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Rushford Village looking to ordinances and plans

By Kirsten Zoellner

Fri, Jun 21st, 2013
Posted in Rushford Village Government

By Kirsten Zoellner

Several zoning issues were discussed at length. Ordinances were determined to either be vague, in some areas, or needing to be enforced on issues such as nuisance dogs, lack of building variance, and overall compliance of ordinances.

“My concern is that with some ordinances, particularly about barking dogs, it could be challenged as vague,” said City Attorney Tom Manion. “I think we might want to spiff up the ordinance to include a potential of measurement. It sounds silly, but it would defend what is unreasonable. I think we should modernize the ordinance.” Time of day and duration, would also be considered.

The property in question, one of several which have been brought to the attention of the council, is also in violation of a zoning ordinances, including one on permanent structures, which includes fences. The property in question erected a fence without proper permitting from the zoning board and placed the fence on the property line.

“I stopped and spoke to the individual and they agreed it would be moved, the open burning would cease. It’s a laundry list of items,” said zoning member John Petit. “The fence is still there today.” Since the structure’s construction wasn’t permitted, the council approved the application of a $250 fine for the property.

“They were given the opportunity and didn’t do what they said they’d do,” noted Mayor Dale Schwanke.

According to city ordinances, fences are considered permanent structures and must have permit for construction. They may not go on property lines unless both property owners agree to the fence. If no agreement is reached, the fence must be set back 10 feet from the property line.

“The fact is it’s already a problem,” added Councilor Gordon Johnson.

The property owners have also received a formal letter from Petit. “You’re giving him a carrot and a stick. They picked an arbitrary deadline, last weekend, and they didn’t comply,” noted Manion.

Clearing up other issues within the city, the trail parking lot project seems to be moving ahead in an effort to provide parking for access to the trail near and clear up street parking congestion near Tri-County Electric headquarters. Calculations of space and feasibility of options are being considered and will be reported back on.

Three CD fund will need renewals, including certified LGA funding. The option of investing some funds in projects and putting an ‘IOU’ into the accounts was mentioned by Councilor Johnson. At least two of the three discussed needing renewal are already dedicated to specific items. Mayor Schwanke will look into the investments and determine the best possible fit for the city and report back to the council.

Looking ahead, the City of Rushford Village is in the process of work on thorough plan for city projects and goals. Along with consultant Kristina Peterson of Yaggy Colby and Associates, the city is prepared to delve into what is entailed. A public input meeting is scheduled for Tuesday, July 9, at 7pm, for the topic.

The next regularly scheduled council meeting is Tuesday, July 2, at 7pm, at the Village Hall. The public is encouraged to attend.

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