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Muncy Borough Council addresses zoning codes and abandoned vehicles

By Staff | May 8, 2012

MUNCY – Rewording ordinances and dealing with abandoned property were the agenda topics at last Tuesday’s Borough Council meeting in Muncy.

“We need to come up with written documentation for guidance on proper language to make Act 13 part of our zoning ordinances,” said Elaine McAleer.

She added that the code books would need to be reworked and reprinted to reflect the changes. “Ultimately, our goal should be to get things on the website as well,” Councilman Galen Betzer added.

Police Chief Richard J. Sutton discussed a new ordinance that he would like to see adopted. It would allow borough police to remove vehicles that have been abandoned, which have become a public nuisance or pose a health and safety concern. It still is in the planning stages.

“We need to be able to go onto the property to be sure the vehicle is in violation. Right now the violation is $300 per day,” Sutton said.

He explained the current wording required police to notify the vehicle’s owner that it was in violation.

Sutton is concerned about situations where a vehicle has no visible identification number or is parked in such a way that police would be unable to get close enough to inspect the number. He suggested changing the wording to state that the last registered owner of the vehicle could be contacted instead of the current owner.

“We have four properties in town that are in some stage of abandonment … that I would like to see placed on a future agenda,” council member Linda Stein said.

“We need to be careful to deal with these and not let ourselves get into trouble,” she added.

Mayor Edward Danneman agreed. He stated the problem is only likely to get worse in the next year.

“There’s only four abandoned properties around town right now; but I know of a couple of others (families) around town getting ready to leave,” he said.