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Mt. Pleasant enforcing ordinances to make borough better, officials say

Mt. Pleasant Borough officials are taking strict stands when it comes to enforcing its ordinances.

And it’s all to make the borough a better place to live, say officials.

In the spring, council adopted its new codification book where it updated and added ordinances and codes.

Steps are now being taken to enforce these ordinances. But some of the ordinances are being reworked.

“We’re now starting to enforce the landlord and the property maintenance ordinances,” said Mt. Pleasant Mayor Jerry Lucia. “We made several changes to the sign ordinance. The sign ordinance has been revised several times and now they also added to it.”

The changes include allowing businesses to place temporary signage on their buildings to advertise sales or special events. Over-the-walk signs are now permitted. Lucia said that change will benefit businesses that are on side streets. It will help them with visibility.

Lucia said sign issues were brought to his attention by a local business owner that said customers had a hard time locating his business because signs were not visible.

“A lot of these businesses that aren’t well known yet have customers that pass them over and over because they can’t see their signs, especially the businesses that are at the top of the hill on the west side,” Lucia said. “With the changes to the ordinances, they can now put out a sign that will be seen easily from the street and people that are looking for the businesses will now be able to find them.”

Sandwich advertising boards are now officially allowed at businesses but they can not be displayed on the sidewalks after the business has closed.

The landlord ordinance is also in affect and more than 370 rental units have already been registered with the borough, agreeing to a regular inspection of rental units every two years.

“It’s a huge safety factor here in our borough,” Lucia said. “Before we changed the ordinance, a landlord was only required to have their unit inspected when a new renter was coming in, in other words, if you lived in a rental unit for 20 years, your property would not be required to be inspected in all that time and that is not safe.”

Landlords are required to pay to have an inspector come in to check electrical wiring, plumbing, windows, paint, and heating and water units.

“A lot of the landlords cooperated right off the bat,” Lucia said.

Lucia added that the new ordinance will also protect the elderly that rent in the borough who may have experienced problems with the reporting of rental unit issues.

“Some elderly who rent may go to their landlord once to tell them of a problem with their heat or their water but they won’t tell them twice because they are afraid of being evicted,” Lucia said. “The elderly are scared to come forward to complain and we want to protect them and all renters. This is now being monitored very tightly.”

When an inspector finds a problem with a rental unit the landlord is given a period of time to rectify the situation.

If the problem is not fixed, the unit can not be rented and the landlord may be subject to a citation.

The property maintenance code is also now being strictly enforced and several citations have been given to property owners who have ignored warnings.

“We don’t have any intentions of making this a money making thing, we just want the property owners to abide by the ordinances that state what has to be done to maintain their properties,” Lucia said. “All of this is only for the good of the people here and for the good of our community. We are always striving to make our borough a better place.”


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