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Council discusses issues with ordinance enforcement

Published October 30. 2013 05:00PM

Some sentiments expressed at this month's Bowmanstown Borough Council meeting on Oct. 1 were mentioned again last night at its Planning Commission meeting.

The discussion began during the portion of the meeting when members review the most-recent borough council meeting minutes. Vice Chairman Rob Moyer pointed out that they should further discuss some comments under point two of the law section.

"I guess one thing I would add for new business kind of goes back to the borough council (meeting minutes)," said Moyer. "It says Kara Scott addressed the council as to why the borough ordinances are not being enforced. Examples given were weeds and trees and burning. 'How can we tell residents to cut grass and weeds when the borough has not been taking care of their properties?' I'd like to echo that if we can."

Moyer then went on to bring up the Prince property, which had also been discussed at the last council meeting, calling it "an eyesore." He added that, though it's supposedly for single use, "There are people down there storing boats. There are people down there with the balloons … and, like section 307 (of the zoning ordinances state) 'you can't disturb anything within 100 feet of a stream,' and all that junk he dumped down there …"

Moyer continued, "So what I'd add under new business is 'Is council asking their enforcement officer to enforce the ordinances at Prince, at Schleicher's down there?'"

Other members added that they believed there was also recycling taking place on the premises, including aluminum cans, cardboard and, possibly, plastic.

The conversation led them to decide that, for point number two under law in their minutes of the borough council meeting from October, they'd ask, "What actions are borough council taking to enforce the zoning?"

Moyer added, "What's the point of going through the zoning book if it's not going to be enforced anyhow?"

In fact, reviewing the zoning ordinance book is precisely what the planning commission has been doing each month. Begun by five members in 1981, including Chairman Wayne Engle and member Robert Sheckler, the commission used to approve all building projects in the borough until that duty was given to zoning officer Duane Dellecker.

By 1997, the commission had taken all of the borough's loose papers of zoning ordinances and building codes and formed them into a zoning ordinance book, which they are now in the process of revising again.

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