Ordinances

What is an Ordinance?

A law, statute, or regulation enacted by a Municipal Corporation.

An ordinance is a law passed by a municipal government. A municipality, such as a city, town, village, or borough, is a political subdivision of a state within which a municipal corporation has been established to provide local government to a population in a defined area.

Ordinances constitute the subject matter of municipal law. The power of municipal governments to enact ordinances is derived from the state constitution or statutes or through the legislative grant of a municipal charter. The charter in large part dictates how much power elected officials have to regulate actions within the municipality. Municipalities that have been granted “home rule” charters by the legislature have the most authority to act. If, however, a municipality enacts an ordinance that exceeds its charter or is in conflict with state or federal law, the ordinance can be challenged in court and ruled void.

Many ordinances deal with maintaining public safety, health, morals, and General Welfare. For example, a municipality may enact housing ordinances that set minimum standards of habitability. Other ordinances deal with fire and safety regulations that residential, commercial, and industrial property owners must follow. Many municipalities have enacted noise ordinances, which prohibit prescribed levels of noise after certain hours of the evening.

Ordinances may also deal with public streets and sidewalks. They typically include regulations regarding parking, snow removal, and littering. Restrictions on pets, including “pooper scooper” and leash laws, are also governed by municipal ordinances.

One of the most significant areas of municipal law is Zoning. Zoning ordinances constitute a master plan for land use within the municipality. A municipality is typically divided into residential, commercial, and industrial zoning districts. Zoning attempts to conserve the value of property and to encourage the most appropriate use of land throughout a particular locality.

In the past, many U.S. municipalities enacted a variety of ordinances regulating public morals and behavior. Many, such as ordinances that prohibited spitting on a public sidewalk, have been repealed or are rarely enforced.

Jonestown Borough does not have a publisher for its ordinances at this time.  You my contact the Borough office with any questions regarding ordinances.

 

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19 thoughts on “Ordinances

  1. What is the animal ordinance for pot belly pigs on Shirksville Road, 5 homes down from the church at Route 343 and Shirksville Road?

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    1. You are not located in Jonestown Borough. You would have to check with your local municipality on that question. Judging by what you have described, I would say you are in Bethel Township Lebanon County.

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  2. I have talked with several individuals and I apologize but I do not have a definitive answer for you. One individual asked if it was going to be a public event and if it would be held in the Borough or on borough property. He also suggested that you contact Rep. Russ Diamond’s office for clarification. I was looking online and I found some information on legalzoom.com under ‘Requirements to have a raffle in Pennsylvania’. You can also go to http://www.revenue.pa.gov for information under ‘Small Games of Chance’. From what I am reading, you would need to be some type of organization to have a raffle. I have not seen any listing of costs involved. I hope this helps. Good luck!

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    1. Hi Ellen, yes I’m sure there is but I do not have exact specifics at this time. I will find out the particulars and contact you. Are you currently experiencing an isolated incident or is this an ongoing problem? If it’s an ongoing problem, you can complete and submit one of our code enforcement forms under the code enforcement page. Thank you!

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      1. Unless there is another Ellen writing I personally did not ask this question. I only asked about raffles which I found out my event is not in the borough. Thanks

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