Under attack? Neighbors say Adamstown family’s property, hobbies a nuisance

By on October 14, 2015

 

An Adamstown family contends it has been “hit from all sides” for pursuing hobbies as neighbors seek help from the municipality to control them.

Greg Krick and his son, Anthony, were at the Oct. 6 Adamstown borough council meeting wondering why they have been “targeted.” They have been in violation for noise, “trash” on their property, and disturbing breeding habits of nature on their property.

Photos by Michele Walter Fry A view of the Krick property.

Photos by Michele Walter Fry
A view of the Krick property.

“I’m so confused,” said Greg Krick.

“I had to extract a (race) track at my house because it could be in violation of the bog turtle population. I came home and a whole group of people from DEP (Department of Environmental Protection) were on my property, taking core samples. I took the track to the part of my property that DEP said was okay, near a flood plain, and then they came back and said I could get fined for disturbing the turtle breeding area.

They (DEP) told us we had to get our dirt moved,” said Anthony Krick. “We moved it and then they said to stop moving.”

Then an enforcement notice was sent to the Kricks at their Willow Street home by the Adamstown zoning officer regarding possible unlicensed and unregistered vehicles and boats, as well as assorted “trash, debris, and junk” on their property. They did not comply by the deadline.

At the September council meeting, a vote of 5-0-2 was carried to authorize the zoning officer to move forward with taking this case before the district magistrate. Joe Dietrich and Mark Bansner abstained from voting.

Greg Krick was asked to remove unregistered debris on his close to two-acre property. In question were campers, trailers, trucks, boats, trailers, and tractors. He held up title documents at the meeting.

“What do you think is — debris?” asked Greg Krick.

“I did get rid of boats. I did get rid of other debris,” he said. “Most vehicles are titled and registered but some of the older will be hard to get rid of. It’s not easy to just get rid of things. I have ‘for sale’ signs on them, if anyone wants it for parts, you are more than welcome.”

The zoning officer had taken photos of the debris at the Krick home without first notifying them.

“My wife and daughter are in those photos,” said Greg Krick, referring to his underage daughter. “We were upset that a stranger is taking pictures of them outside our home.”

“The borough works on complaints,” said Councilwoman Cindy Schweitzer. “If things are brought to our attention, we bring them to our zoning officer.

“You have to satisfy our zoning, so if you could supply him with copies of your registrations, he can close his books on this complaint and then I’d say you’d be done with it.”

“I would just like to talk to the man,” Greg Krick said. “I know in this day and age, I know you have to reach out to some professionals, but I don’t think someone taking pictures from across the way with my wife and kids in the pictures. Why can’t he come to me and talk to me? What about coming to me and saying you have to do your job?”

It started when two neighbors went to council last summer and complained about “constant” noise coming from the Kricks.

“We’ve had complaints about the quality of life in your neighborhood which is difficult because of the noise,” said Schweitzer.

The Kricks enjoy dirt biking and four wheeling around their homemade race track which has jumps.

“In my mind, the boys are having fun and not going out and destroying other people’s property or stealing,” said Greg Krick.

“It might be entertainment for your kids, but it’s driving other people nuts,” Schweitzer said.

“No neighbor directly came to me,” Greg Krick said. “There’s a whole list of things I’ve been told I need to address ‘cause it was depreciating the neighbors’ property value.”

Council is in the process of drafting a quality-of-life which will be presented at the November meeting.

In another matter, the developer and attorney representing a large planned development gave a presentation to council concerning the Adamstown treatment plant which adjoins the project.

The cornfield behind this sign is the site of the proposed Fox Brooke development.

The cornfield behind this sign is the site of the proposed Fox Brooke development.

The 400-unit Fox Brooke development will put an end to the existence of the 88-acre farm which has frontage along Routes 897 and 272. The barn has been torn down by the developer.

Fox Brooke officials expect preliminary approval in spring 2016 and are looking for an easement concerning running storm water through Adamstown. They are hoping to break ground in early 2017.

“It’s a larger project, so it will take some time,” said Dwight Yoder, attorney for Gibbel, Kraybill & Hess.

The development will include a mixture of living spaces such as single family homes, townhomes, and commercial space.

“We’re not going to tolerate complaints about smell,” said Schweitzer. “I would think the more distance you have from that treatment plant, the better off you’ll be.”

The two entrances will be along Route 897 which will serve all the traffic.

“I want to say publicly that’s an area I want to avoid, that Weaver’s light there,” said Joe Dietrich.

In police news:

* Adamstown officials intended to attend a public meeting to sign the police draft agreement on Oct. 12 at 7 p.m. in the Ephrata Borough hall.

Michele Walter Fry welcomes your comments at michelewalterfry@gmail.com.

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