Wednesday, March 20, 2019


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Property Maintenance Code Could Face Ax in Marlborough
Written by Jennifer Butler Kirkwood Correspondent

                Last Wednesday, more than 40 residents came out to cheer as Marlborough Board of Supervisors Chairman Brian Doremus made a motion to have Solicitor Mark Cappuccio prepare a repeal of the township's version of the International Property Maintenance Code (IPMC). The motion passed with votes from both Doremus and Supervisor Bill Jacobs.

                Marlborough's version of the International Property Maintenance Code was adopted by the board in December 2012 with a 2-1 vote. At that time, the board comprised Chair Joan Smith and supervisors Charles Walter and Doremus. As previously reported, the IPMC sets specific and comprehensive maintenance standards for property premises and structures. More than 75  residents voiced opposition to the board's initial decision, focusing on the reported excessively restrictive standards set by the IPMC. Doremus also spoke out and opposed adoption of the IPMC. 

                Doremus reported that, to date, the code has not been enforced by township officials. Going forward, the IPMC would need to either be enforced or repealed.

                "Logically, you don't adopt an ordinance to then not enforce it," Cappuccio commented.

                While most in attendance were in favor of repealing the ordinance, a few did express concern over having no course of action should there be a safety or nuisance issue going forward.

                Walter, who voted in favor of the IPMC adoption in 2012, opposed preparation of a repeal last Wednesday.

                "I think it serves a purpose," Walter said of the IPMC. "People cleaned up their properties. It is a deterrent if nothing else."

                Supervisors will vote on the repeal next month. Jacobs suggested that, after the repeal, the township's planning commission revisit the partially developed nuisance ordinance, which was tabled in favor of the IPMC in 2012.

                "It could be developed to fit the needs of our township," Jacobs said.

                In other business, Jon Lesher, senior environmental and community planner for the Montgomery County Planning Commission asked for feedback from residents on the visioning plan that the township planning commission is beginning to develop for Sumneytown, Perkiomenville and adjacent areas. According to Lesher, Marlborough Township's Commercial and Community Adaptability Plan (C-CAP) will include a narrative of goals and action items, ultimately resulting in ordinance amendments.

                "We really want your opinion. We really want your insight," Lesher explained. "You know the township better than anyone else. You have a chance to shape how the township will grow."

                Visuals, paper surveys and a visioning board were available during and after the meeting. Surveys can also be accessed on the township website homepage,

                Lesher cautioned that the ideas presented in the plan may not necessarily reach fruition.

                "You can zone for a bookstore but that doesn't mean a bookstore is coming to Marlborough Township," Lesher said. "This plan will create opportunities, not guarantees."





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