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The Abington Citizens Network
where Abington, PA residents can share ideas and join forces to build a better community
 

 


 TOOLS FOR RESIDENTS 

 HOW DO I FIND THE LAWS THAT GOVERN THE ACTIONS  IN MY TOWNSHIP?   ______________________________________
Please check all details for accuracy . If there are discrepancies please let us know
so we can correct  anything that needs correcting.  


  First and foremost, you are protected by :  2 DOCUMENTS

The Constitution of the United States of America
" We the People of the United States, in Order to form a more perfect Union,
 establish Justice, insure domestic Tranquility, provide for the common defence,
 promote the general Welfare, and secure the Blessings of Liberty to ourselves and our Posterity, do ordain and establish this Constitution for the United States of America.


 The  Constitution of the Commonwealth of Pa
                   
Article 1 Section 27 " The people have a right to clean air, pure water, and to the         preservation of the natural, scenic, historic and esthetic values of the environment. Pennsylvania's public natural resources are the common property of all the people, including generations yet to come. As trustee of these resources, the Commonwealth shallconserve and maintain them for the benefit of all the people.
Article 1 section 1 " All men are born equally free and independent, and have certain inherent and indefeasible rights, among which are those of enjoying and defending life and liberty, of acquiring, possessing and protecting property and reputation, and of pursing their own happiness."
_____________________________

  Zoning & Code Enforcement Tools
                       
The  Abington Zoning code   http://www.abington.org/info/newcodebook.htm  
                            Same as above :   Part 1 Township's Codebook except for zoning
                                                      Part 2 Zoning Portion of Township Codebook
                       Planned Business District Zoning - Pages 42 to 51 of the Abington Twp zoning code
                       Land Development & Zoning submissions, blueprints, plans currently underway
                                   http://www.abington.org/resident/plans%20and%20maps.htm    
                     Property Maintenance Code
                               http://www.abington.org/code/property_maintcode.htm
                          
No weeds allowed to grow http://www.ecode360.com/9007277
                         
 No barking dogs  http://www.ecode360.com/9007277
                     Animals  http://www.ecode360.com/9006044#9006044
                    
  Noise section 106  http://www.ecode360.com/9007246
                     Sound Amplifying equipment http://www.ecode360.com/9008587#9008587
                     No dropping of handbills, or literature http://www.ecode360.com/9007277
                                              ( solicitors  have been violating this ).

                      No posting of signs except by permission of owner http://www.ecode360.com/9007277
                    
Abington's Comprehensive Plan                            
                                http://www.abington.org/code/Comp%20Plan%202007_files/comp%20plan%20072707.pdf
                     The Old York Road Corridor Study
                                 the finished study http://abington.org/OYRresults.htm
                                        working site : http://www.oldyorkroad.net/

                     Zoning Board Decisions may be reversed  if the zoning hearing board made an
                                            error of law or abused their discretion when deciding the issue

  
                                   Borough of Jenkintown v. Board of Commissioners of Abington Twp.
                     Appealing an ordinance after the 30 day limit may be allowed  if  you are
                                      alleging procedural defects in the enactment of  the  ordinance
                                            Glen-Gery Corp. v. Dover Twp. Zoning Hearing Board
,  unless  “a procedurally
                                     defective ordinance has been on the books and obeyed . . . for such a long
                                      time that public notice and acquiescence can be presumed”
                      The Zoning Hearing  Board Rules in PA
                                     http://www.newpa.com/webfm_send/1511
 
                     Pennsylvania Municipalities Planning Code                                  
                                     http://mpc.landuselawinpa.com/mpc_full.html
                                
    Section: 604 ( 2 ) To prevent one or more of the following: overcrowding
                                              of land, blight, danger and congestion in travel and transportation, loss of
                                               health, life or property from fire, flood, panic or other dangers.

                     
Variances and Special Exceptions  per Pa Municipal Planning Code
                                      
http://www.newpa.com/webfm_send/1512
 
                    Zoning Code Violations  per Pa Municipal Planning Code
                                      
 http://mpc.landuselawinpa.com/mpc_full6.html  
                     It was an oft published statistic circa  2008 (before and after) that our Township
                                        was 98%  developed.  The Zoning rewrites / Old York Rd Study / Comprehensive
                                                 Plan, etc.  are all designed to add more development ---- in essence
                                                 "over-development"  - or development that will change the nature of
                                                 our Township permanently . Is that what the residents who live and
                                                 vote here want?

  Township Procedures
                    
Most all Publications  Guiding Township procedure can be found here
                                 
http://www.newpa.com/local-government/publications
                 PA First  Class Township Code 
                            http://newpa.com/sites/default/files/uploads/first-class-township-code.pdf
                         or http://staging.newpa.com/sites/default/files/uploads/first-class-township-code.pdf
                         or buried in Tile 53  of Purdon's
                       http://government.westlaw.com/linkedslice/default.asp?SP=pac-1000

                 The  Township Commissioners Handbook
                           http://www.newpa.com/webfm_send/1519
                 The Purchasing Handbook  ( bids etc)
                            http://www.newpa.com/webfm_send/1530
                 The Township Supervisor's Handbook  
                           http://www.newpa.com/webfm_send/1518
                   Bids, Contracts, Purchasing in   Article 18 of the First Class Township Code Title 53
                          
http://government.westlaw.com/linkedslice/default.asp?SP=pac-1000

  For Citizens Understanding their Government
                  Citizens Guide to Local Govt
                                 http://www.newpa.com/webfm_send/1556
                  Center for Local Government Services 866-466-3972

