Advertisement

Sharpsburg officials reject tough building code

November 07, 1997

Sharpsburg officials reject tough building code

By JULIE E. GREENE

Staff Writer

SHARPSBURG - Sharpsburg town officials turned down a proposed building code on Monday, saying it was too strict and could punish all property owners.

Mayor George Kesler said he asked Town Attorney Charles Wagaman to return next month with a less restrictive proposal that would allow town officials to address dangerous structures.

The building town officials were most concerned about is to be put up for sale so the new owner will have to fix it, Kesler said Wednesday.

Advertisement

Wagaman heard from the New Jersey owner of the old Civil War museum at 135 W. Main St. on Tuesday after months of trying to reach him, Kesler said.

The closed museum is in such bad shape that neighbor David Dagenhart said his insurance company is canceling his homeowner's insurance. The building has holes and chipping paint and plants are growing up the side, he said.

Town officials want the ability to clean up such properties and bill the owner, if the owner doesn't have the repairs done promptly, Kesler said.

The building code proposed on Monday included criminal penalties that would have been enforced by the court system with the fine revenue going to the state, Kesler said.

Kesler said he wants a municipal infraction code that will enable the town to enforce the code and keep the revenue from fines.

Town officials said the proposed building code could have gotten out of hand.

People could have been fined for improper insect screens, under the proposal.

"It goes back to a witch hunt," Councilman Ralph Hammond said of the proposed code. Every house in town could have been condemned under the proposed standards, he said.

The Herald-Mail Articles
|
|
|