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Summit Hill resident opposes planned group home

Published July 30. 2014 04:00PM

A Summit Hill resident told his borough council on Monday he doesn't want a group home in his neighborhood.

Manny Lanzos of West White Bear Drive said his neighborhood isn't zoned for a group home and urged the borough council to do what it can to make sure one isn't located there.

He referred to information presented at last month's borough council meeting during which zoning officer Bill Kirklosky informed the council he issued an occupancy permit for a dwelling at 116 W. White Bear Drive.

The council said the dwelling is owned by the ReDCo Group, which operates group homes, but so far only one person lives in the home for which the permit was obtained.

He was assured by council President Jesse Walck that if anyone else occupies the house, then ReDCo would have to get proper zoning approval.

"As of now, there's one person in there," Walck said. "Until there are more, no zoning regulations will prohibit it."

Borough solicitor Michael Greek agreed. "If we find out more than one person is living there, they will have to apply for zoning."

Lanzos also said he learned, via the Internet, that the individual occupying the dwelling is a convicted sex offender. Lanzos asked why the neighbors were not informed of this.

Chief of Police Joseph Fittos said the resident is a "Tier 3" offender, which doesn't require notification of neighbors. Fittos said sex offenders are categorized into different classes, and in only the most serious cases must neighbors be informed of such occupancy.

In other business:

• The council hired John Milkovits as a part-time police officer.

• Councilman Bill Chapman said former sewage enforcement officer Carl Wolfe submitted a bill totaling $280 for work done on White Bear Drive. He said Wolfe never let the borough know he was doing the work.

The council said it was reimbursed by the property owner for most of this expense. Wolfe will be paid, but he will be informed he won't be paid if there are future bills from him for permits or inspections of properties because the borough has an appointed sewage enforcement officer.

• Fire Chief Shawn Hoben said an upcoming golf tournament appears to be a successful fundraiser for the fire company. He said more sponsors are needed, though. "That's how we make our money for the fire company," he said.

• Borough secretary Kira Steber said there have been problems with youngsters riding skateboards and bicycles on the lot of the community center and fire company. Some have entered the community center while it was closed and not only used the toilet facilities, but trashed them.

The council will put "no loitering" or "no trespassing" signs on the lot and directed Fittos to have the police enforce them.

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