FAIRPLAIN TOWNSHIP — The Fairplain Township Board has been working for months to update its building ordinance, which was finally approved Monday night.
During the township’s monthly meeting, Supervisor Tom Sova presented updated ordinance No. 91-2 to the board for approval.
“The purpose (for updating the ordinance) is for the health and safety of the public,” Sova said.
The new ordinance was completed using not only the past ordinance, but following the guidelines of the county and state ordinance, cleaning up the previous version.
The building ordinance applies to manufactured, stick-built, mobil, modular and camper homes. The ordinance states a township resident cannot reside in a camper, tent, car, bus or other motor vehicles, structures or place that was not designed for residential use.
The lot sizes and setbacks have remained the same as before, however, a single family residence more than 10 years old cannot be moved onto a lot within the township. Unoccupied mobile or manufactured homes cannot be used as storage buildings. The minimum flooring area of a single family residence has to be 780 feet and have a width of 18 feet.
Trustee Bill Lutherloh was cautious about the 18-foot minimum when going over the ordinance.
“There are some homes that aren’t even 18 feet wide (currently),” Lutherloh said.
Sova said he understood that fact, but the ordinance would prevent more from coming in.
Basically, the width requirement will weed out smaller single-wide homes, which has caused problems in the past, according to Sova.
“The last three or four have caused problems,” he said, noting the township received a lot of complaints.
The ordinance highlights requirements such as foundation, anchoring, skirting and septic requirements.
Fines have been put into place to make sure the ordinance is followed. The first offense results in a $75 fine, and doubles for the second offense. The third offense results in a $325 fine, followed by $500 fines for offenses after that.
Questions were addressed by Sova about semi trailers beings used as storage and more on properties throughout the township. He said those were addressed in the blight ordinance.
“We are just updating the older ordinance,” Sova said. “There might be flaws, and we might have to change things down the road.”
The new ordinance will go into effect 30 days after it is published.
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