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Municipal Information

Centre - Bellefonte Borough

General Information

Type of Government: Borough
Home Rule: No
Municipal Building: Borough Office

Website: http://www.bellefonte.net/
Phone: 814-355-1501
Fax: 814-353-2315
Email: boro@bellefonte.net

Building Address:
236 West Lamb Street
Bellefonte, PA 16823
United States

Mailing Address:
236 W Lamb Street, Bellefonte, PA, 16823

Hours of Operation: 8:00 a.m. to 4:30 p.m., Monday - Friday

Main Contact: Ralph Stewart

Residential Resale Inspection Information

Point of Sale Inspection Required: See Certificate(s) Required Below

Exterior:

  • Sidewalks and curbs: The Borough requires all property owners having sidewalks next to their property to maintain those sidewalks, including repairs and replacements when they do not meet Borough standards The Borough will conduct inspections of sidewalks yearly in June. See Sidewalk Repair Ordinance §495-2.
  • Foundation: All foundation walls, exterior walls, and roofs must be maintained in good condition to prevent cracks, leaks, holes, etc. All cornices and other decorative features must be maintained in good repair, and properly and safely attached. All gutters, downspouts and shingles must be intact and securely mounted.
  • Rubbish: Collected by Borough’s Refuse Collection Department.
  • Broken windows: All windows, skylights and door frames must be in good repair and weather-tight.
  • Peeling paint: Exterior is free of peeling paint and penetrations.
  • House numbers: Buildings must have approved address numbers placed where they are plainly legible and visible from the street. o The numbers must contrast with their background. o Numbers must be Arabic numerals or alphabet letters. o Numbers must be at least 4 inches tall and have a minimum stroke width of 0.5 inches.
  • Sheds: Storage sheds no more than 225 square feet floor area each and not exceeding 10 feet high are permitted in the side and rear yard setback areas of the property.
  • High grass and weeds: Grass and weeds cannot exceed a height of six inches unless it is used for the purpose of edible and/or ornamental vegetation. Excluding trees, bushes and hedges.
  • Pools: Private pools, hot tubs must be completely surrounded by a fence that is at least 48 inches in height. Gates and doors for the fence must be self-closing and self-latching.
  • Exterior stairs: Stairways, decks, porches and balconies must be structurally sound.
  • Overhang Extensions: Overhang extensions (canopies, signs, awnings, etc.) must be in good repair and properly anchored. Where applicable, the overhangs must be protected against decay and rust.
  • Chimneys/Towers: All chimneys and towers must be in good repair and structurally safe. Where applicable, exposed surfaces must be protected against decay and rust.

Interior:

  • Water supply: Public utilities and private wells.
  • Sewer: Public utilities and private sewer systems.

Other:

Certificates Required:

  • Occupancy/Change of Use

Form: http://bellefonte.net/departments/planning-zoning/planning-zoning-forms/

  • The Borough maintains a real estate registry, which must be updated by the owner of the property within one month of purchase. The owner provides a description of the property on a form provided by the Borough. No deed may be recorded until the property has been registered.

 

Sign Ordinances and Solicitation Rules

Open House Directional Signs:
  • Real estate signs that advertise the sale, rental or lease of the premises upon which the signs are located may not exceed five square feet in sign area in residential zones and the Central Business District, and 16 square feet in all other commercial and industrial zones.
    • Real estate signs may be placed off premises for no longer than 10 days for purposes of advertising an open house or similar event.
    • No license or permit required.
For Sale/Sold Signs:
  • Real estate signs that advertise the sale, rental or lease of the premises upon which the signs are located may not exceed five square feet in sign area in residential zones and the Central Business District, and 16 square feet in all other commercial and industrial zones.
    • Real estate signs shall be removed within 10 days after the location advertised has been sold, rented or leased.
    • No license or permit required.
Solicitation Rules:
  • Peddling- When a person sells or offers to sell any goods, wares, services, or merchandise that they carry with them in travel or have in their possession or control upon any of the streets or sidewalks, from house to house, by visitation to private residences, or by entering in or upon private property for immediate delivery. 
  • Soliciting- The seeking or taking of contracts or orders for any goods, wares, services or merchandise for future delivery or for subscriptions or contributions, upon any of the streets or sidewalks or from house to house or by visitation to private residences or by entering in or upon private property within the Borough.

