Linwood scrutinizes, updates ordinances

Amy Doeun
Linwood Reporter

Linwood Township is reviewing several of its ordinances. Planning and Zoning Administrator Mike Jungbauer addressed the town board at its Sept. 26 meeting about the town’s accessory building ordinance.

“We have had a lot of variance, so we are going to do some increase in the size [allowable for accessory buildings] based on acreage,” he told the board. He jokingly added that some of the ordinances were a little outdated, saying, “Some of the previous ordinance had information about telegraph lines. … I assume we can take that out.”

Supervisor Mike Halliday laughed and replied, “You never know if the Internet goes down.” Currently, Jungbauer is working on revising the accessory building ordinance and gathering comments.
A second ordinance the town is looking into is the dangerous dog ordinance. Halliday said that he had been talking to the town’s new attorney, Bob Ruppe, to decide “where we are with the dangerous dog thing and what we have the authority to do, and it turns out that we don’t really have the authority to do anything. It is clear that we really can’t do anything.”

Jungbauer clarified.

“Because we are a township, the state statute only gives cities and counties the ability to control dangerous dogs,” he said. “Our previous attorney said we [had some authority]. This is the first attorney to tell us this.”

To further complicate matters, the county itself doesn’t have any ordinance on dangerous dogs.

“They don’t have any ordinance because they gave all the power back to cities,” Jungbauer said. “We are kind of in flux right now.”

The town still has a contract with its animal control vendor. Halliday wanted to know how the township is able to work with animal control on a loose dog. Supervisor Carol Searing suggested contacting Captain Paul Sommers, the town’s sheriff liaison, “and see what the county is willing to do before we make decisions on the other things.”

Halliday said he suspected that the sheriff’s office would have more pressing matters than dealing with a loose dog.

“We need to think about what we want to do. If there are really things that you don’t like to do or you really don’t want to monitor, you should get that out of your ordinances,” he said. “You are not responsible to monitor everything”

“We should probably remove this from our ordinance,” Searing replied.

Jungbauer was tasked with writing an amended ordinance.

Fees

At the township’s Sept. 12 meeting, a proposal to charge commercial properties a fee for fire inspections was brought up a second time. Currently, the fees are part of the Fire Department budget. After some discussion, the room went silent. No motion was made, and the topic was not tabled.