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‘We had to start somewhere’


I recently had the chance to speak with a very good friend and Liberty Union High School classmate. It seems that the Village of Baltimore has come forward with more rules and regulations. My friend owns property on East Cliff Street that he purchased with the intent to sell lots to people wanting to live in Baltimore. He apparently has a prospect that is looking into purchasing a lot and building a new home in Baltimore. Apparently, that individual has no idea about the horrendous cost for water and sewer service, but that is another subject.

My friend found out that under new village regulations, he would be required to install sidewalks and plant specific trees on the property before housing construction could begin. In driving through this area, we saw that there are sidewalks on the 100 block of East Cliff Street. but nowhere else on the entire street, including in front of the home owned by our mayor. Also there are no sidewalks in front of some of the “newer” homes on East Cliff Street. There are NO sidewalks in front of homes on Hansberger Street, Swartz Avenue, Wagner Avenue nor any of the homes on the the 400 block of East Market Street., and extended to the village limits.

My friend asked the village engineer “Why Me, Why Now”, and was told that, “We had to start somewhere.”My friend and his business associate are the people responsible for the “newest” and one of the “nicest” areas in Baltimore – Holder Road.

I was also told that this village administration, with the help and probable advice from former Village Administrator Hall, now have several new regulations that appear to drive up the cost of building in Baltimore. It also entails several costly permits and inspections. Those inspections are completed by a person who works for the City Of Lancaster. I remember when I built my home, I took my plans to the village, paid my building permit and sewer/ water tap fees, and that was it. I guess that relates to the forever stated “growth of Baltimore”. When I built, there was trust….. Now it is just about money.

This village is willing to spend hundreds of thousands of our tax dollars running water lines into Walnut Township, but penalizes a local resident whose intent is new housing in Baltimore. One would wonder if that issue would have come into play if the council would have agreed with the Gorsuch proposal to build several “lower income” dwellings.

We have heard our mayor talk a lot about the “Growth Of Baltimore,” but when a local has a plan, they seem to make things harder for that person.

The mayor can talk about the growth, but council’s new rules makes growth more difficult. Growth will not happen if you continue with restrictions that will retard potential growth. With more new homes, tax receipts increase, and is that not your desire ?

Mayor Kalish and Village Council have been responsible for numerous new ordinances and regulations, but we have seen little or no growth, probably due to those ordinances and regulations. If you are going to write ordinances and regulations, you should have local enforcement. This is like asking your street supervisor to ask the County Engineer how to fix a street, or the Police Chief to talk with the Lancaster Police Chief about how to run a police department. If Baltimore is going to do it, why not keep it in Baltimore.

By the way, my friend was told, after talking with several council members and the village addministrator, “don’t worry about it.” Does that mean that ordinance is repealed, or are they just waiting for him to sell a lot, and then enforce the ordinance.

Charles R. Lamb

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