    However, the words "soliciting" and "peddling" do not apply to:

    • Farmers seeking or taking orders for the sale of their own products;
    • The seeking or taking of orders by any manufacturer or producer for the sale of bread and bakery products, meats and meat products, milk or milk products;
    • The sale of goods, wares and merchandise donated by the owners, where the proceeds are to be applied to any charitable, philanthropic or religious purpose, provided such activity is first registered with the Borough (Registration and Carry ID cards);
    • Any honorably discharged veteran of the armed services;
    • The seeking or taking of orders for insurance by insurance agents or brokers licensed under the insurance laws of the commonwealth;
    • Parties in compliance with the provisions of the Solicitation of Funds for Charitable Purposes Act, 10 P.S. § 162.1 et seq., and its updates;
    • Any person taking orders for merchandise from dealers or merchants for resale to an ultimate consumer;
    • Boys or girls under the age of 18 years who take orders for and deliver newspapers, greeting cards, candy and the like;
    • Boy Scouts and Girl Scouts or similar organizations and taking orders for and deliver cookies and the like.
  • Charitable, Religious or Nonprofit Causes
    • Solicitation of funds for charitable, religious or nonprofit causes shall be permitted at any business establishment and upon any business properties, such as shopping center parking lots, during normal business hours, but those solicitors shall also register at the Borough Building and carry identification cards.
  • Panhandling - Any solicitation made in person, requesting an immediate donation of money or other thing of value.
    • Panhandling does not include passively standing or sitting with a sign or other indication that one is seeking donations.
    • Panhandling including passively standing or sitting is unlawful at any public transportation facility or vehicle, vehicle on the street, public park, fairground, sporting facility, 15 feet of any automated teller machine, private property with no permission from the owner, public property in the downtown core district and in Borough owned parking lot or garage.
Permit Requirements/Fee:
  • License Requirements - No person shall engage in soliciting, peddling or transient merchandising in the Borough without first obtaining a license therefor as hereinafter provided. License must be carried on person at all times when engaged in such activities. 
  • License Fees - A license fee shall be paid to the Borough Police Department, for the use of the Borough, upon the issuance of any license under this article. The fee to be paid for a license will be as established by resolution of the Borough Council. 
  • Effective Period of Licenses; Renewals - The license granted shall be valid for 30 days after the date of such license. Upon the expiration of any license, if the person holding the same desires to continue or renew soliciting or peddling, he shall file a new application for a license and pay a new license fee. 
  • Hours and Days of Work Permitted - 
    • No person licensed as a solicitor or peddler under this article shall engage in soliciting or peddling on any day of the week before 9:00 a.m. or after 7:00 p.m. or sunset at night, whichever comes first.
    • No person licensed as a solicitor or peddler under this article shall engage in any soliciting or peddling on Sundays.
    • No person licensed as a solicitor or peddler under this article shall engage in any soliciting or peddling on legal holidays.
    • Records; Supervision of Licensees. - The Police Department shall keep a record of all licenses issued under this article and shall supervise the activities of all licensees.

Building Codes and Zoning

Building Code Requirements:
  • The Pennsylvania Uniform Construction Code (UCC), contained in 34 Pa. Code, Chapters 401 to 405, has been adopted and amended by Bellefonte Borough as the Municipal Building Code of the Borough. The Borough uses the Centre Regional Code Administration (CRCA) through the Centre Region Council of Government (COG) to review, issue permits and inspect building construction, rental housing and commercial fire safety for all Township residents - http://www.crcog.net/
  • All rental housing in a municipality is required to have a rental/housing permit and is regulated by the International Property Maintenance Code and the National Fire Prevention Code. These codes require the property owner to maintain the structure in a safe and sanitary condition.
  • The Building Code Official is authorized to vacate any property within 10 days of an order whenever an imminent hazard to the community’s health, safety or welfare exists on a property.An owner’s rental housing permit may be revoked when a violation of the Property Maintenance Code has not been corrected in 90 days.

