Frequently Asked Questions


Alarms | Bicycles | Burning | Dogs | Parking | Moving | Moving In | Library Services

ALARMS:
Ordinance 011-86

What alarm monitoring system requirements are required by Bethlehem Township?
Every owner/lessee of an alarm shall register with the Police Department.

Such registration shall, but not necessarily be limited to, the following information:
The name, residence and telephone number of the owner/lessee.
The address where the device is installed and the telephone number of that address.
The names, addresses and telephone numbers of at least two persons who are authorized to respond to an alarm and gain access to the address where the device is installed.
The name, address and phone number of the company which installed and/or monitors the alarm.

RESPONSES AND SERVICE COSTS
Responses to alarms given off by audible and automatic protection devices involve the time of and the danger to members of the Township Police Department, Fire Department and Emergency Medical Services, and false alarms are therefore to be discouraged.

If more that three (3) false alarms are given from any property in any given calendar year, a service fee, as established from time to time by resolution, shall be paid to the Township by the user, whether owner or lessee, or the audible alarm or automatic protection device from which the false alarm eminated for the fourth and each subsequent false alarm in that calendar year.

The Chief of Police of the Township shall have the right to waive payment of the service fee for any false alarm which is caused by weather conditions or malfunctions in the operation of electrical systems of Pennsylvania Power and Light Company/ Metropolitan Edison Company.

Are there any penalties or fines associated with false alarms?
For any violation of this ordinance - Up to $300.00 fine plus court costs, or up to 90 days in jail.

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BICYCLES:
Ordinance 011-86

Does a bike need to be registered?
BICYCLES/PEDALCYCLES MUST BE LICENSED.
For person who reside in Bethlehem Township. It is unlawful to ride a bicycle/pedalcycle upon any street, sidewalk or designated paths for exclusive use of pedalcycles without having said pedalcycle registered and licensed by the Township.

Where do I register my Bike?
Applications for bicycle/pedalcycle registration can be made at the police department on a form provided by the Township. A registration fee of $1.00 is required.

How long is my registration good for?
The license sticker shall be afffixed to the bicycle and will be good for one year starting June 01 of that year and expiring on May 31 of the following year.
Licenses must be renewed annually on or before June 01.

Is there a penalty for not registering my bike?
A fine of $10.00 plus court costs.

Are helmets required?
Any bicycle rider or passenger under the age of 12 years is required, by State Law, to wear an approved safety helmet.

What is the penalty for not wearing a helmet?
For parent, custodian or legal guardian having custody or control of said person(s) under the age of 12 whose conducts violates the law shall be fined up to $25.00 plus court costs.

Pennsylvania law requires all children under 12 years of age to wear an approved bicycle helmet meeting: ANSI - SNEEL - ASTM OR any other nationally recognized certification when operating or riding as a passenger on a pedalcycle or in a trailer towed by a pedalcycle.

Traffic Signs:
Obey all Traffic Signs and signals. Always look left, then right, then left again before entering the roadway and at all intersections. Use hand signals to communicate your intentions.

Be Predictable:
Drive with traffic on the right side of the road. Ride in a straight line whenever possible and ride with traffic. Keep to the right but stay about a car door width away from parked cars.

How to Fit a Bike:
Lay your arm along the top bar with the elbow touching the seat. The finger tips should just reach the handlebars. Straddle the bike. There should be about one inch between the top bar and your crotch. Adjust the seat so vou can sit on the seat and balance on your toes.

Be Seen:
Equip your bike with reflectors, a white headlight and a bell or horn. Bright colored clothing and reflective material help bicyclists to be seen more easily.

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BURNING:
TOWNSHIP ADOPTS STATE REQUIRED OPEN BURNING ORDINANCE AMENDMENT
After a Public Hearing on July 19, 2010, the Bethlehem Township Board of Commissioners adopted an amendment to its long standing open burning ordinance. Adoption of the ordinance amendment (No. 2-10) was required to bring the Township into compliance with a Pennsylvania Department of Environmental Protection directive.

The Ordinance amendment now prohibits the open burning of "Yard Waste" and "Recycling Materials."
"Yard Waste"" is generally defined as leaves, garden residue, shrubbery and tree trimmings and similar material.

"Recycling Materials"" are generally defined as glass, aluminum, steel, metal/aluminum cans, plastics, paper, newspaper etc. With this amendment, typical so called "barrel burning"" of materials is prohibited.

Recreational fires using typical cut fire wood remains permitted so long as the requirements of the Township’s Fire Code are met. Garbage and/or refuse and other various materials may not be openly burned under existing Township open burning regulations.

The Township will attempt to use as much discretion as possible in the enforcement of this requirement over the next few months.

Please contact the Township at 610.814.6400 with any questions or clarifications concerning open burning.

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DOGS:
Ordinance 011-89

Does my dog require a license, collar or tag?
Dogs over 6 months old are required to be licensed and have a collar with the license tag.

