Aspinwall Council – Administrative Meeting Recap 2-3-2021

If you missed Wednesday night’s administrative meeting, you really missed a treat. Aspinwall Council Meetings have been available via Zoom and the link to the Zoom feed has been available on the Borough’s website at https://www.aspinwallpa.com/ , typically appearing on the day of the meeting.

As far as the Agenda for Aspinwall this upcoming 2021 and into the future, there is a lot going on. Residents should anticipate traffic changes due to Route 28 Construction, continued concentration on protecting our vehicles from break-ins, meetings (and votes) on new legislation of Borough ordinances and zoning changes, and park improvements (involving closures due to development).

With regard to traffic patterns, detours, and closures, the Aspinwall Borough through Borough Manager Melissa Lang O’Malley was made aware during a meeting with PennDOT that the Route 28 Construction Project will likely lead to detours and ramp closures in our area. PennDOT indicated that it anticipates creating a detour from Route 28 through Sharpsburg and Aspinwall. Official press release regarding these closures is anticipated but not released to date.

Mayor Joe Noro reported that car break-ins remain an issue. He advised that residents should lock their vehicles regularly. Mayor Noro recommended that residents take their car keys with them when warming their vehicles up in the morning or through automatic car starters. He further indicated that vehicles should be locked during these times too.

From a parks standpoint, Councilperson Jeff Harris has indicated that a hillside repair and the incorporation of a water feature will close down some of Aspinwall’s parks in the near future. Firemen’s Park will also be temporarily closed for a trail replacement and work on the Story Book Walk.

Aspinwall Borough is considering four new changes either through ordinance or zoning organization. The changes would deal with food trucks, a potential microbrewery, the shade trees, and short term rentals.

With regard to food trucks, the Aspinwall Council is considering an ordinance that would permit food trucks while regulating the frequency with which the same food truck company is parked in Aspinwall, where the food truck is parked, and days and times such a food truck may appear in the Borough. Second, the Aspinwall Council has been approached about a potential microbrewery coming to Aspinwall. In anticipation of that endeavor, Aspinwall Council is considering an ordinance or changes to zoning to account for a microbrewery. Third, Aspinwall Council is considering a new Shade Tree Commission ordinance. Under the proposed ordinance the Shade Tree Commission would be able to identify locations within their right of way for new trees and plant trees within that right of way. In Aspinwall, the Shade Tree Commission holds a right of way on property alongside roadways and sidewalks according to Council. Finally, the Borough is considering limiting short term rentals in Aspinwall to commercial areas. This change would predominantly impact Airbnbs in Aspinwall or similar rental situations.

The agenda was very comprehensive for this particular meeting however the highlights and biggest changes are noted above. Other topics discussed can also be reviewed in the Meeting Minutes from this meeting. There has been an update on Freeport Road Safety Improvements that I will further lay out in a following post.

Blog By: Mary Hancock

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