Fayette votes to repeal pool fence law 7.29.09

Written by David Green.

By DAVID GREEN

Fayette council members voted 4-1 Thursday to repeal the village ordinance regarding fences around private swimming pools. Ruth Marlatt cast the lone dissenting vote.

 The issue next goes to the zoning board for a  public hearing. After than, council would need to pass an ordinance for repeal.

Council member Jerry Gonzales stated at the July 9 meeting that he would introduce the motion in order to reduce the village’s liability. The law either needs to be enforced or removed, he said, and his preference is to remove it rather than getting involved in a private property issue.

At the July 9 meeting, Gonzales thought there might be a state law requiring fences, but he later learned that it applies only to public pools.

“Homeowners insurance sets the standard [for private pools],” he said Thursday.

Many insurance companies demand that a customer place a fence around a pool, and that’s how it should be, Gonzales said—strictly an issue between a homeowner and the insurer.

“As a public entity,” countered village administrator Amy Metz, “our responsibility to protect the health and safety of our community members.”

If the fence law were to be repealed, she urged councilors to at least leave the language requiring setbacks from property lines.

Paul Shaffer said most of the disagreement he’s heard about repealing the law comes from those who have already complied and installed a fence. They don’t think it’s fair to just take it off the books, he said.

In that case, said councilor Julia Ruger, at least they have the peace of mind to know their pool is surrounded by a fence. However, she added, even a fence isn’t going to keep someone out if they really want to get into the pool.

POULTRY—At the July 21 zoning board meeting, Diana Gonzales asked about repealing the portion of a 2001 animal ordinance that pertains to poultry. She suggested that poultry should be allowed for 4-H projects and for laying hens.

Her husband, council member Jerry Gonzales, proposed allowing a maximum of six native birds housed in a structure at least 10 feet from a property line. Calling birds would not be appropriate, he said, noting that no one would want to live next to a rooster.

Metz said the Fulton County Health Department has concerns about poultry attracting raccoons and foxes; about poultry carrying diseases that could be harmful to humans; about odor complaints and the need for routine waste removal.

Zoning board member Rodney Kessler spoke about turkeys also being allowed for 4-H projects, and said those birds have fewer noise and odor problems than some people’s dogs.

Metz suggested that a conditional use permit process could be used. This would allow the board to consider the merits of each application.

RESIGNATIONS—Eugene Rosinski resigned from the village tree commission and Jim Bacon resigned from the zoning board.

PAINTING—Metz said the painting of several village buildings is being done by volunteers from a youth group.

FINANCES—A finance committee report noted the village general fund revenue is down about $70,000 from this time a year ago.

Residential vacancies appear to stand at about 11 percent, based on review of utility accounts. Metz expects that number to increase due to “bad publicity” from newspaper accounts on the contamination and school relocation issue.

The committee recommends delaying leaf and brush collection until 2010, pending a financial analysis.

Police chief Jason Simon is investigating the purchase of a new cruiser.

CEMETERY—The Pleasant View Union Cemetery board approved changes in the size and cost of footers for grave monuments. The cost is now $200 for a single monument and $400 for a companion marker.

  • Front.pokemon
    LATEST CRAZE—David Cortes (left) and Ty Kruse, along with Jerred Heselschwerdt (standing), consult their smartphones while engaging in the game of Pokémon Go. The virtual scavenger hunt comes to life when players are in the vicinity of gyms, such as Stair District Library, and PokéStops such as the fire station across the street. The boys had spent time Monday morning searching for Pokémon at Wakefield Park.
  • Front.drum
    on your mark, get set, drum!—Drew Joughin (black shirt), Maddox Joughin and Kaleea Braun took the front row last week when Angela Rettle and assistants led the Stair District Library Summer Reading Program kids in a session of cardio drumming. The sports and healthy living theme continued yesterday with a Mini Jamboree at Lake Hudson State Park arranged by the Michigan Department of Natural Resources. Next week’s program features the Flying Aces Frisbee show.
  • Girls.on.ride
    NADIYA YORK and Aniston Valentine take a spin on the Casino, one of the rides offered at Wakefield Park during Morenci’s Town and Country Festival. This year’s festival remained dry but with plenty of heat during the three-day run. Additional photographs are inside this week’s Observer.
  • Front.softball
    Angela Davis (2) and teammate Allison VanBrandt break into a jig after Morenci's softball team won its third consecutive regional title.
  • Front.art.park
    ART PARK—A design created by Poggemeyer Design Group shows a “pocket art park” in the green space south of the State Line Observer building. The proposal includes a 12-foot sculpture based on a design created by Morenci sixth grade student Klara Wesley through a school and library collaboration. A wooden band shell is located at the back of the lot. The Observer wall would be covered with a synthetic stucco material. City council members are considering ways to fund the estimated $125,000 project and perhaps tackling construction one step at a time.
  • Front.train
    WRECKAGE—Morenci Fire Department member Taylor Schisler walks past the smoking wreckage of a semi-truck tractor on the north side of the Norfolk and Southern Railroad tracks on Ranger Highway. The truck trailer was on the south side of the tracks
  • Funcolor
    LEONIE LEAHY was one of three local hair stylists who volunteered time Friday at the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Her customer, Aubrey Sandusky, looks up at her mother while her hair takes on a perfect match to her outfit. Leahy said she had a great time at the event—nothing but happy clients.
  • KayseInField
    IN THE FIELD—2004 Morenci graduate Kayse Onweller works in a test plot of wheat in Texas. She’s part of Bayer CropScience’s North American wheat breeding program based in Nebraska, where she completed post-graduate work in plant breeding and genetics.
  • Front.soccer.balls
    BEVY OF BALLS—Stair District Library Summer Reading Program VolunTeens, including Libby Rorick, back left and Ty Kruse, back right, threw a dozen inflatable soccer balls into the crowd during a reading of “Sergio Saves the Game.” The sports-themed program continues on Wednesdays through July 27.
  • Front.art.park
  • Front.drum
  • Shadow.salon

Weekly newspaper serving SE Michigan and NW Ohio - State Line Observer ©2006-2016