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Baltimore limits yard sales to one sign

BALTIMORE – Village council members addressed complaints about yard/garage sale signs Monday night.

Council members unanimously approved a new ordinance on its third reading that sets very specific standards for garage sale signs and their removal. Just one sign may be displayed on the property where the garage sale is being conducted. Lighted signs are prohibited. No signs shall be placed on the public right-of-way or on any property other than where the sale is being conducted. The single permitted sign can not be displayed more than three consecutive days and must be removed by 9 p.m. on the last day of the sale. Violations are minor misdemeanors and each day of non-compliance is considered a separate offense. The ordinance will be effective in 30 days.

In other business Monday night, nearly a dozen neighbors of 303 North Liberty St. asked village officials to give them some relief from the trash, barking dogs, noise, public disturbances and reckless driving that they say happens regularly there. Editor’s Note: The Beacon is not identifying the neighbors to protect them from threats and additional harassment.

“What recourse do we have?” one neighbor asked. He suggested a possible ordinance limiting the number of dogs at a single residence. Neighbors thought there were seven to nine dogs there.

“I don’t see a problem with an ordinance for dogs,” Mayor Brad Nicodemus said. “It is done elsewhere.” Nicodemus, who is the City of Whitehall’s assistant city attorney, said Whitehall and, he believes, Lancaster have ordinances requiring kennel licenses for homes with dogs exceeding a specific threshold. He will get Whitehall’s ordinance and any other area ordinances for council’s Safety Committee to consider next month. The committee’s next meeting is at 6 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 13, in council chambers.

“We are all fed up with it,” another neighbor told village officials. “Our house is our sanctuary …our complaints seem to be falling on deaf ears.”

Nicodemus, Police Chief Michael Tussey and council members urged the neighbors to call 9-1-1 when there are public disturbances there or they witness reckless driving. The complaints, Nicodemus said, will help build a record that the property is a public nuisance. He noted that the village now has a code enforcement officer available 20 hours per week.

Tussey is very familiar with the property. He said his officers must witness minor misdemeanors like speeding or reckless driving before they can issue a citation. “They know every trick,” he added. They won’t file complaints about fights or assaults and police can only file charges if someone is visibly injured. “Call us,” Tussey urged. He gave neighbors his cell number.

Council members also unanimously extended their residential waste collection contract with Rumpke for another six months through June 30, 2018. Baltimore had originally piggy-backed with the City of Pickerington on the Rumpke contract. Pickerington has also extended their Rumpke contract and are working on a longer term contract with Rumpke.

Council members also unanimously approved an ordinance prohibiting right turns on red during specific hours at the intersection of Basil and Market streets. Motorists heading north on Basil Street will not be able to turn right on red from 7 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Friday. Motorists traveling east on Market Street will not be able to turn right on red onto Basil Street between the hours of 3 – 9 p.m. weekdays. The ordinance will be effective in 30 days.

Treat or Trick is set for 6:00 to 7:30 p.m. on Thursday, Oct. 26. Tussey reminded council members that the Police Open House is set for noon to 2 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 28. There will be free candy, hot dogs and drinks for everyone. Jerry Ayers will be carving pumpkins for the first time in years. All are welcome!

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