Montrose resident challenges neighboring site work

A resident of Montrose Borough says the remediation plan of the development of a neighboring industrial property is inadequate.
Borough solicitor Marion O’Malley said that at in the first night of litigation in front of the Zoning Hearing Board regarding the Danz property there was a stipulations that a plan would address several items and clarify what was needed to be done on the Zalewski property in order to move forward.
That led to an appeal of the decision by the neighboring property owner, the McGees.
“Council originally greenlighted the first reclamation plan,” said McGee’s attorney Michael Briechle. “We think the plan is wholly inadequate,”
Briechle said that at the Magisterial District Court level, the property under discussion had been “found guilty of eight violations.”
“We think a lot has to be done,” he told council.
Briechle said, prior to work being done on the property, a dry creek had provided a drainage area for stormwater run-off. He said the creek had been filled in; and added the property had been graded differently.
McGee’s attorney also said natural screening had been in place at the property line, but that had been replaced with a split-rail fence. That fence, he said, could be moved to allow for both foot and vehicular traffic.
O’Malley said that that approval from council was not needed in the matter at this point; and said the original plan that came before the board was “more of a courtesy presentation and not requiring any action by council.”
Both attorneys agreed that although a determination letter was dated May 3, a reasonable date to begin the timeline for a zoning board appeal was the July 10 meeting date.
Council also weighed in on a proposed subdivision which would create two lots from one.
“That would create a landlocked piece of property in the borough,” said Councilman Tom LaMont.
O’Malley said that a right-of-way would have to be granted in order for the subdivision to be considered. The borough will reach out to the zoning officer for more information.
Councilwoman Judy Kelly provided an update on the South Main Street sidewalk project with a revised cost estimate for the work.
She said the project is expected to cost about $165,386, but it also needed to have a 10 percent contingency budget, and 15 percent budget for inspection fees – making the total cost about $206,733.
When the project was proposed, the expected price tag was $192,000.
Council approved covering the extra $20,000 for the project.
Kelly said the project may go out to bid this year but she realistically expected work to begin on it in 2018.
Councilman Todd Chamberlain asked if there had been any unresolved concerns or problems after work was completed at borough residences by subcontractors of Leatherstocking, such as damage to water or sewer lines.
The borough will check with water company, municipal authority and street department to collect information on any incidents and invite Leatherstocking to participate in a resolution of any problems.
Borough Police Chief Dale Smith reported a busy prior month with “lots of drug activity.”
“There’s more and more of it,” Smith said.
Council also gave its approval for the police department to host a National Night Out event, Tuesday, Aug. 1, at Memorial Park, 5-7 p.m.
Smith said there was money in the department’s educational budget for the event. He asked for ideas from council and said he would like to have a sports theme for the event.

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