  Meeting Procedures
                  Public Comment Guidelines -
              
Minutes of Meetings
                  Meeting Dates
                  Videos of meetings
                 
Rules of Procedure for Meetings in Abington Township
                         Roberts Rules of Order Newly Revised, 10th Edition applies
                         wherever an issue is not covered in the Rules of Procedure noted above

                 The Sunshine Act -    provides for residents to speak on all items that are or may come
                         before the board and for residents to interrupt wherever procedure is being
                         violated  in regard to residents rights to comment.
                 Tips when  going to meetings                              

 
What guides the Commissioners ? They are bound by ?
                Oath - fidelity to duty and to the constitution
                The  Township Commissioners Handbook
                            http://www.newpa.com/webfm_send/1519
                The Pennsylvania Constitution
                           
http://www.pahouse.com/pa_const.htm
                The Constitution of the United States Of America
                           
http://www.constitution.org/constit_.htm
                 Pennsylvania Statutes    
53 P.S. 55604. Failure of officer to perform duties.
                                    If any township officer refuses or neglects to perform his duties, the court

                                   ....upon complaint in writing by one hundred citizens, owners of
                                    real estate residing in the township, may issue a rule .......Upon hearing and proof
                                    that the facts alleged in the complaint are true, the court may declare the office vacant
                                    and appoint another in his stead.....
             

   Getting Information - The Right to Know - FOIA ( Freedom of Information Act)
                      Using an email form for Right to Know requests -Email me to get a copy
                     
Quick Guide to the Right to Know Law
                             
                                  http://www.openrecordspa.org/index_assets/RTKQuickGuide.pdf  
                     
The Right To Know Law – the actual Law in pdf

                                   
http://www.openrecordspa.org//rtk_assets/09RTKlaw.pdf
                     
T
he 30 exceptions to the Pa Right to Know Law
                           
http://www.pafoic.org/news_files/0da03662a7d28d5448ba9edc76b4ddc2-12.html
              
       Right to Inspect Documents per  PA First  Class Township Code 
                            
http://newpa.com/sites/default/files/uploads/first-class-township-code.pdf       
                            Section 903. Records Open to Inspection.--The minute book and other records
                                   and documents of every township shall be open to the inspection of any
                                   taxpayer thereof, his, her, or its agent, upon demand therefor at any time
                                   during  business hours
.                                      

   Flooding Tools
               Our Flood Guide
               Twp Stormwater page with resource links at bottom
                                http://abington.org/stormwater/stormwater%20page.htm

  Sewer Issues or Septic -Environment etc -
              
Officials to contact  with sewer issues 
                           DEP- Montco Health Dept - County - Twp Staff- Commissioners


   Info on Real Estate - Homeowning and and Renting
                       Property Maintenance Code ( how the property must be kept  )
                                    
  http://www.abington.org/code/property_maintcode.htm
                 Tax Maps with Property Details are available at Montcopa.org site
               
  PA  Tenant  Landlord Handbook 
                                  
http://www.tenant.net/Other_Areas/Penn/harris/pa-toc.html.

   The  Laws and the Courts -
                  Search for a docketed case
                              
 http://webapp.montcopa.org/PSI/Viewer/Search.aspx?c=CaseSearch&panel=All
                 Unofficial Purdon's Pennsylvania Statutes
                                 
http://government.westlaw.com/linkedslice/default.asp?SP=pac-1000

  Voter /Election information
             
 Elections 
                     
  http://www.abingtoncitizens.com/TwpGovt/Elections.htm
             
 Title 25 of Purdon's
                        http://government.westlaw.com/linkedslice/default.asp?SP=pac-1000
 

   BEGIN TO PUT YOUR TOOLS TO USE ... see our "tools" page
             Ask your Commissioners and your Township manager  specifically to :
              1) post a webpage for each issue that has the links to find meetings,
                            lastest updates & all the plans etc
              2)  tape  all meetings on the topic & air them on our public channel -
                             so you can review or if you missed a meeting. This is actually important .
                             The devil is really in the details
              3) post all the taped meetings on-line with time  reference points and fast forward features
              4)  notify everyone  in the township that there is a list for updates on this subject-
                          invite ALL residents to get onto the list
              5)  provide a meeting space ( already paid by your taxes ) for neighbors
                             to hold their own open discussions  whenever they choose -
                             to share information and formulate questions- not moderated by authorities.
              6) to provide residents with any changes that are being proposed in summary form
                            - preferably in "2 column /compare " style
              7) please make your meetings open to all  - If you try to limit transparency for others
                             and then you will be perpetuating the system where others can limit  you


Email me if you need help contacting others.   I also have a great deal of information about how our processes work and what is happening elsewhere in the Township that might be helpful to your situation.

                                                      

                                                           )))))))))))))))))))))

   We welcome your comments  to share either anonymously or with your name attached with your  fellow Abington residents.   Send  any updated information, comments or questions  to: lel@abingtoncitizens.com 

 

BROKEN LINKS ALERT  

Abington Township recently completely revamped their website at the end of 2015 . All links directed to the old site were broken. We will be reinstating links as we find them and if the data is still available.  
Please  let us know if you find a broken link . Send us the name of the link and the page it is on , and if we can reinstate it, we will.

 


Disclaimer:

The information on this page or in this site may have unintentional inaccuracies, and also has opinions. It should not be relied upon as fact until investigated personally by the reader.  Please read our full  Disclaimer
and read our Policies page before using this site.
 All who find inaccuracies are asked to please contact us so we may correct them.