Who do I contact if I have a complaint?
Since Elizabeth Township does not have a formal complaint procedure, a resident should first contact the Township office to provide a description of the nature of the complaint so that the specific individual(s) associated with the Township can be made aware of the complaint and schedule it for investigation. The Township administers multiple ordinances which address zoning, nuisances (i.e. high grass and weeds, junked vehicles, barking dogs, etc.), building construction, storm water management, sewage, and open burning, and a complaint may fall under any one or more of these ordinances. The caller should be aware that in most instances, the investigation of a complaint, a follow-up enforcement action (when deemed necessary), and a resolution may take a considerable amount of time. There is rarely an “overnight” solution.
When a complaint is filed with the Township by an individual against another property owner, the Township strongly encourages that this person (the complainant) provide his or her name and residence information with the description of the perceived code violation. This information is not public information and remains private throughout any investigation. Under Section 708 of the PA Right to Know Law (Act 3 of 2008), if a requestor is seeking the name or copies of the complaint submitted to the Township or other correspondence between the complainant and the Township, this information is exempt from access and will not be provided. This type of information is exempt from public access under the Right to Know Law and the complainant’s name and address will always remain confidential in this situation.
However, depending on the nature of the violation, should it be necessary for the Township to file a civil enforcement action with the District Magistrate to obtain compliance with Township ordinances, the complainant should be aware he or she may be asked to testify at that proceeding to enable the Township to present conclusive testimony at that hearing. Although this type of situation is quite rare, in this instance the complainant’s identity can no longer remain confidential.
In 2019 the Township instituted an Ordinance enacting the International Property Maintenance Code (IPMC). The IPMC empowers the Township to address property issues that are more serious than high grass and weeds, junked vehicles or barking dogs. The ability to aggressively address continuing or worsening property conditions is now in place.