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Conoy Township Considers Draft Nuisance Ordinance

A draft ordinance for nuisances got heated discussion at the latest Conoy Township supervisors meeting, as did a proposed ordinance regulating dogs and cats.

The township is considering a nuisance ordinance after getting complaints about a man firing a gun repeatedly, disturbing neighbors, though supporters of such an ordinance said it is not just for that.

Kendra Mohr, chair of the township’s zoning board, described the draft as a “big government” intrusion into people’s lives and predicted it would be used to harass neighbors if enacted. For example, it prohibits the operation of “snow removal equipment” between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. in the residential, rural and village center zoning districts except during a declared emergency. She said that would prohibit someone from shoveling out a snowed-in car at 6 a.m. in order to drive to work.

“I think you underestimate how petty people will be,” Mohr said when Supervisor Gina Mariani said she did not expect the nuisance ordinance would be used to harass neighbors.

Mariani said the township needs to do something about nuisance behavior and asked for an alertnative.

“Think of something better,” Mariani said.

“’Something better’ is throw this in the trash can,” Mohr replied.

Mariani said there are problems with people firing fireworks and using off-road vehicles at all hours, causing disturbances that police are powerless to stop.

Mohr, a lawyer, said people can go to court about those issues, but Mariani said people should be able to get nuisances stopped without the expense of litigation.

Mariani said she would present the draft to the Susquehanna Regional Police Department to get the opinion of police on how enforcement would work.

Dog and cat ordinance: Supervisors also discussed a proposed dog and cat ordinance. Solicitor Matthew J. Creme Jr. said state law prohibits dogs from being out of their owners’ control while off their owners’ properties; he wanted supervisors to consider whether the township wants to have a similar restriction for cats. He said some municipalities have such a restriction on cats and others do not and he would draft the ordinance however supervisors want.

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