BELLAIRE Some of the Village of Bellaire's ordinances are in need of an upgrade, or at minimum, additional clarification, according to village zoning administrator Mike Wallace.
Speaking before council Thursday night, Wallace explained that many were passed in 1963 and prior and do not "meet the times."
This was in response to questions asked of him by council and also issues recently that have come to his attention and to that of the zoning board.
"One of the bigger issues addressed before council is that of junk in general and junk vehicles," Wallace said. "And also collecting junk materials that are used for salvage.
"The ordinance doesn't specifically address items used in performance of a business."
That was in reference to Electronic Recyling Services, its main lot and also its overflow location situated nearby that has wrapped pallets of electronics waiting to be recycled. The overflow lot's inventory is visible from the roadways and surrounding area, sparking a few residents in the neighborhood and beyond to complain about the sight.
Dan Brown, Senior Director of Operations for ERS, and fellow ERS employees came before council two meetings ago in October to express their concern for what they felt was improper treatment of ERS.
The terms "dump" and "eyesore" in reference to the overflow lot were previously used and Brown referenced a letter his company received that he felt was geared toward insulting the business and its growth.
According to Wallace, there are no ordinances in place that specifically detail ERS is doing anything wrong.
"From what I can see, the pallets are wrapped in plastic," Wallace said. "We had a disagreement on whether the computers are usable or not. I don't care. They are there for a specific purpose, to be salvaged.
"I don't see a problem with the end result. The materials are moving out. The supplies, what they recycle, is similar to a coal company stockpiling coal for sale or transport."
Wallace believes all involved need to sit down and look on both sides what's best for this community, for both businesses and its residents."
Brown had accused certain members of council and their associates of "daily harassment and negativity" in regard to ERS.
Upon further investigation, The Times Leader found no evidence of daily harassment or any action or comments made an in official capacity be neither council nor members of the Bellaire Chamber of Commerce as was reportedly previously.
Wallace also mentioned the vagueness of some ordinances in relation to proper use/legal use of trailers within the village.
There has been a repeated question asked about a nearby business using a trailer as a storage unit. The unit is surrounded by a fence but still visible from the street.
Several councilmen stated there are also two trailers being lived in within village limits, neither of which are in a designated trailer court as the village does not have one.
Wallace believes the best course of action is to have council sit down and work on updating the ordinances and their language to better reflect the times.
"We need to sit down, go after these things and get some sample ordinances in place to try and start rectifying the problem," Wallace said.
Hughes may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org