PG Housing Ordinance Fails
The second reading of an ordinance to regulate housing in Pine Grove failed to pass Monday evening.
Only two councilmen voted on the measure: Roy Justice for the ordinance and Tom Dulaney against. Bob Adams and Dave Williams did not vote on the measure and John Johnston was not in attendance. Mayor Dave Barr declared that the measured failed.
Prior to the vote, a discussion about the ordinance brought out several questions. Dulaney started by asking for clarification about mobile homes. Barr said the ordinance calls for a maximum of one mobile home per 5,000 square feet of land-the size of most lots in town. Current mobile homes are grandfathered in and would not be affected by the ordinance.
Further, Dulaney said he did not think it was right that residents would need a town permit for a remodeling project inside their structure.
“I think that’s a little bit restrictive, personally. . . particularly for inside remodeling,” said Dulaney.
“Yeah, I agree,” added resident Peggy Lueck.
Barr and Justice believe the ordinance would not affect interior remodeling if it does not affect “the character of the structure or its intended use.” However it was debatable and Dulaney argued that the addition of a deck would be an exterior addition that he didn’t believe should require town permission.
The fee for a permit is $5 plus $25 for each new housing unit. Also, there is a $1,000 per day penalty for non-compliance.
Justice argued that other municipalities require building permits. “We’re not just anywhere. We’re Pine Grove,” replied Dulaney.
Barr suggested that council could vote down the ordinance and redo it. After the vote, Dulaney said he would be happy to work on rewording the ordinance.
“I think you need to look at the reason for it,” said Dulaney.
“The object was not to put up trashy homes in the town of Pine Grove,” explained Barr.
In a related matter, the town will call Attorney Gary Rymer and Wetzel County Office of Emergency Management Director Ed Sapp to see what can be done about trash in the area behind the Methodist Church. It includes a camper that is reportedly not tied down. It could be a flood hazard.
Mayor Barr discussed the street lights with council and how each one is running at a cost of $8 per month with Pine Grove having 100 street lights. He wanted to know, to cut energy cost, if every street light had to be on at night. He suggested that council members should go and look at where lights are and then at the next council meeting make suggestions on what street lights could be eliminated. He explained some are very close together and maybe every other light on in some areas could be an option.
Justice, councilman, told the mayor a very nice used lawn mower was purchased for $800 out of the Green Tab in excellent condition to use on city property.
Mayor Barr asked about the garbage truck and was told by Justice the truck had a leak in the diesel gas tank and right now has a patch on.
The next regular schedule meeting of Pine Grove Council is May 11, at 7 p.m. and is open to the public at the Byrd Center.
However, they will also hold a meeting required by state ordinance on April 21 to lay the levy in Pine Grove. The group decided to meet at 7 p.m. for that purpose.