A newly updated code of ordinance for Highland Township was adopted by the township Board of Trustees on Wednesday night during the township's regular board meeting. In addition, a fee schedule that applies to items in both the code of ordinances and the zoning ordinance was approved.
According to the township's website, the goal of the code of ordinance – ordinance 452 – is to address inconsistencies with current state law, eliminate any conflicting provisions and redundancies and to eliminate unnecessary regulations. This, the website states, will bring the entire ordinance into alignment with Highland Township policies and procedures.
The code of ordinance was approved by the board unanimously. Trustee Ray Polidori was absent from the meeting.
Prior to the approval of the code of ordinance, Highland resident Audra Piotrowski spoke about wanting to change the animal portion of the code of ordinance.
Piotrowski said that as it reads, residents on a parcel less than 10 acres are limited to only two dogs in Highland. Piotrowski said she'd like the limit to be raised to three or four dogs.
Supervisor Triscia Pilchowski and others on the board said there was a lot of discussion about that limit, but that they believed it should stay as is.
"It's really something we don't enforce unless there is a complaint," Pilchowski said.
Clerk Mary McDonell agreed.
"Like many of our ordinances, the enforcement is complaint driven," she said.
Following the adoption of the code of ordinance, a fee schedule was approved.
Planning and Development Director Beth Corwin explained the need for the schedule.
"It was recommend we take the fees out of the code of ordinance and the zoning ordinance and instead have a separate fee schedule," she said. "This isn't an attempt to make bring in revenue for the township. For the most part, these are the same fees we've had. They are just in this schedule now instead of in the ordinance."
In a memo to the board, Corwin said the township has held the line on costs, and have not proposed many fee increases.
"The notable exception is in Section 2, the fees for zoning activities," Corwin said. "We have worked over the past two years with the previous land use fee schedule, offering many services at no cost while we worked out exactly what level of effort, and what value we are providing the applicants."
The following fees were changed:
- The variance request fee was increased from $125 to $275.
- The fee for land division will now be a flat fee of $250.
- New categories of permit fees are assigned a fee of $100.
- A new fence permit fee was approved at $25.
The fee schedule was approved 5-1, with Trustee Russ Tierney voting against the schedule. It goes into effect immediately.