Mount Joy Township supervisors voted 3-2 to reject a tenant’s appeal of a notice of violation of the township’s Rental Property Management Code, making it likely that she will be evicted from the home she said she has lived in for 15 years.
Shana Edwards appealed to township supervisors at their meeting on Monday, Aug. 21, asking to be allowed to stay in her home on Covington Court, Mount Joy. After deliberating in executive session for a few minutes, supervisors Lisa Heilner, Gerald Cole and Gerald Becker voted to deny Edwards’ appeal; Supervisors David Sweigart and Debra Dupler voted against the motion to deny the appeal.
When a disturbance happens at a rental property in the township, the township’s codes compliance official gets a copy of the police report and decides whether it is a violation of the rental property code. If so, he sends a letter to the tenant and the landlord. For the third such violation, the landlord is required to begin eviction proceedings. In this case, the tenant appealed the notice of the third violation, causing a public hearing to be held at the supervisors meeting.
Edwards testified that she gave her daughter permission to invite three female friends over on July 6 to gather around a fire in the backyard and she went to bed at about 9:40 p.m. that night. She said while she was sleeping, word got out on social media that a party was being held at a house with no adults present and a large number of young people showed up and brought alcohol.
“I do not have alcohol in our home,” Edwards said, so the young people who showed up must have brought it with them.
She said the party got out of control and police arrived while she was still sleeping. She said when she woke up, her daughter’s boyfriend had showed up to chase the partygoers away. Two police officers testified about responding to the party; they noted that a 17-year-old boy had gotten so badly intoxicated that he was taken to a hospital for treatment.
Edwards said the partygoers who were leaving were waiting for rides arranged with an online ride-sharing application. She said the partygoers were planning to go to another party elsewhere and take the severely intoxicated teen with them. She said she was grateful that teen was taken to a hospital instead.
Township Manager Justin Evans said after the meeting that the landlord had already begun eviction proceedings in Magisterial District Judge Jayne F. Duncan’s court, but that proceeding was on hold because Edwards was appealing the violation notice. Court records available online show that Trademark Property Management, Lancaster, filed the landlord-tenant complaint on July 20 and court papers were served on Shana Edwards and Gabriel Edwards the next day. A hearing was initially scheduled on July 31 and was continued until 10:15 a.m. on Monday, Aug. 28, in Judge Duncan’s court. Evans said the township is not a party to the eviction proceeding.
In other business, supervisors decided on a name for their new building. The meeting was the first meeting of township supervisors in the new municipal complex in the former Fairview Elementary School building. Cole proposed that the word “Fairview” should be part of the official name of the building so the public will have an easier time finding it, reasoning that longtime residents know where Fairview is but will have trouble with the street address of 8853 Elizabethtown Road, Elizabethtown. Supervisors voted unanimously to name the building the Mount Joy Township Fairview Municipal Complex.
Also, several residents of the Rockwood housing development addressed supervisors about problems with speeding, mostly on Old Hershey Road. Police Chief Mark Mayberry said he will place devices that count the number of vehicles that use the road, show when they use it and how fast they travel to determine the scope of the problem.
Supervisors also heard from Matthew Shenk, president of the Mastersonville Fire Company, about the volunteer fire department’s new fire station and his request that the township provide more money to the fire company so a loan to pay for construction can be paid off early to avoid debt. Supervisors took no action on Shenk’s request.