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Complaints voiced on zoning issues in Rush Township

Published August 22. 2014 12:59PM

Rush Township resident Joe Shamonsky said that zoning enforcement is not being done fairly.

During a township meeting Thursday, Shamonsky said some residents are required to obtain permits to make changes on their properties, while others are not. Specifically, Shamonsky said that Supervisor Jeanine Motroni had put two sheds on her property without getting permits to do so. Motroni maintains that she replaced existing sheds.

Bill McMullin, Arro Engineering, the township's engineering firm, handles code enforcement for Rush. He said that people do not need a permit for a shed if they are replacing a shed of the same size in the same place.

"I will stand by my decision," McMullin told Shamonsky. "Same size, same location, they didn't need a permit."

Chairman Shawn Gilbert said that anyone who has a complaint about township business should bring the complaint to the township. Without being specific, Gilbert said someone has been calling Arro's main office, and that the firm may start charging the township for responding to the calls.

At that point, Shamonsky interrupted Gilbert.

"Maybe if I got an answer, I wouldn't have to keep calling," Shamonsky said.

"The next time somebody calls, it's going to be harassment," Gilbert said. "You're going to be picked up for harassment by communication."

Solicitor Chris Reidlinger and supervisor Robert Leibensperger both said that Shamonsky could make his case before the township's zoning hearing board. Resident Cathey Schimpf, who is a member of the zoning hearing board, responded. She said in past years, the board has heard such appeals.

"If there was a footprint at any point in time, you can fill that as long as you don't exceed the original," she said. "Just because you have a picture that doesn't show anything doesn't mean that nothing was ever there."

Shamonsky was not satisfied with the responses and said he may take the matter to court.

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