  • The Borough is required to notify the owner of a suspension by written notice that describes the reason for and dates of the suspension. If a property’s rental housing permit is suspended then the unit will be secured and vacated for 6 months.
Property Maintenance Requirements/Code Enforcement:
  • The owner of the premises shall maintain the structures and exterior property in accordance with the Property Maintenance Code. Occupants are responsible for keeping the unit or premises they occupy in a clean, safe, and sanitary condition. 
  • Occupants must keep their part of the exterior property that they occupy in a clean and sanitary condition. 
  • All exterior stairways and fire escapes must be kept in proper state of repair free from snow, ice or debris. The removal of snow and ice shall be completed within 24 hours after the snow has stopped or ice has developed on exterior stairways. 
  • The owner of the property must not allow ice to build up on the roof and the owner must remove the ice immediately. 
  • Every owner of a building containing two or more dwelling units must maintain clean common areas/shared areas. Owners or occupants who do not keep their structures they control in a clean and sanitary condition will be in violation of the Property Maintenance Code. 
  • All rental properties must be inspected at least once every 24 months, but if a property does not receive a satisfactory inspection then the property will be inspected annually until the property earns three consecutive annual inspections. More frequent inspections may be made if a valid complaint is made to the Building Code Official or at the request of the owner or tenant. 
  • The owner must be present at the inspections and provide access to the inside of the property or the owner may be charged a No-Show Fee. 
  • The Borough requires all property owners having sidewalks next to their property to maintain those sidewalks, including repairs and replacements when they do not meet Borough standards. 
  • The Borough will conduct inspections of sidewalks yearly in June. See Sidewalk Repair Ordinance §495-2. 
  • Property owners are responsible for removal of snow and ice from public sidewalks adjacent/abutting their property within 24 hours after precipitation has stopped. 
  • Noise Ordinance §372 is in place for the Township to enact Code Enforcement where noise level is excessive for: commercial advertising goods and services, sounds to the general public by shouting/yelling as well as mechanical devices; vehicles; audio/amplifying devices; and noisy animals. All of these situations have regulations outlined in the Township Ordinance. 
  • Animals – Ordinance §193 –
    • Dogs may not run loose without being accompanied by or under the control of the owner on public land or property owned by another person.
    • Unlawful to allow a cat to habitually roam onto someone else’s property.
    • A nuisance may be declared when a cat habitually cries or howls.
    • Residents cannot keep any farm animals of the bovine, equine, sheep, poultry family or other farm animals in the Borough.
    • Unlawful for animals to defecate on public areas or private property not owned by the owner of the animal.
Vacant or Blighted Property Ordinance Requirements:
  • The owner of vacant property shall maintain the structures and/or exterior land in a clean, safe, secure, and sanitary condition as regulated by the Property Maintenance Code.
Zoning Regulations:

Districts - 

Ø  Central Business District  -  CBD   

Ø  Conservation  -  C-1                 

Ø  Suburban Residential District  -  R-1

Ø  Town Residential District  -  R-2     

Ø  High Density District (Multifamily)  -  R-4     

Ø  Highway Commercial District  -  HC                 

Ø  Waterfront Business  -  WBD              

Ø  Village Commercial  -  VC

Ø  Heavy Industrial  -  HI

Zoning Map: https://ecode360.com/attachment/BE2966/BE2966-575a%20Zoning%20Map.pdf

Public Utilities and Septic Ordinances
  • Bellefonte Water/Sewer Public Utilities - http://bellefonte.net/
  • Private Sewer Systems
  • Wells
  • Trash Collection - If a person resides in Bellefonte Borough, they must use the Borough's designated refuse collection service, per Borough Ordinance §482.

Rental Property Inspection Information

Rental Property Registration/License Required:See Certificates Required Below
Registration Valid For: Rental Housing Permit – renewed annually
Other Rental Property Inspection Required: See Certificates Required Below

Exterior:

