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If the fence law were to be repealed, she urged councilors to at least leave the language requiring setbacks from property lines.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

  • Play Practice
    DRAMA—Fayette schools, in conjunction with the Opera House Theater program, will present two plays Friday night at the Fayette Opera House. From the left is Autumn Black, Wyatt Mitchell, Elizabeth Myers, Jonah Perdue, Sam Myers (in the back) and Lauren Dale. Other cast members are Brynn Balmer, Mason Maginn, Ashtyn Dominique, Stephanie Munguia and Sierra Munguia. Jason Stuckey serves as the technician and Trinity Leady is the backstage manager. The plays will be performed during the day Friday for students and for the public at 7 p.m. Friday.
  • Front.F.school
    PROGRESS continues on the agriculture classroom addition at Fayette High School. The project will add 2,900 square feet of space and include an overhead door that would allow equipment to be driven inside. The building should be ready for the start of school in August. Work on ball fields and a running track is also underway.
  • Front.rover
    CLEARING THE WAY—Road crossings in the area on the construction route of the Rover natural gas pipeline are marked with poles and flags as preliminary work nears. Ditches and field entry points are covered with thick planks in many areas to support equipment for tree clearing operations. Actual pipeline construction is progressing across Ohio toward a collecting station near Defiance. That segment of the project is expected to wrap up in July. The 42-inch line through Michigan and into Ontario is scheduled for completion in November. The line is projected to transport 3.25 billion cubic feet of natural gas every day.
  • Front.geese
    ON THE MOVE—Six goslings head out on manuevers with their parents in an area lake. Baby waterfowl are showing up in lakes and ponds throughout the area.
  • Accident
    FAYETTE resident Patricia Stambaugh, 64, was declared dead on the scene of a single-vehicle accident Friday morning south of Morenci. Rescue units were called around 9 a.m., but as of Tuesday, law enforcement officers had not yet determined the time of the accident. According to Ohio State Highway Patrol, Stambaugh was driving west on U.S. 20 when her Chevrolet Malibu traveled off the north side of the road and down a steep embankment, coming to rest in Bean Creek (Tiffin River).
  • Front.teacher Leading
    PRESCHOOL MUSIC—Fayette band director Jeffrey Dunford spends the last half hour of the day leading the full-day preschool class in musical activities. Additional photos are on page 7 of this week’s Observer.
  • 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.
  • Face Paint
    FUN NIGHT FUN—Savanna Miles sits patiently while Abbie White works on a face paint design Friday during the Morenci PTO Fun Night. Gracie Snead watches the progress after having spent time in the chair. Abbie was one of several volunteer painters, each creating their own unique look. Additional photos are on the back page of this week’s Observer.

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