Residents Approach Codes Officer About Nuisance Ordinance

Greg McKelvey

East Franklin Township Codes Officer Greg McKelvey explained procedure in handling nuisance ordinance violations at last night’s public meeting of supervisors.

Code violations were just one of the topics discussed by residents during last night’ meeting of supervisors of East Franklin Township.

Codes Officer Greg McKelvey outlined to residents in attendance some of the procedures that has been used since he began working for the township three years ago.

“There was a situation in Adrian where an individual owns and rents a home. The renter left the premises. For a considerable amount of time, there was no yard maintenance whatsoever. It was not only unsightly but also many bags of garbage.

“We here at the township have a nuisance ordinance. That certainly applied to it,” McKelvey said.

“Although there were times when you may have felt it wasn’t taken care of in a timely manner, from the time I found out about it, on a daily basis, we were trying to work through the situation.

“That particular one had some extenuating circumstances involving the District Magistrate.  But generally, the way I have been handling nuisance – brush, grass and weeds – is that try to make personal contact or contact by mail alerting them to the situation. For the vast majority of the cases, it has worked. If we get past that, for whatever reason (and we did in this case), then I have to send a formal violation that initiated prosecution, which would end up being 30 days in taking the case before the District Magistrate.

“In my nearly three years as Zoning Officer, we have not had to actually take anyone to the District Magistrate, but I am sure that day will come.”

McKelvey also addressed the issue of abandoned vehicles.

“I keep a list in the winter time and I have been working on the list in the Spring where we mail out to people a notice. We have partnered up with (P.J.) Greco to help move those. We notify people of abandoned vehicles and our ordinance.”

McKelvey said there have been successes, but his method is not perfect.

“Sometimes it takes a little longer than we would like,” he said.  “In 2017, I probably mailed to 30 individuals about abandoned vehicles. Two-thirds of those got cleaned up.”

McKelvey said he intends to be more observant of properties that violate the township’s nuisance ordinance. If anyone has a complaint or a question, McKelvey is available by calling the Township Municipal Building at 724-548-2310.