  • Sidewalks and curbs: The Borough requires all property owners having sidewalks next to their property to maintain those sidewalks, including repairs and replacements when they do not meet Borough standards. The Borough will conduct inspections of sidewalks yearly in June. See Sidewalk Repair Ordinance §495-2. Exterior is free of refuse and sidewalks are free of obstructions.
  • Handrails: Every exterior and interior flight of stairs over 4 steps must have a handrail on one side of the stairs, landing, deck or ramp. Guardrail spacing may not exceed a maximum of four inches apart. Every handrail and guard must be firmly fastened and capable of supporting weight.
  • Foundation: All foundation walls, exterior walls, and roofs must be maintained in good condition to prevent cracks, leaks, holes, etc. All cornices and other decorative features must be maintained in good repair, and properly and safely attached. All gutters, downspouts and shingles must be intact and securely mounted.
  • Rubbish: Collected by Borough’s Refuse Collection Department.
  • Broken windows: All windows, skylights and door frames must be in good repair and weather-tight. Screens not torn or loose are located in at least one window per room during the months from May 15 to October 1.
  • Peeling paint: Exterior is free of peeling paint and penetrations.
  • House numbers: Buildings must have approved address numbers placed where they are plainly legible and visible from the street. o The numbers must contrast with their background. o Numbers must be Arabic numerals or alphabet letters. o Numbers must be at least 4 inches tall and have a minimum stroke width of 0.5 inches. For multi-family dwellings of 3 or more stories with balconies, the street level is considered the first story.
  • Sheds: Storage sheds no more than 225 square feet floor area each and not exceeding 10 feet high are permitted in the side and rear yard setback areas of the property.
  • High grass and weeds: Grass and weeds cannot exceed a height of six inches unless it is used for the purpose of edible and/or ornamental vegetation. Excluding trees, bushes and hedges.
  • Pools: Private pools, hot tubs must be completely surrounded by a fence that is at least 48 inches in height. Gates and doors for the fence must be self-closing and self-latching.
  • Exterior stairs: Stairways, decks, porches and balconies must be structurally sound. Stairways, fire escapes and other means of exiting a building must remain clear and unobstructed.
  • Driveways: Any public use areas (i.e., driveways, parking spaces, stairways and sidewalks) on private property shall be maintained in good repair and kept free of all snow, ice, mud and debris.
  • Chimneys/Towers: All chimneys and towers must be in good repair and structurally safe. Where applicable, exposed surfaces must be protected against decay and rust.
  • Extermination: The owner of any building must be responsible for extermination prior to renting or leasing the structure.
  • Porches: Covered porches may not be used for storage including upholstered furniture.
  • Overhang Extensions: Overhang extensions (canopies, signs, awnings, etc.) must be in good repair and properly anchored. Where applicable, the overhangs must be protected against decay and rust.

Interior:

  • Smoke alarm: Owners or the person in charge are responsible for providing a functioning smoke detector at the start of each lease period. The tenant is responsible to maintain a smoke detector in a functional condition during their occupancy. Any person who removes the battery/power source or tampers with a smoke alarm will be in violation of the Property Maintenance Code. Owners are responsible for providing a functioning smoke detector in the immediate vicinity of as well as in the rooms used for sleeping. Additional stories of a dwelling which includes basements quarters must have smoke alarms installed. Excluded are crawl spaces and uninhabitable attics. Smoke alarms cannot exceed manufacturer’s life span (around 10 years). Fire Safety Certification
  • Handrails: Every exterior and interior flight of stairs over 4 steps must have a handrail on one side of the stairs, landing, deck or ramp. Guardrail spacing may not exceed a maximum of four inches apart. Every handrail and guard must be firmly fastened and capable of supporting weight.
  • Sprinkler system: In accordance with National Fire Protection Association (NFPA 25).
  • Ceilings: Ceilings must be free of tapestries and other combustible fabrics unless certified to be flame resistant.
  • Carbon monoxide detectors: An approved carbon monoxide detector must be installed in all dwelling units, rooming units, and guest rooms when a fossil fuel or solid fuel appliance is used as a heat source in the property. Carbon monoxide detectors cannot exceed manufacturer’s life span (around 5-7 years). Fire Safety Certification
  • Heating systems: Owners or the person in charge are responsible to furnish heat of not less than 68° F. (20° C.) in all habitable rooms between the hours of 6:30 a.m. and 10:30 p.m.. All other hours of the day heat must be furnished not less than 65° F. (18° C.). Heat is available October 1 through May 15. Furnace and chimney have been serviced/inspected with the last year. Water heater is not leaking and has proper down tube. If a tenant uses a woodstove, fireplace and chimney within the past year, it must be inspected.
  • Water supply: Public utilities and private wells.
  • Fire extinguisher: Rental housing buildings must have one 2.5-pound ABC portable fire extinguisher placed in the kitchen area of each unit. Fire Safety Certification
  • GFCIs: Every bathroom shall have at least one GFCI installed. Laundry room/area must have a grounded-type receptacle.
  • Exit Doors: All properties must provide for a safe and continuous path from any point in the building to a public street. All exists must be equipped with emergency lighting and exit signs. In residential buildings every story above the second story must have at least two independent exits. Exceptions to this rule are buildings that have automatic sprinkler system and an automatic fire detection system. Emergency escapes and rescue openings must be operational from the inside of the room without the use of keys or tools. For properties that receive a rental housing permit for the first time after November 22, 2004, exits must not pass through kitchens, storage rooms, and closets. Basement sleeping rooms with no sprinkler system throughout the building must have at least one operable window or exterior door. These windows or doors must have devices that secure the unit. Doors must be able to open and close easily and are weather tight.
  • Sewer: Public utilities and private sewer systems.
  • Walls: Walls, ceilings, and surfaces must be free of mold and mildew in bathrooms.
  • Windows: Every habitable space must have at least one window that is of adequate size facing directly outdoors or to a court. Windows must be able to be opened and stay opened as well as the ability to be locked/secured.
  • Lights: Every Common hall and stairway in residential occupancies, other than one and two family dwellings, must have lighting at all times with at least a 60-watt lightbulb. Closet lights must be approved type of fixtures.
  • Appliances: Washing machine must be plugged into a ground receptacle and dryer is vented to the exterior with a rigid or flexible-rigid metal dryer vent. Grounded three prong appliances cannot be plugged into ungrounded two prong receptacles/outlets.
  • Electric: Electric panel box must be completely labeled and cover is in place and accessible. Fuses in fuse box are “S” type. Extension cords cannot be used as permanent wiring and they may not be run under rugs, doorways or through windows.
  • Entry Doors: Deadbolt locks are required.
  • Exhaust Fans: Is operational in bathrooms or a window is able to be opened.

