County zoning inspectors checking out Madison Township

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By Linda Dillman
Staff Writer

Franklin County zoning officials are canvassing Madison Township for code violations such as missing gutters, siding issues, garage problems and bad roofs.

The county officials indicated they found several during their first sweep in the Blacklick Estates area.
Jenny Snapp, assistant director for the county’s Economic Development and Planning department, along with inspectors Neal Fulton and Rick Erbe, spoke to the Madison Township trustees at their Feb. 13 meeting.

Fulton said 80 streets have been inspected so far and, while some properties are in bad shape, “mostly it’s fairly decent over there.”

Inspections so far were conducted primarily north of U.S. Route 33. Fulton said he and Erbe want to survey the entire township before sending out any letters identifying property maintenance issues.

“We’re going through our code book,” said Fulton. “We’d like to canvass the whole township so it doesn’t look like we’re practicing favoritism. We’d really like for the township to be part of this thing before we send out letters.”

Many of the maintenance issues identified by the inspectors involve a lack of gutters. Out of 56 properties on the list compiled by the county, 35 involved either missing or downed gutters.

Other violations include a shed at the back of a house falling down, bad front and side porch railings, no address posted on a home, siding missing on a house, a garage falling down, and a hole in the roof of a house.

Trustee John Pritchard voiced concern with properties lacking gutters. He said the first house he owned was built without gutters, which he later added.

“Just because someone doesn’t have gutters, I don’t see it as a code violation,” said Pritchard, “unless they have gutters falling down. To me, it (the list) was rather shocking when I first saw it.”

Snapp said the zoning sweep is a township driven process and it was at the township’s request that county inspectors started canvassing Madison Township.

Trustee Chairman John Kershner said the township initiated the process a year ago and trustee Ed Dildine said the inspections are helping the township with property maintenance issues.

County representatives hope to complete the process in six months.

“We’re not doing anything without the township’s blessing,” Erbe said. “We do a little bit when we get extra time.”

Other township news

•The township’s newest police chief, Gary York, was sworn in, along with interim Fire Chief Jeff Fasone and Police Officer Alexander Coffman.
•The township’s public comment policy was tabled until March. Pritchard said the trustees received no public comments on the policy, but he asked for the delay because he still had questions he wanted resolved.

1 COMMENT

  1. Why aren’t the trustees out and about checking properties? what about vehicles sitting in driveways with flat tires and expired tags? How about a house on Hamilton road across from the BP that looks like a scrapyard? How about folks with year round garage sales?

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