Frequently asked questions are listed below. Click a question to view the corresponding answer to that question:
Frequently Asked Questions
Q: Is an "adult entertainment" business allowed in Aliquippa?
Yes – but under strict regulation. Ordinance 8 of 2000 in general prohibits adult business defined as live entertainment, exhibition of films or so-called “massage parlors” or “model studios” in which nude bodies are exhibited. Such businesses may be deemed as public nuisances in a court of law and may be subjected to fines, injunctions and judgments for monetary damages. But, under the City Zoning Ordinance, adult businesses are permitted only in an Industrial Service District. A license is required as well as detailed information concerning ownership and financing. The zoning ordinance affects adult bookstores, adult businesses and adult entertainment in which presentations can be viewed or purchased that emphasize nudity or sexual conduct.
Q. Am I permitted to drink alcoholic beverages on public property?
Consumption of alcoholic beverages is prohibited on all public property in Aliquippa including streets and parks and in unoccupied buildings regardless of whether they are privately or publicly owned.
Q. What rules govern "amusement machines" like juke boxes and video poker machines?
These machines may be placed in approved business establishments or nonprofit clubs after obtaining a permit for each machine; however, these machines are intended for amusement only; in no event may any of these machines be used as gambling devices. Violations of this ordinance or state laws governing these devices may result in fines and imprisonment (Ordinance 4-2000)
Animals / Pets
Q. What is a Dangerous Dog and what are my responsibilities if I have one?
A dangerous dog is a dog that has done one or more of the following:
- Attacked or bitten a human being.
- Killed or inflicted severe injury while off the dog owner’s property
- Been used in the commission of crime
Dangerous dogs must be registered with the Aliquippa Police Department. Owners are required to comply with certain regulations as stated by City Ordinance 3-94.
Q. May farm animals be kept as pets in Aliquippa?
Such “large” animals, including cattle, sheep and pigs, as well as fighting or “game” cocks or other animals not usually considered pets, are prohibited in Aliquippa.
Q. What about dogs, cats and other approved pets?
You can keep up to six “small animals” like dogs and cats. In addition, you may also keep up to six puppies or kittens until they reach six months of age. Birds are also considered approved “small animals”, but they may not be raised for commercial purposes within the city.
Q. Are there any other rules about keeping pets?
Yes. Pet owners must keep their animals from running free and shall keep them under clean and sanitary conditions with sufficient room and with adequate drainage in the case of a kennel type of environment. Animal litter must be cleaned at least daily in a covered container that must be emptied at least twice a week into a closed disposal container such as a plastic trash bag to prevent growth of fly larvae (maggots).
Q. What about enforcement of the Animal Ordinance?
Violators may be prosecuted under state law.
Q. What standards are required to carry out construction in the City of Aliquippa?
Building Codes in Aliquippa are regulated by the requirements of the Uniform Construction Code (UCC) as adopted by City Ordinance 3 of 2004. Applications for Building Permits may be obtained at the Aliquippa City offices and must be approved prior to the start of any construction.
Q. What penalties may be imposed for violation of the code?
A violator convicted of failing to comply with the code or building permit issued by the City of Aliquippa or a directive by the City code enforcement officer during construction or change of an existing building may be ordered to pay up to $1,000 or spend up to 30 days in jail for each day the violation has existed.
Q. I am a contractor doing work in Aliquippa. Is there anything that I am required to do?
Yes, if you are engaged in activities governed by the UCC Code, you must register with the City of Aliquippa, pay an annual fee of $40.00 and provide a certificate of insurance coverage with the payment.
Q. Is there a curfew regulation in Aliquippa?
Yes. It shall be unlawful for any person 17 or fewer years of age (under 18) to be or remain in or upon the streets within the City of Aliquippa at night during the period ending at 6:00 AM and beginning:
- At 10:00 PM for minors 11 or fewer years of age.
- At 10:30 PM for minors 12 or 13 years of age.
Q. Do I need a permit to erect a fence or enclosure wall?
Q. What height restrictions are placed on fences, hedges and enclosure walls?
These dividers may not exceed 36 inches in a front yard, or six feet in back yards and side yards.
Q. What about setback?
Fences, hedges and enclosure walls shall be located at least one foot within the property line.
Q. Do these restrictions apply in all zoning districts?
Q. Are there any exceptions?
Yes, for Public Recreational Purposes.
Q. Do "firearms" mean guns of any type?
For the purposes of the ordinance, they include any device that propels a projectile by force. In addition to any type of gun – shotgun, rifle, handgun or pistol – a “firearm” also includes a pellet gun, BB gun, bow-and-arrow or crossbow, or slingshot.
Q. Under what conditions may firearms be used in Aliquippa.
Firearms may be legally discharged in the City only (1) by a police officer in line of duty, (2) for preservation of human life as described in the Pennsylvania Crimes Code, (3) hunting in designated areas and (4) on a target range registered with the City and operated using national gun-club procedures. Otherwise, discharge of any firearm in the City is prohibited.
Q. What are the penalties for violation of the ordinance?
A fine of no more than $1,000 or no more than 90 days in jail for each day an offense has occurred.
Q. Is there any restriction to hours of operation for restaurants?
Loitering and Nuisances
Q. What – or who – constitutes a public nuisance?
Any person, group or business which causes an annoyance or disturbance to people beyond the property where such disturbance originates. Infrequent or occasional disturbances do not constitute a public nuisance.
