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Roanoke rule enforcement questioned

A recently passed ordinance raised questions about enforcement and practicality at the Roanoke Town Council meeting on May 19.

The Town of Roanoke had put into effect an ordinance requiring zoned businesses to provide off-street parking made of either asphalt or concrete, with spaces striped and clearly marked. Each business must have one parking spot for every 200 square feet of building space.

But Rick Hartley, of the Roanoke Board of Zoning Appeals, says a new antique store at 138 First St. has not yet complied.

The store was officially rezoned from residential to business in November 2008 despite protest at the time from another First Street resident.

Now, the store is open, but only a dirt lot for parking exists, which, Hartley says, must be corrected.

Hartley requested that the town council file a complaint against the store for violation of that parking ordinance, which the council refused to do, saying that it was not the council's job to enforce such ordinances.
But still, the question remained about who was supposed to enforce the ordinance.

"Somebody dropped the ball," said Hartley.

Hartley also suggested that the town could amend this ordinance, but no action was taken at the time.

In other business, Hartley discussed how the town's reference book for ordinances has not been codified since 2000. Those ordinances are also not on the American Legal Publishing Corp. Web site like many other communities across the country.

Hartley also suggested that the ordinance dealing with animals running loose be more enforced.

The council unanimously passed a fence relocation request, and an insurance renewal for the fire department from Dave Mettler was also approved. The insurance was $192 less than last year.

The fire department also reported that $2,000 was made from the hog roast, which will go to new equipment. They were also permitted to fill a resident's pool, as long as they got a liability waiver, it was labeled as a training exercise and the Department of Transportation gave the green light.

Additionally, the fire department submitted a request for $1,680 for generators for the fire station to be used mainly for weather emergencies. The request was passed, with the money to come from the Town Building Maintenance Fund.

The council also moved to pay $5,000 for fireworks for 2009 and 2010.

The utilities department requested $25,000 for a new ultraviolet lighting system for Roanoke's water supply. That money will be obtained from the wastewater fund.

Finally, Vice President Michelle Schwieterman resigned from the council, citing personal and medical reasons. The council will be accepting applications to fill the 18 months left on Schwieterman's term.