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Cornwall Borough Council met March 14 to discuss topics including Spring Hill Acres zoning issues, the feeding of feral cats, and accessory structures on townhouse lots.

Spring Hill Acres zoning issues

The council agreed to enter an executive session regarding zoning issues at 308 Springhill Lane.

The property is owned by Nathan and Jessica Walmer, who run a landscaping business Pondscapes & Patios from home.

Last year, the Lebanon County planning office received multiple complaints about their residence and, upon meeting with the owners and others, issued a zoning order/enforcement notice Oct. 26.

The Walmers filed an appeal to the Zoning Hearing Board, submitting a letter from County Planning from last August stating that the business could continue so long as trucks and other business-related items were stored inside an enclosed building. 

Feb. 25, the Zoning Hearing Board overturned the enforcement notice.

From there, the council had three options: to leave the notice overturned, to file an appeal for the notice through the Lebanon County Court of Common Pleas, or to examine the zoning ordinance to consider amending to prevent future misunderstandings. 

The council chose to consider their options in a confidential executive session, but first heard feedback from the public on the subject.

Several commented their grievances with activities at 308 Springhill Lane, including cars and trucks in the driveway and along the road, sounds from the property, and concerns about development.

Nathan Walmer also attended the meeting and spoke up, commenting that “I’m not exactly sure where all this hatred and rhetoric is coming from, but I’m just doing what any normal person would do, trying to live my life, provide for my family, get my stuff out of the weather, and get the stuff done that I need to get done.”

Feeding of feral cats

The council unanimously approved a motion to advertise an amendment to the borough’s ordinance against feeding feral cats. The amendment would allow Cornwall residents to feed feral cats for the purpose of trapping and spaying/neutering them.

The council first passed the ordinance, which allows officials to impose fines or jail time for feeding wild cats, in 2019 to reduce problems with the overpopulation of feral cats.

Read More: Could someone go to jail for feeding feral cats in Cornwall? Yes – but not likely

Soon after the ordinance was passed, Cornwall resident Jennifer Wentzel began a Trap, Neuter, Release program, also to counter the overpopulation problem.

Read More: Cornwall Borough residents look to enact new trap, neuter, and release program for feral cats

From here, the amendment will be advertised to the public before it is voted on and either vetoed or put into action.

Accessory structures on townhouse lots

Council unanimously approved a motion to draft an amendment to the ordinance restricting accessory structures on townhouse lots.

As of now, townhouse lots are prevented from constructing accessory structures. Planning and Zoning recommended removing this prohibition. An amendment has been proposed allowing accessory structures on these lots, provided they still abide by overarching ordinances.

From here, the amendment will be drafted. If the amendment’s wording is agreed upon it will be advertised before being voted upon again and possibly becoming law.

Other business

In other business, the board:

  • Approved the minutes of the Feb. 14 meeting.
  • Unanimously approved reports for the Secretary, Treasurer, Finance Committee, Highway Department, Cornwall Community Fire Company, Mayor, Planning Commission, Zoning Officers Report Recreation, Employee Safety Committee, Emergency Services Committee, and Ambulance. These are available to view online on the Cornwall Borough Council agenda (PDF).
  • Presented the budget report, including that (as of the end of February) the borough’s revenues totaled $299,650.45, 12.32% of the budgeted $2,432,226 and that expenditures totaled $396,114.28, 14.3% of the budget of $2,769,684.14.
  • Agreed to pay IT Managed Services an hourly rate of $85 for the next three months before determining whether to do so permanently or accept a $800 or $1,000 monthly rate.
  • Unanimously approved Resolution 2022-4, agreeing to apply for the Lebanon County Gaming Local Share Assessment Grant on behalf of the Fire Company.
  • Informally agreed to entertain a property line adjustment between the Cornwall Inn and the police station, provided the Cornwall Inn owners cover associated legal costs (as they have offered to do).
  • Unanimously agreed to reimburse Lee Stickler $4,204.20 for his work restoring Spring Hill Acres Fire Dam.

Cornwall Borough Council meets at the borough building the second Monday of each month at 6:30 p.m. The next meeting will be held April 11. These meetings are open to the public and do not require prior registration.

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Emily Bixler was born and raised in Lebanon and now reports on local government. In her free time, she enjoys playing piano and going for hikes.