Q. Is loitering prohibited in Aliquippa?
Yes. Loitering is strictly prohibited by City Ordinance No. 2 of 2004. It shall be unlawful for any person to:
- Loiter, loaf, wander, stand or remain idle either alone and/or in consort with others in a public highway, public sidewalk or any other public place or building by hindering or impeding or tending to hinder or impede the free and uninterrupted passage of vehicles, traffic or pedestrians.
- Commit in or upon any public street, public highway, public sidewalk or any other public place or building any act or thing which is an obstruction or interference to the free and uninterrupted use of property or with any business lawfully conducted by anyone in or upon or facing or fronting on any such public sidewalk or any other public sidewalk or any other public place or building, all of which prevents the free and uninterrupted ingress, egress and regress therein, thereon and thereto.
Fines of not more than $300.00 or imprisonment of up to ninety (90) days can be instituted upon conviction.
Q. I am the owner of residential rental property in Aliquippa. Does the City have any regulations governing this?
Yes. Aliquippa has enacted Ordinance 1-2004, which involves the licensing and inspection of all rental units including single and multiple family dwellings, boarding and rooming houses. Completion of the annual Rental Registration Form and payment of the associated fees is required for compliance.
Q. What if I do not plan to rent out this property?
A vacant property that is simultaneously listed for sale is exempt from the Rental Registration Program.
Q. Who is responsible for fixing sidewalks?
The owner of the adjacent property. Generally, property lines extend beyond sidewalks and into a bordering street or highway, but local government has right-of-way over sidewalks, leaving responsibility of maintenance to the property owner. Under the ordinance, a property owner shall repair a sidewalk within 30 days’ notice by the City Code Official to make specific repairs.
Q. But can I build a sidewalk or make repairs on my own?
Yes, but you will first have to obtain a permit from the City to make sure your design complies with specification standards for sidewalks in Aliquippa.
Q. What if I cast snow or ice onto a public street from my property?
This is prohibited by City Ordinance. You may be warned or fined by the City Police.
Q. If I am required to dig up a City Street, what do I need to do?
First off, you must obtain a permit from the City and post a maintenance bond to insure that the street is replaced back to its original condition. A fee of $50.00 is also required. The City has detailed specifications available at the City Administrator’s office concerning proper restoration. Before digging, a Pennsylvania One Call must be made.
Q. Am I required to have a permit if I intend to solicit in Aliquippa?
Yes. A license is required and an application must be prior completed and approved by the Aliquippa Police Chief. Permitted hours are regulated and the license fee is $100.00.
Street / House Numbering
Q. Are residents and business owners required to place and maintain street numbers outside their properties?
Yes, as provided in the International Property Maintenance Code.
Q. Are there any regulations governing dimensions and method of placement?
Yes. Building numbers must be placed adjacent to a doorway of each improved property. Lettering shall be at four inches in height.
Q. Is there anything in the Code about Swimming Pools?
Yes. For safety purposes, all in-ground swimming pools must have a surrounded fence, wall or portion of a building at least 48 inches high to discourage small children from entering the property when it is unattended. Any gates must be equipped with self-latching devices on the swimming pool side that may be secured when the pool is closed. Above-ground pools must be equipped with an access ladder that may be raised and secured in a locked position when the pool is unattended…In either case, pools may not be located on front yards.
Traffic / Vehicles
Q. What happens to an abandoned or unlicensed vehicle on a City Street or on private property?
Abandoned and unlicensed vehicles either on public or private property will be tagged and towed as permitted by City ordinance and state law. Owners are subject to fines and penalties.
Q. What is the speed limit in Aliquippa?
The speed limit is 25 miles per hour on all streets, 5 miles per hour in alleys.
Q. What parking restrictions are imposed for street cleaning?
Vehicles must be removed from streets as posted to allow the cleaning machine to pass unrestricted.
Many definitions, procedures to obtain zoning permits and exceptions are contained in the Aliquippa Code. The answers below provide only a general explanation. For additional information, consult the Code which is available for study at the Aliquippa City offices.
Q. Is Aliquippa "zoned"?
Yes. Zoning is a method to provide control over the uniform and orderly growth of a community, allowing for residential, commercial and industrial growth to occur in locations that provide the least amount of negative impact as possible upon neighboring properties.
Q: There are different kinds of residential zones. Can you explain?
In Aliquippa, there are three kinds of residential zones:
R-1 – Single Family Residential Districts providing for single-family detached dwellings, two-family dwellings, parks and playgrounds, schools, churches and essential services.
R-2 – General Residential Districts, which allow buildings in R-1 zones as well as duplexes and townhouses, multi-family dwellings and garden apartments, schools, churches and public buildings and accessory uses such as private garages and parking areas.
R-3 – Multi Family Residential Districts which include in addition to those allowed in R-1 and R-2 zones, multi-family buildings with at least six dwellings such as high-rise apartments, meeting halls, churches, personal care homes, hospitals, clinics, fire halls and office buildings.
Q. What about commercially zoned property?
There are four types: Further information is available by contacting the City Administrator’s Office.
Q. What about industrial areas?
Aliquippa has a single district: G-I – General Industrial Districts. In addition to conventional manufacturing uses, a G-I district allows for research laboratories, wholesale and trucking depots, and vehicle storage facilities.