Sinkholes and Fences Dominate Town Hall Meeting

The Town of Walkersville’s Burgess and Town Commissioners met Wednesday evening to discuss fences and sinkholes. Both have been discussed a lot lately at town hall this year.

The fence, after being moved away from the corner, that prompted a review of the Town of Walkersville's rules.
The fence, after being moved away from the corner, that prompted a review of the Town of Walkersville’s rules.

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The fencing ordinance came after one property owner built a fence that had been approved by town staff and later had to be moved.  The resulting confrontation led Town Commissioners to direct the town’s Planning Commission to recommend changes.  The Planning Commission not only updated the existing ordinance, but wrote an entire new section to the town’s code to address fences.  Fencing regulations were recommended for specific zoning districts to include various types of fences allowed, how fences will be built, how close to property lines fences may be built, and height restrictions.  The Planning Commission also recommended changes to the line of sight requirements at intersections to restrict the height of fences at intersections, and refined the definition of the area to be free of obstacles.  The intersection will be defined as twenty feet from the edge of the pavement rather than the property line.  The Town Commissioners approved the recommendations.

The unusual winter washed a lot of sediment away this spring and left a lot of sinkholes in town.  Some have been on private properties and others were in the public right of way.  Town Commissioners discussed changing their sinkhole ordinance to include requiring repairs on private property and setting a limit on the time to repair sinkholes.  Commissioners proposed a forty-five day limit for property owners to make repairs after being notified in writing by the town.  If the property owner fails to make repairs, the town will make repairs and bill the property owner.

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