Council schedules hearing on Montrose zoning ordinance update

BY STACI WILSON

After reviewing notification requirements residents, Montrose Borough Council set out a plan to move forward with its update of the town’s zoning ordinance at its Monday, Nov. 5 meeting.

Council requested the street department hang the required postings for proposed changes in areas surrounding the Montrose Square apartments and the hospital. The Square is currently zoned D1 and the hospital is in a M1 zone. Changes in the updated proposed ordinance would designate both those areas as Commercial zones. Thirty-day notification letters will be sent out to property owners in those districts.

A public hearing on the zoning ordinance will be held Monday, Dec. 17 at 7:30 p.m. Council voted to advertise the ordinance. Copies will be made available for the public to view at the borough building, the courthouse law library and at the front desk of the Susquehanna County Independent.

Luther Giordano, of the borough’s zoning hearing board, said that a file cabinet was needed by the board to house documents in a secure location that could be accessed by the board’s open record officer. Council will provide the cabinet for the board’s use.

Giordano also reported the zoning board would be holding a hearing on Nov. 15 regarding the hydrant on Jessup St.

Council also reviewed the borough’s leaf collection efforts. Consensus of council was that leaf collection should start earlier in the season, with frequent pick-ups throughout October.

The fire company and library will receive the 2012 budgeted allocations from the borough. United Fire Company will receive $30,000 and the library will receive $1,000.

Security cameras have been installed at Memorial Park and are now operational with the police able to view a live feed from the police office. Signs alerting park visitors about the cameras will be posted.

Council approved the purchase of a fireproof blanket the street department will use when welding. The purchase of diesel fuel was also approved.

Concerns about parking issues on Maple and lower Locust streets were also discussed. Trailer hitches on several vehicle parked on Maple St. are reportedly jutting out into the roadway. And parking on lower Locust has, once again, become blocked, said Councilman Tony Pickett.

Solicitor Marion O’Malley said several people had voiced concerns about buildings that appear to be residential but are being utilized as multiple dwelling units. She suggested those with complaints contact the borough’s zoning officer or bring the concern to the borough council.

Earlier this year, council had discussed the possibility of adopting a renter’s ordinance and will, once again, look into the matter.

Councilman Craig Reimel said that a 2013 budget based on 2012 millage would result in a one and one-half mill surplus in the borough’s coffers. One mill, he reminded council, equaled about $70,000.

Reimel suggested council consider a one to two mill reduction in borough’s property taxes in 2013.

The borough  budget is expected to be adopted by council at a December meeting.