions of the Municipal Lien Act of May 16, 1923, P.L. 207, as amended, 53 P.S. § 2021.
(8) Regulations issued under any ordinance codified by this Code, but not inconsistent with its policy, shall continue in full force and effect unless changed by the appropriate agency.
§ 1-108. Certification. 8
(1) No person shall execute a false certification on any document required under the Code.
(2) Whenever any provision of the Code requires any document to contain an affidavit, sworn statement, or certified statement, execution of the following form of certification shall be deemed to be in compliance therewith:
"I hereby certify that the statements contained herein are true and correct to the best of my knowledge and belief.
"I understand that if I knowingly make any false statement herein, I am subject to such penalties as may be prescribed by statute or ordinance.
§ 1-109. Fines and Penalties. 9
(1) Unless otherwise provided, the penalty for violation of any provision of the Code or any regulation adopted under it is a fine not exceeding three hundred (300) dollars for each offense. Each day the violation continues is a separate offense.
(2) For violations that are designated elsewhere in this Code as "Class II" offenses, the maximum fine shall be as follows:
(a) for any violation committed between January 1, 2005 and December 31, 2005, seven hundred (700) dollars for each violation; and
(b) for any violation committed on January 1, 2006 or thereafter, one thousand (1,000) dollars for each violation.
(3) For violations that are designated in this Code as "Class III" offenses, the maximum fine shall be as follows:
(a) for any violation committed between January 1, 2005 and December 31, 2005, seven hundred (700) dollars for each violation;
(b) for any violation committed between January 1, 2006 and December 31, 2006, one thousand one hundred (1,100) dollars for each violation;
(c) for any violation committed between January 1, 2007 and December 31, 2007, one thousand five hundred (1,500) dollars for each violation;
(d) for any violation committed between January 1, 2008 and December 31, 2008, one thousand nine hundred (1,900) dollars for each violation; and
(e) for any violation committed on January 1, 2009 or thereafter, two thousand (2,000) dollars for each violation.
(4) Where the Code provides alternative penalties or remedies, they shall be cumulative and the imposition of any one such penalty or remedy shall not prevent the appropriate City agency from invoking any other penalty or remedy provided for.
(1) All written notices of violation of any provision of this Code shall be deemed served:
(a) when delivered by hand to the alleged violator; or
(b) when regularly mailed to:
(.1) the alleged violator, or his agent;
(.2) the last-known residence of the alleged violator; or
(.3) the usual place of business of the alleged violator; or
(.4) any adult person in charge of the premises where the alleged violation exists.
§ 1-111. Fraud or Deceit in Obtaining Licenses or Permits. 10
(1) Prohibited Conduct. No person shall make false, deceitful or misleading statements in applications for any license or permit issued under the provisions of The Philadelphia Code or knowingly violate any of the terms and conditions upon which any license or permit is issued.
(2) Penalties. The penalty for violation of the provisions of this Section, in addition to any other penalty provided by The Philadelphia Code, shall be a fine of three hundred (300) dollars plus costs of prosecution.
§ 1-112. Notices of Violation. 11
(1) For the purposes of enforcing any provision of the Code, or any regulation adopted under any provision of the Code, notices of violation may be issued by police officers or any other person authorized to enforce ordinances.
(2) Whenever a police officer or any other official authorized to enforce ordinances observes a violation of the Code, the officer shall hand to the violator or leave upon or affix to the premises where the violation occurred a printed notice of violation. Such notice shall bear the date, time and nature of the violation, when known, the identity of the violator, the address of the violator or the address where the violation occurred, the amount to be remitted in response to the notice of violation, and the penalty which can be imposed by the court for the violation; shall be signed by the person issuing the notice; and shall bear the police officer's badge number or other official identification number identifying the person issuing the notice.
(3) Any person who receives a notice of violation may, within ten (10) days, remit the required amount, admit the violation, and waive appearance before a Municipal Court Judge. The amount required to be remitted in response to a notice of violation is seventy-five dollars ($75), or the maximum amount of the fine for that violation, whichever is less. The notice of violation shall contain an appropriate statement for signature by the violator for the purpose of admitting the violation and waiving a hearing, and shall be returned by the violator with remittance of the required amount. 12
(4) If a person who receives a notice of violation fails to remit the required amount within ten (10) days of the issuance of the notice of violation, a code enforcement complaint shall be issued for such violation in such manner as provided by law. If the person named in the code enforcement complaint is found to have violated any provision of the Code or any regulation adopted under any provision of the Code, or fails to appear on the date set for hearing, the person shall be subject to the imposition of fines in the full amount set forth in the Code for such violation, plus court costs.
(5) If another provision of the Code or any regulation adopted under any provision of the Code contains specific provisions relating to notices of violation (including, but not limited to, provisions setting forth the amount required to be remitted in response to a notice of violation), those specific provisions shall control over the general provisions of this Section.
Amended, 1956 Ordinances, p. 705.
Added, Bill No. 130224 (approved May 8, 2013).
Added, Bill No. 130224 (approved May 8, 2013).
Renumbered, Bill No. 130224 (approved May 8, 2013).
Renumbered, Bill No. 130224 (approved May 8, 2013).
Amended and new subsection added, 1983 Ordinances, p. 1157.
Amended, Bill No. 170243 (approved May 17, 2017).
Appendix A and Appendix B, referenced in this Section and relating to ordinances repealed by the first adoption of this Code in 1956, have been omitted from the Code as obsolete.
Source: 1953 Ordinances, p. 366.
Amended, Bill No. 758 (approved July 24, 1995), 1995 Ordinances, p. 1081; amended, Bill No. 041079 (approved May 12, 2005).
Added, 1964 Ordinances, p. 3; amended, Bill No. 758 (approved July 24, 1995), 1995 Ordinances, p. 1081.
Added, Bill No. 980711 (approved June 25, 1999).
Amended, Bill No. 040091 (approved June 21, 2004).