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Ordinance would require permits for storage containers

| Thursday, July 3, 2014, 11:39 a.m.

Whitehall residents could need a permit if they're looking to place a large garbage bin and storage container on their property in the future.

An ordinance that places restrictions on bulk containers, including Dumpsters, lawn refuse and portable storage containers, could be approved by borough council as early as July 2, borough Manager James Leventry said.

“We're trying to keep these things from springing up all over the borough and becoming a nuisance,” Leventry said.

Borough leaders began looking at an ordinance to address large storage containers after a resident complained that his neighbor had one on his property for nearly a year, Leventry said.

The premise of the ordinance is to have residents register with the borough when they place a bulk container on their property, so they can get a permit.

This likely will be done through the borough's code enforcement department and registration will be available online, Leventry said.

Permits will only be issued for 60 days.

“We wanted to have people register so we know when the clock starts ticking,” Leventry said.

Council members at their June 18 meeting debated if they should include a fee with the permit, even as minimal as $5.

“We can fee people to death, what's it going to do?” Councilman Phil Lahr asked.

Lahr suggested if a resident needs more than 60 days to store items or trash, they can talk to the borough's code enforcement officer. A fee, he said, won't help that.

“It's just that simple,” Lahr said.

Baldwin leaders, too, in recent months have discussed an ordinance that would restrict bulk storage containers.

Councilman James Behers introduced the idea after he noticed a storage container which he said was positioned partially on a borough street for several months.

Borough leaders are reviewing ordinances from neighboring towns before drafting their own regulations.

“PODS are a relatively new phenomenon,” Leventry said, noting the need for adding regulations.

With the increased, and sometimes prolonged, usage has come an annoyance for some neighbors, he said, leading officials to look at rules.

Stephanie Hacke is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 412-388-5818 or shacke@tribweb.com.

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