By J.R. Brower
Whether or not Nottingham’s Township’s proposed off-road vehicle ordinance will be difficult to enforce remains to be seen, but due to problems and complains by residents in the past, the Board of Supervisors felt the need to draft an ordinance regulating the use of off-road vehicles.
After numerous modifications and input from the Planning Commission, the board has completed the proposed ordinance, which they announced at their June 21 meeting. A public hearing will be held on Monday, July 19 at 7:30 p.m.
The proposal identifies off-road vehicles as any motor driven vehicle commonly known as dirt bikes, trail bikes, mini bikes, all terrain vehicles, quads, trikes, snowmobiles, dune buggies, go-carts and the like. It deems illegal use of these vehicles on township property and public roadways. Use will be restricted to 10-acre lots, and users will have to obtain permission from the owner of the property. Other restrictions limit use according to proximity to structures and property lines. The proposed ordinance will restrict operation of off-road vehicles no earlier than dawn or 7:00 a.m. (whichever occurs later) and no later than dusk or 8:00 p.m. (whichever occurs earlier). Fines for violations of the proposed ordinance range from $50.00 to $500.00 plus court costs and attorney fees incurred by the township. There is no mention in the proposed ordinance as to who would be responsible to enforce it.
Supervisor Douglas King’s concern with the proposal was that he felt that the 10-acre limit for off-road vehicle use might be a little high. “There are a lot of 6, 7 and 8-acre lots out in this area adjoining wooded lots,” he said. Use of these areas by off-roaders would be illegal even if the property owner, according to the proposed ordinance, gave permission.
Supervisor Peter Marcoline said, “The problem is where do you cut it off?” referring to off-roading only on 10-acre lots. He said he felt that they should give the ordinance a try, and he stressed that the main reasons for the regulations were to address the problems of trespassing, erosion and noise.
Another proposed ordinance that will be put before a public hearing on Monday, July 5 at 7:15 p.m. is a holding tank ordinance, which lists requirements from the Washington County Sewage Council for maintenance agreements for holding tanks. The main feature of this proposed ordinance is that is specifies a maximum discharge of 800 gallons, according to King, who chaired the June 21 meeting. Chairman Raymond Barley was not in attendance.
In other business, King announced that work is progressing on the Regional Recycling Site, whose groundbreaking has been pushed back to probably August. He said that he met recently with the county’s engineering firm, HMT Associates, which has been preparing the bid package that the county will have to approve. Fencing and a gate have been planned for the facility, and King said that any asphalt paving to be done would include a parking area for the new municipal building as well. He said that the township would be responsible for security cameras at the recycling site.
Other matters taken up by the Nottingham Supervisors included:
- Authorization to pay Township Auditor Denise Douglas $25 per monthly occurrence to review Nottingham Township’s bank statements and completed bank reconciliations. This was recommended as an internal control procedure by township CPAs Maher Duessel.
- Receipt of correspondence indicating the Albico, Inc. has applied for a permit to discharge sanitary sewage from Walnut Creek Estates in accordance to regulations with notification to the DEP.
- Receipt of notice of decision from the Zoning Hearing Board for Appeals denying a business venture request from Pairadice Paint, Inc., 363 Munntown Road.