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Three open seats on Borough Council are before the residents of Ridley Park in the November 2015 election.  Electing three Borough Council members is a very serious decision regarding the future direction of Ridley Park.

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Comment by Parkergirl on October 19, 2015 at 1:37pm

So it appears there is a confirmation of borough code not allowing fences in front yards. Please don't get me wrong, the house I speak of is very nice and quite frankly I wish I could have that fence for my front yard. Just wondering what is being done about it. Code seems very selective in what/who codes apply to. 

Comment by hotdog on October 19, 2015 at 10:54am
@Linda Shockley, you are correct, Article 16 of the Borough Zoning Ordinance Section 1609 Fences and Walls Subsection 1. States; fences and walls are prohibited in front yards of properties.
Comment by Mike Gale on October 16, 2015 at 9:35pm

@Linda, The particular part of the Zoning Ordinance that pertains to fences can be found using this link Zoning Ordinance 1609.  A new Fence permit and this link were recently added to the Borough website under Borough Services, Permits and Forms, Fence Permit, after a resident on Thayer street ran afoul of Code Enforcement. The resident applied for and received a building  permit for a fence for a side yard. The fence met all applicable height and setback requirements. The building permit did not require the applicant to specify the type of fence or material to be used. After installing the fence posts, the Code Enforcement officer drove by and halted the project because the resident had stockade type panels ready to install and the Zoning code only allows a picket type fence.  After a delay of 8 - 10 weeks where idle posts sat without panels, the resident had no other choice but to file a request for a variance with the Zoning Hearing Board. The hearing cost the resident $500. At the hearing on Sep 17th, the Zoning Board granted a "materials variance", and the resident was finally able to complete his fence project.  Technically the resident may have been in violation of the Zoning Ordinance  (nobody argued that a stockade fence is nothing more than a bunch of pickets without a space in between), but this should have been resolved without the need for an expensive variance. I learned at workshop that the changes to the Borough website were suggested by the Zoning Hearing Board in order to protect future residents from finding themselves in a similar predicament. This is just another example of a resident, who followed the rules,  being treated poorly by Commonwealth Code Enforcement while trying to improve the value of their home and their neighborhood.

Ridley Park Deserves Better.

Comment by tim devabey on October 15, 2015 at 2:42pm

@Linda Shockley,  A numbered RP Code Book is issued to each Councilor.  Ask your friendly, neighborhood Councilor to borrow or review the Codes of RP.  Several Codes have been revised lately, so I would expect all Councilors to have the Code Book handy as they must have each reviewed the existing Codes before voting on the revisions...do you think?

Comment by Linda Shockley on October 15, 2015 at 10:02am

@MJ320, I was told by the previous code enforcer that no fence is allowed in the front.  I know one thing: it should be easier than it is to find these codes & read them for ourselves.  Maybe someone knows how to get their hands on them?

Comment by MJ320 on October 14, 2015 at 1:17pm

My understanding regarding the fence was not that there couldn't be a fence in the front yard, but that the fences around front yards need to be 5 feet tall or less.

I'm in a unfortunate position in that the back of my house faces Chester Pike, so they told me that technically I have two front yards. Because of that, I was not allowed to put a 6' fence around my back yard, I had to keep it at 5'. 

Comment by Parkergirl on October 14, 2015 at 11:24am

@Tim. That was the basic question I posed a couple weeks ago. Why should the current council members seeking re election keep their seats? Convince the RP residents that you can do better than what has been happening in our borough. Explain the reasoning for the hiring of the EX BM and her deal to end her contract. Explain the ins and outs of the EX COP and why he left. Explain the code enforcer and the double standard that exists with homeowners. I would like to point out that a lovely home in our borough has a fence that encloses their front yard. As I understand it, code states that no fence can enclose a front yard and a side fence can only extend as far as the front of the bldg. Don't get me wrong, the house is wonderfully maintained, but just wondering why a double standard exits. For some ppl in the borough, going after its residents for a sidewalk issue or a driveway issue to the extent of taking them to court seems like overkill when this fence is obviously not in compliance. Another wonderful thing this council has done is install our friendly eyesore in HP. Yes, the billboard. I hope council is not so naïve to think that fixing up the HP playground is an olive branch to those living in the HP area. Speaking of parks and safety issue...the other problem is the porta potty located at ABC field. Isn't it a liability for the borough to allow the porta potty to be in the middle of a park surrounded by heroin bags and needles and mini alcohol bottles? Why is it still there? What if a child used the potty and stepped on a needle or perhaps even picked up a heroin bag? It is the lack of maintenance in ALL of our parks, especially Eastlake Park that is a disgrace. Frankly, it's an overgrown dumping ground.  A lake that was once labeled as the "jewel of the borough" has certainly lost it's shine. For a borough that boasts it's family friendly parks, it certainly doesn't show. The porta potty is a safety issue and the lake is an eyesore. The borough finances are a wreck, as explained in a previous post by Mike Gale. Legal fees through the roof.  I anticipate a tax increase when the budget comes out. I don't know how there couldn't be one. As residents of RP, ask yourself if we are a better borough since this council has taken over. My opinion is no, we do not have a better quality of life. The great thing is that we have candidates running that will actually listen to the residents, not put a time limit on them during council meetings, candidates that will return e mails, candidates that will work WITH the residents instead of against them.

Comment by tim devabey on October 10, 2015 at 12:03pm

@Kenneth Harper,  It might be more to the point to ask sitting Councilors desiring re-election how and why they voted on such issues as:  hiring Tartaglia as Code Enforcer when he was already employed full time in Clifton Heights; spending money to rewrite the sidewalk ordinance and not uniformly enforce it; installing a giant advertising billboard in a Borough Park in violation of RP Code; selling the rights to a private company to use the Borough Government Seal to harass residents; leaving a portopotty in a residential neighborhood Park unlocked at night even after the Borough was aware of drug use in the area; inadequate action to prevent further siltation and degradation of our Lake; an explanation of Borough Financial LOSS as a consequence of other bad decisions such as former COP antics and the former "she's a ten" Borough Manager; etc, etc.  Can you do it in the 5 minutes allowed by Council?

Comment by Kenneth Harper on October 10, 2015 at 10:28am
@Jim Butt, at the next council meeting ask Holly if she was living in an apartment outside the borough.
Comment by Kenneth Harper on October 8, 2015 at 6:30pm
@Jim Butt, Yes

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