Where can I obtain a license for my dog?
Northampton County Court House - 7th & Washington streets, Easton, PA.
Canine Grooming Shoppe - 736 Linden street, Bethlehem, PA.
Richard Ritter Pharmacy - 115 West 4th street, Bethlehem, PA.
Sandy King’s Pet Supplies - 1059 South 25th street, Easton, PA.
SPCA - RD#4, Island Park Road, Easton, PA.

Is there a Rabies vaccine Law?
All dogs over 6 months old are required to have rabbles vaccinations as required by State Department Health guidelines.

What is the law that controls dog trespassing?
Permitting a dog to run at large on public or private property, or trespass on another persons private property without permission is prohibited. Dogs are not permitted in Township Parks.

Are owners required to clean-up dog fecal matter?
Allowing a dog to discharge or deposit fecal matter on public or private property without immediately removing such matter and disposing of it in a sanitary manner is prohibited.

Is there a fee for recovering lost dogs?
Police Officers are authorized to seize any at large dog within the Township and impound such dog.
An impoundment or "pick up" fee of $25.00 is required for release of a dog.
Additionally, a $7.50 a day boarding fee (for food & shelter) is required for any dog that is housed overnight.
Any dog that has been seized or detained and has not been claimed by its owner will be turned over to the Northampton County SPCA.

What are the standards for providing dog shelter?
Dog owners are required to feed and water dogs properly and provide proper shelter and protection from weather to assure that no dog is exposed to excessive heat or cold.

Is there a law to prevent nuisance barking?
It is unlawful to allow or permit a dog to frequently, or continually, or habitually bark, howl, screech, yelp, bay or otherwise disturb the peace, tranquility, comfort or repose of any person or the community.

If a dog bites someone, is there a requirement to report it?
Yes. See below

It shall be the duty of any person who has knowledge that a dog has bitten or injured any person to immediately report the facts of the incident and the whereabouts of such dog to the police:

  • The owner of every such dog shall immediately place said dog in confinement in such a manner as to prevent it from escaping, running at large or having physical contact with other dogs or humans other than the dog owner, and maintain such confinement for a ten (10) day period of observation.
  • At the end of said ten (10) day observation period the dog shall be examined by a veterinarian by the owner, and a written report of the results of such examination shall be submitted by the owner or veterinarian within twenty-four (24) hours to the police department. If the report reveals no symptoms of rabies the dog may then be released.
  • If at any time during the said ten (10) day period of observation the dog develops symptoms indicative of rabies, such fact shall be communicated at once to the police and the dog shall immediately be removed to a veterinary hospital.
  • If the dog is diagnosed as rabid it shall be humanely euthanized. Confirmatory tests for the presence of rabies shall be conducted on the dog's remains as necessary. After such testing the remains of the dog shall be disposed of in such manner as the State Dog Warden directs.
  • If the dog is a stray that cannot be identified, it shall be the duty of the police to impound such dog and place it in confinement for observation, examination or other necessary action normally required of a private dog owner.
  • It shall be the duty of the police to notify the victim of a dog bite of the results of the ten (10) day observation period and veterinary examination of the biting dog in writing following the receipt of reports of those results.
Are there any penalties for breaking a dog ordinance?
$25.00 to $300.00 fine plus court costs, or up to 90 days in jail. Each day’s violation shall constitute a separate offense.

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PARKING:
Ordinance 06-86

Are there any special parking regulations in Bethlehem Township?
The following parking regulations are in addition to other normal or common parking regulations which are enacted by ordinance or State law.
It is unlawful to park or leave on the streets or highways or public property of Bethlehem Township, mechanically inoperable vehicle(s) or vehicles without current registration plates or vehicles without current inspection stickers.

Ordinance 07-88
It is unlawful to park a commercial vehicle with a gross weight exceeding 8,500 pounds or with greater than two axles or any tractor or any trailor in or around any residential district between the hours of 6:30 p.m. and 9:00 a.m. any day of the week (except for clearly emergency repairs).
Please see our Public Works Section regarding snow emergency parking and routes.

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MOVING:
Are moving permits required?
Any resident moving out of the Township, or from one Township address to another, should obtain a Moving Permit. The costs is $3.00, and the form can be obtained at the Finance Office or DOWNLOADED from this site.

MOVING IN:
I have recently moved to Bethlehem Township. Are there any activities or groups I can join?
Yes. Please visit the Bethlehem Township Community Center and Recreational Services website for a full listing of services available to our community.

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LIBRARY SERVICES:
Can I join the Bethlehem Are Public Library?
Yes. All residents of Bethlehem Township may join the Bethlehem Area Public Library FREE of charge. Proof of residency is required.

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Bethlehem Township
4225 Easton Avenue
Bethlehem, Pa. 18020
Phone: 610-814-6400
Fax: 610-814-6408
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