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Recent Action Report: Borough Council

State College Borough Council minutes require approval from Council before posting online. The Recent Action Report provides brief information on the actions taken by Council during regular meetings.

May 03

Recent Action Report: May 2, 2016

Posted on May 3, 2016 at 1:33 PM by SCB Communications Coordinator

State College Borough Council Regular Meeting
Monday, May 2, 2016 at 7:00 p.m.

PennDOT North Atherton Street Reconstruction Project

Borough Council received an update from PennDOT on the North Atherton Street Reconstruction Project. The section between West Aaron Drive in Patton Township and West Park Avenue in the Borough is presently under design. The project will be bid in 2017 with construction in 2018.

View Presentation

2015 Audit Report

Borough Council received a report from Maher Duessel on the Borough's 2015 Audit Report and Annual Centre Tax Agency Audit.

View Presentation

Public Hearing: Consider an Ordinance to Enact a Civil Penalty for Marijuana Possession

Borough Council held a public hearing on Monday, May 2, 2016 to receive comment on a proposed ordinance to establish a provision to make possession of small amounts of marijuana a summary offense. Chief Tom King presented more information on the proposed ordinance citing some issues that will need to be addressed if this proposed ordinance is moved forward to a vote by Council. A large number of individuals provided comment in support of the proposed ordinance; one individual spoke against the proposed ordinance. Council took action to accept the information presented and schedule an opportunity for Borough Council to discuss the matter further at an upcoming meeting.

View Presentation

Public Hearing: Fence Text Amendment

Borough Council held a public hearing on a proposed Zoning Ordinance text amendment. If enacted, the amendment would modify current fence regulations to allow solid fencing for the bottom 4 feet and the top 2.5 feet must be 50% transparent.  No one provided comment at the hearing. Following the hearing, Council took action to authorize the notice of intent to enact the ordinance at the upcoming May 16 meeting.

Consent Items

Borough Council approved the following consent items:

  • Approve with conditions the use of Locust Lane, from East College Avenue to Wilson Alley, for the Downtown State College Friday Farmers’ Market, to be held every week beginning May 6 through November 18, 2016, from 11:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. with the exceptions of June 3 (Best Music Festival), July 15 (Arts Festival) and August 19 (PSU student move-in). The August 19, 2016 Farmers’ Market will be held, but moved to Hiester Street.
  • Accept the resignation of James Lee, with regret, from the Rental Housing Revocation Appeal Board, effective immediately.
  • Accept the resignation of Mary Ann Schreck, with regret, from the Historic Resources Commission, effective immediately.
  • Accept the resignation of Justin Wheeler, with regret, from the Design Review Board, effective immediately.
  • Accept the resignation of Nicholas Ferraro, with regret, from the Rental Housing Revocation Appeal Board.

The following item was removed from the consent agenda for further consideration:  Award Project #4B-2016-HUD (West College Avenue Streetlight Installation Project) to M & B Services, LLC, the low bidder, in the amount of $94,562.16. Concern was noted about the qualification of the bidder, given it was a low bid. Qualifications were reviewed and the bid was found to be acceptable. The award of the bid passed unanimously.

Resolution in Support of Closing the Online Sales Tax Loophole

Council enacted a resolution in support of closing the online sales tax loophole as part of the Borough’s participation in the inaugural National City Council Meeting

View Copy of Resolution

Nuisance Property/Property Maintenance Code Amendments

Council voted in favor of beginning discussion on the Property Maintenance Code can took action to place the item for discussion at the upcoming work session in June and to consider the requests of the realtors, student government and other special interest groups in order to take action on the amendments in October of 2016. The vote passed 5 to 1.

The proposed amendment includes the following significant changes:

  • A requirement for current e-mail information from owners and PICs in order to enable a future electronic notification system.
  • Notification requirements for tenants of occupancy limit, residency limit, and student-home license status for rental properties.
  • Restriction on exterior use of furniture which is combustible and designed for interior use only. (This includes porches which have sprinklers).
  • Authorization for enforcement of certain provisions of the Code, including roof occupancy restrictions, to be enforced by either Borough personnel or Code Office personnel.
  • Authority to include a penalty as a part of Consent Agreements under the Nuisance Property Ordinance. 
  • A requirement that the Rental Housing Permits includes occupancy level, and residency level, for all rental properties and student-home license applicability.
  • A requirement that congregant kitchen facilities for units with more than 25 persons being served is inspected by the Division of Health and Neighborhood Services on an annual basis.
  • Add a fine/penalty to the Nuisance Property Ordinance for failure to submit a corrective action plan when required.
  • Add a requirement that grease trap cleaning and ventilation hoods and duct work needs to be cleaned on an annual basis by an approved contractor. These items to be tagged when the work has been completed.
  • Create a fine and assess points for failing to obtain a Rental Housing Permit prior to occupancy. A separate penalty would be applied for renewal delinquency. 
  • Add the ability for the Division of Health and Neighborhood Services (Health Officer) to issue field violations for unclean, unsanitary living conditions on rental properties.
  • A requirement for the owner or person-in-charge to provide tenants with information on the ordinances that are subject to the Nuisance Property Ordinance.
  • Maximum occupancy limitations for fenced in areas associated with properties with rental housing permits or fire permits.
  • Increase on late fees associated with delinquent payments of renewal fees.
  • Requirements that fire escapes be inspected by a registered design professional on a six (6) year basis due to observed deterioration and condition.
  • The requirement for owners to provide accommodations for their tenant if the building is closed due to unsafe conditions that are not in the control of the tenant.
  • Open flame cooking devices are restricted in combustible buildings and propane cylinder size is limited in all rentals.
  • Clarification on permits for tourist homes and bed and breakfasts.

2016-2017 CATA Budget

Council approved the Borough’s appropriation for the 2016-2017 CATA Budget and certified that funds are available for this purpose. State College Borough’s local share of the CATA’s 2016-2017 Budget is $132,428.