SALISBURY TOWNSHIP BOARD OF COMMISSIONERS
Salisbury Township officials plan to beef up rental property inspections.
Township police and zoning officials briefed the township board of commissioners at the July 26 workshop on the proposed ordinance, which commissioners may review at the 7 p.m. Aug. 9, 23 or September township meetings.
“The goal is to make properties safer for the owners and occupants,” Salisbury Township Lead Fire Inspector Dustin Grow said.
Grow estimated there are 900 rental properties among the approximately 5,200 properties in the township.
“There probably are even more, probably over 1,000,” Salisbury Township MS4 Coordinator, Building Code Enforcement Officer, Assistant Zoning Officer and Building Inspector Sandy Nicolo said.
“I didn’t realize there were that many rentals,” board of commissioners Vice President Debra Brinton said.
“This is the way to address quality of life issues,” Salisbury Township Chief of Police Allen W. Stiles said. “This is a key issue for us,” Stiles added.
“We’re complaint-based driven,” Grow said, whose PowerPoint presentation included photos of properties as examples of problems that need to be addressed. Photos depicted damaged siding and broken concrete blocks.
“A complaint can trigger a response,” Nicolo said.
“When it’s vacant, it can trigger an inspection,” Salisbury Township Police Department Sgt. Donald Sabo Jr. said, who heads the Investigation, Fire Inspection and Community Policing.
Sabo recommended an additional fire inspector be added to the staff of five inspectors.
“We want to make sure it’s a smooth transition,” Sabo said.
Two years ago, Salisbury Township School District began to require a moving permit for parents to register their children as students.
Nicolo said banks are asking for rental property inspections when owners seek financing.
In working on the proposed ordinance, regulations in Fountain Hill, Northampton and Bethlehem were studied to help formulate Salisbury’s ordinance.
There would be several steps taken if a rental property is found to be in violation of township building codes. Owners would be charged a fee for a property inspection.
A fire inspector would make the property inspections.
Sabo said the plan is for township commissioners, officials and the Salisbury Township solicitor, Atty. John W. Ashley to review the regulations in the next three months, adopt the regulations in three to six months and have the rental property inspection program fully in place in six to 18 months.
“I think it’s a good start,” board of commissioners’ President Robert Martucci Jr. said after the 35-minute presentation.
“It will help protect property values,” Martucci said.