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If the fence law were to be repealed, she urged councilors to at least leave the language requiring setbacks from property lines.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.nok Hok
    GAMES DAY—Finn Molitierno (right) celebrates a goal during a game of Nok Hockey with his sister, Kyla. The two tried out a variety of games Saturday at Stair District Library’s annual International Games Day event. One of the activities featured a sort of scavenger hunt in which participants had to locate facts presented in the Smithsonian Hometown Teams exhibit. The traveling show left Morenci’s library Tuesday, wrapping up a series of programs that began Oct. 2. Additional photos are on page 7.
  • Station.2
    STRANGE STUFF—Morenci Elementary School students learn that blue isn’t really blue when seen through the right color of lens. Volunteer April Pike presents the lesson to students at one of the many stations brought to the school by the COSI science center. The theme of this year’s visit was the solar system.
  • Front.leaves
    MAPLE leaves show their fall colors in a puddle at Morenci’s Riverside Natural Area. “This was a great year for colors,” said local weather watcher George Isobar. Chilly mornings will give way to seasonable fall temperatures for the next two weeks.
  • Front.band
    MORENCI Marching Band member Brittany Dennis keeps the beat Friday during the half-time show of the Morenci/Pittsford football game. Color guard member Jordan Cordts is at the left. The band performed this season under the direction of Doyle Rodenbeck who served as Morenci’s band director in the 1970s. He’s serving as a substitute during a family leave.
  • Front.poles
    MOVING EAST—Utility workers continue their slow progress east along U.S. 20 south of Morenci. New electrical poles are put in place before wiring is moved into place.
  • Front.cowboy
    A PERFORMER named Biligbaatar, a member of the AnDa Union troupe from Inner Mongolia, dances at Stair District Library last week during a visit to the Midwest. The nine-member group blends a variety of traditions from Inner and Outer Mongolia. The music is described as drawing from “all the Mongol tribes that Genghis Khan unified.” The group considers itself music gatherers whose goal is to preserve traditional sounds of Mongolia. Biligbaatar grew up among traditional herders who live in yurts. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.
  • Front.bear
    HOLDEN HUTCHISON gives a hug to a black bear cub—the product of a taxidermist’s skills—at the Michigan DNR’s Great Youth Jamboree. The event on Sunday marked the fourth year of the Jamboree. Additional photos are on page 12.

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