Other:

  • Interior Doors: Door locks operating without keys or special tools.
  • Plumbing: All plumbing and fixtures must be free of leaks. All sinks, lavatories, laundry facilities, bathtubs and showers must supply hot or tempered and cold running water in accordance with the International Plumbing Code.

Certificates Required:

  • Occupancy/Change of Use

The Fire Safety Certificate is renewed annually - provided to the tenant to verify fire extinguishers, smoke alarms and carbon monoxide detectors are in working order. Certificate is returned and kept by property owner.

Forms:

http://bellefonte.net/departments/building-housing/rental-housing/

http://bellefonte.net/departments/planning-zoning/planning-zoning-forms/


 

  • The Borough maintains a real estate registry, which must be updated by the owner of the property within one month of purchase. The owner provides a description of the property on a form provided by the Borough. No deed may be recorded until the property has been registered.

 

Student Housing and Occupancy Restrictions:

  • Cooking is not permitted in a rooming or dormitory unit unless approved through an application for Certificate of Occupancy through the Borough. Coffee pots and microwaves are excluded as a cooking appliance. 
  • Occupancy limitation and housing restrictions are contained in Section 404 of the Property Maintenance and Safety Code of §425. 
  • Automatic sprinkler system is required to be installed in fraternity/sorority house.

Elected Officials

Thomas Wilson, Mayor

Joanne Tosti-Vasey, President

Randall Brachbill, Vice President

R. Michael Prendergast, Council

Anne Walker, Council

Evan Duffy, Council

Renee Brown, Council

Doug Johnson, Pro Tempore

Melissa Hombosky, Council

Jon Eaton, Council

Debra Burger, Tax Collector

Public Meeting Schedule

Board of Supervisor Meetings:

First and third Monday monthly at 7:30 p.m. in the Borough office building.

 

Planning Commission Meetings:

Fourth Monday monthly at 5:00 p.m. in Borough office building.

Bob Dannaker, Chairperson

James Mills, Secretary 

 

Zoning Hearing Board Meetings:

Second Wednesday monthly at 7:00 p.m. in Borough office building.

William Luther, Chairperson

Municipal Staff

Ralph W. Stewart, Manager/Secretary

Don Holderman, Assistant Borough Manager

Lori Walker, Finance Director

Walter Schneider, Building Code Official

Shannon Wright, Zoning Officer

Tax Information

Millage Rate

Millage Rate (County):
Real Estate Mills Municipal: 15.265
Real Estate Mills School District:
Total Millage Rate:

Realty Transfer Percent

PA State Transfer Percent:
Realty Transfer Percent Municipal: 0.5
Realty Transfer Percent School District:
Total Realty Transfer Percent:

Other Tax Information

Per Capita Tax:
Earned Income Municipal (%): 0.6
Earned Income School District (%):
Local Services Tax: 52

School District


(Municipal data last updated July 23, 2018)

The information contained in this profile is only intended to provide a general summary of real estate-related laws and regulations in this municipality. It is not intended to take the place of written law, ordinances, or regulations that can be obtained directly from the municipality.