Resident claims no change in neighborhood conditions

By on August 14, 2013

By:

ALICE HUMMER Review Correspondent

, Staff Writer

"Nothing has changed," said Stevens resident, Steve Brubaker, at East Cocalico Supervisors meeting on Aug. 7. He and his neighbor, Kevin Zimmerman, spoke at last month’s July 17 supervisor’s meeting.

"We’re not sure how many people reside at number 10 and 12 Line Road, and the issue of noise continues to be a problem," said Brubaker. He summarized safety concerns in case of fire.

"Police were called to the house for noise complaints three times in July," Brubaker said.

"Here are copies of some other municipal ordinances regarding rentals," Brubaker said as he distributed information copies to the supervisors.

Brubaker emphasized some ordinances state that after two or three incidents within a calendar year where police respond and verify excessive, loud noise, the landlord must start eviction proceedings.

Supervisors indicated that zoning officer, Tony Luongo, who was not present at the supervisor’s meeting to respond, would look into the situation.

"It has gotten so that some members of my family say we should just move," said Brubaker. Both Brubaker and the supervisors agreed that will not resolve the problem.

Locally, Denver and Adamstown Boroughs have appointed Robert Getz on an annual basis to inspect rental units.

"I serve at the wish of the councils," said Getz in a telephone conversation.

"In Denver, rental properties must register with the borough and there is no fee," said Getz. " I inspect (rentals) in Denver when there is a change in tenants. The only other time I’d inspect is if a tenant has a complaint. Then the borough manager would probably go with me."

"In Adamstown, a landlord or rental unit must obtain an annual rental property license. That one-time rental license is good for one unit or 10 units on five sites," said Getz.

"Adamstown divides their rentals into thirds so that over a three-year period I will inspect all of them," said Getz. "This is a good thing. You get into every rental unit whether there’s a move in/move out or not."

"It is a win-win situation," added Getz. "It’s good for the landlord because I go in and see that the walls, floors and lights are in good shape. Then if a tenant would damage the property, the landlord can go back to the last rental inspection report."

"On the other side, if a tenant likes his rental and is reluctant to speak up if the landlord fudges on his responsibility, I can note what needs done on the report."

East Cocalico Manager, Mark Hiester, said East Cocalico Township does not maintain a list of rental properties, does not require landlords to register their properties and has no ordinances providing for inspection of rental properties.

In other business, supervisors:

Set the date for the next regional leader’s meeting for Aug. 29. "We’ll check with the Reamstown Fire Company to see if that facility is available," said Hiester.

Deferred Peter Day’s final plan/lot annexation review to Spring Township since there are no lot line changes in East Cocalico Township.

Approved releasing the $650 security for the Lorah subdivision. All conditions were met.

Discussed and let stand the traffic impact fee assessed to Dollar General Store proposed to be built on Route 272. Dollar General claimed their request was based on higher engineering costs encountered with their site. "Any reduction is not in the public interest. This is a unique lot on a busy highway," said Supervisor Noelle Fortna. Chairman Doug Mackley said he did not want to set a precedent for possible future requests.

Approved an "11th Amendment Agreement" with B.C. Chicken for renting the 1975 Reading Road property, which is jointly owned by Adamstown, Denver, West Cocalico and East Cocalico. It was intended to become a regional recreational facility until the poor economy and funding made it not feasible. B.C. Chicken will continue leasing the property until March 31, 2014. "After that the lease will be month by month," said Fortna.

Granted permission for the Reamstown Day 5K run and fun walk.

Authorized having transportation engineer, Scott Russell, ask PennDOT to study speed limits on Line and Steven roads, in particular the road segment from the stop sign going toward the Stevens Fire Company.

Supervisors went into executive session for personnel reasons prior to adjournment.

More EAST COCALICO, page A11

About Ephrata Review