Non-Profit Internet Source for News, Events, History, & Culture of Northern Frederick & Carroll County Md./Southern Adams County Pa.


Township updates nuisance laws

(6/8) The Hamiltonban Township Board of Supervisors voted unanimously at their June 5 meeting to advertise a nuisance ordinance for possible adoption in July.

The proposed ordinance was drafted to update a 1987 ordinance to additionally address a number of issues that exist or could exist in the township relating to the quality of life of its residents which were not precisely addressed in the older version.

Nuisance-type offenses specifically addressed in the pending regulations include those relating to vehicles, vegetative growth, accumulation of "junk," maintenance of property, the generation of smoke, dust, or noise, and the storage of hazardous materials.

Vehicle-related laws proposed would prohibit any vehicle located on private property within sight of public lands which is inoperable, or has no valid inspection stick or registration, "or is wrecked, or dismantled, or is partially dismantled, or abandoned, or in a state of disrepair…."

Any vehicles which would constitute a nuisance may be retained if the vehicle is stored in a garage or shielded from public view by a six-foot fence. Fuel and oil must also be removed from any nuisance vehicles.

Under the proposed rules, garbage, rubbish and "junk" must also be stored in a manner in which it may not be observed from public lands or waterways, "unless such items are held for resale."

Petroleum products in excess of 1,500 gallons would not be permitted to be stored without a state or federal license.

The pending ordinance also prohibits the generation of flames, smoke, odors, fumes, noise or dust emanating from private property which could adversely impact neighboring tracts. Farming, "other allied occupations," and preexisting businesses would be exempt.

The ordinance would also govern the height of non-ornamental or desirable vegetative growth on a lot containing a residential unit within 200 feet of another residential unit to a maximum of ten inches, except where such growth may occur intermingled with agricultural crops.

Failure to comply with township findings regarding an existing ordinance could result in the township taking action to address the issue, plus a ten percent surcharge over the township’s cost to remedy the situation.

That could escalate to an addition $200 fine and court-ordered compliance.

Board Chairman Robert Gordon stated subsequent to the meeting that the supervisors decided to work on an amended version of the 1987 ordinance to address outstanding issues. Refined sections address "points of clarification" regarding junk cars, debris on the public roadways and vegetative growth.

"The old ordinance just didn’t cover every detail (of potential offenses)," he said. "We were having all kinds of complications enforcing the old ordinance."

Read other articles about Fairfield