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Kidder residents complain about short-term renters

Published May 23. 2019 01:39PM

Kidder Township residents are bothered about being bothered by short-term renters of homes in Lake Harmony who are often noisy, sometimes rude, and who bring too many cars for a property.

In some instances, the cars spill out onto neighbors’ properties. In many instances, there’s noise into the early hours of the morning, including reports of after-midnight fireworks.

These complaints led several members of the Lake Harmony Association to attend the monthly meeting of Kidder Township’s Board of Supervisors on May 15. They are similar to a complaint at last month’s meeting where a party shot off fireworks to 2 a.m., several mortar sets with up to nine shells apiece.

Thom Wagner of the Lake Harmony Association spoke about the growing problem, as more properties have become rentals. Some of these homes are now hosting large numbers of people. The association wants the township to “pay significantly more attention.” They expect the problem to grow.

Chief of Police Matthew Kuzma asked that residents being disturbed by renters call 911. He also told Wagner that, on the late-night fireworks launch near the Wagners, police were called and the gentleman at the home who met the officer was cited, and later pleaded guilty.

Suggestions on additional rules were shared. It was pointed out that this starts as a zoning board issue, and that people should attend those meetings with their complaints.

It was repeated that, when there is any problem, call 911 rather than the local office number, as the police may be out on patrol.

Craig Petrilla of Kidder Township, whose company manages 45 vacation rentals, including 25 in Lake Harmony, told the meeting that his company caps the number of cars. It was noted that his renters had not been the cause for any of the complaints this meeting.

Township solicitor Daniel Miscavige noted that the building code allows for these uses. He explained that municipalities have restrictions on what they can do.

The complainants agree that they want the township to have a code enforcement officer. The position is vacant and being advertised. It was agreed that discussion on this topic will continue.

In other business

• On a 3-1 vote, supervisors approved a proposal by Thomas LaFond to donate $500 to the Penn-Kidder Library. Bruce Berger, Raymond Gluck and LaFond voted in favor, and Thomas Bradley was opposed. Supervisor Barbara Franzosa was absent.

• Supervisors were unanimous in approving a $50 sponsorship for the Albrightsville Volunteer Fire Company’s annual horse show.

• Bills of $151,048 were approved — $68,254 of this is for emergency services.

• Schiffer Bituminous Service Co. of Kunkletown was low bidder for both the Old Stage Road paving project, at $196,019, and Henning Road stormwater work, $32,300.

• A contract will be let to fix the collapsed septic tank at the Albrightsville Schoolhouse at a projected cost of under $4,000.

• Kuzma reminds residents that at the traffic signal at Route 903 and Lake Harmony Road, some people pull their cars up too far for the sensors.

• New township Manager Suzanne Brooks was appointed chief administration officer for the police and nonpolice pensions, member of the Carbon County Tax Collection Committee and alternate Right-to-Know officer. Brooks reported that the Lake Harmony trail project is waiting for permits before construction starts.

• The leaf collector is on the truck and ready for use through the summer.

• The next meeting of the Kidder Township Board of Supervisors will be at 6:30 p.m. June 20 at the municipal building.

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