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Richland supervisors address complaints about door-to-door soliciting

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Responding to complaints from residents, Richland Township is acting toward increased restrictions against door-to-door soliciting.

The move was made at the Feb. 11 public board of supervisors meeting, as direction to the township solicitor to prepare a revised ordinance for review by the township’s ordinance review committee. The idea is to have a revised ordinance ready for approval for advertising at the March 11 supervisors’ meeting, and “get it done before summer.”

During discussion of the matter, which he initiated, Supervisor Chairman Tim Arnold noted some details needed to be worked out, but a change in allowed soliciting hours was being sought from the present 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday to Saturday, to a more narrow window, such as 10 a.m. to 5 p.m., and an addition of exclusion of state and federal holidays.

Arnold emphasized the initiative was not intended as “anti-business,” but would hopefully feature establishment of background checks for those actually doing the soliciting, that would cover convictions throughout the country, and not just the state. He also said he hoped to see institution of a “no-knock registry,” but only for “transient merchants.” Religious and political soliciting, and well as community groups like scouting, would still be permitted. Non-compliant solicitors would be subject to having their permits revoked.

Also at the Feb. 11 meeting, in a move related to the controversial proposed reopening of the quarry in East Rockhill, supervisors approved for advertising an ordinance that features a new weight restriction of five tons for vehicles traveling on segments of Rockhill Road, Rich Hill Road and Muskrat Road, while also providing for stiff fines for violations.

Solicitor Linc Treadwell noted that crafting the ordinance as a weight limit instead of a truck ban allowed for fines of $150 for each incident, plus another $150 for each increment above five tons, versus only $25 for a truck ban. Exceptions for school buses, emergency vehicles and local deliveries would still be allowed.

Preparation of the ordinance, which began a few months ago, had followed presentation of a comprehensive traffic engineering study by the township’s engineering firm, which called for prohibiting truck traffic on segments of those roads, due to deficient cartway width and the absence of shoulders, as well as deficient pavement sub-base material and other issues.

At their meeting last November, following discussion with residents in attendance, supervisors unanimously rejected the request, from an attorney and traffic engineer representing the quarry, for a no-obligation, quarry-supported study by the township engineer, to determine what measures might be taken to change township roads to make them more suitable for the heavy truck traffic the quarry would require.

In development news, supervisors approved final land development for Fonthill Court, a 59-townhouse project on California Road. The present single-family dwelling, detached garage and driveway are to be removed, with the 59 new units to be accompanied by a new access road from California Road; parking facilities; a walking trail; and a stormwater management facility. The new site is to be served by public water and sewer.


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