Catasauqua Press

Sunday, January 20, 2019

Tasting room waiting on vote

Wednesday, January 31, 2018 by PAUL CMIL Special to The Press in Local News

Ordinance change would align local, state requirements

Prior to Catasauqua Borough Council’s workshop meeting Jan. 29, Solicitor Thomas Dinkelacker opened a public hearing on a proposal to change the local ordinance on craft beverages to allow for a tasting room.

The details of the proposal have been discussed for months. The change is designed to accommodate a proposal from Annette and Fred Pompa for a tasting room in a building across from the George Taylor House.

The existing ordinance allows the sale of brewed-on-site beers, but Pompa wants to sell other craft brews. The sales are allowed under the state ordinance but restricted under the local ordinance.

The new ordinance would align the local ordinance with the state requirements.

The original plans called for the tasting room to open prior to the holidays.

The modified ordinance will be voted on at council’s next regular meeting.

In other news, two-hour parking in the business district is being enforced. The enforcement brings requests for modifications to accommodate residents who reside in the business district. Councilman Brian Mc- Kittrick will spearhead a review of the matter at his committee meeting.

The other outstanding parking issue is the Hartzell’s Plumbing box truck parked on Howertown Road. McKittrick asked Catasauqua Police Department to see how pervasive the problem is.

“The report I have is that there are 15 box trucks with [gross vehicle weight] of over 9,000 pounds parked in residential districts,” he said.

The matter will be debated in committee. There is a local ordinance that forbids parking tractor-trailer rigs on public streets.

The UGI effort to replace gas lines is reportedly causing a host of problems. Business owners along Front Street say they have seen their business dwindle to a trickle. Now there is a question on how UGI needs to restore the streets. There is a standard that The Pidcock Company, the borough’s engineers, has used in other municipalities. In the near future, plans may be adopted for a standard of specifications on restoring roadways after construction work.

In another construction matter, the work along Race Street reportedly tore up Fireman’s Field. Councilman Eugene Schlegel identified the problem and was assured the field would be restored. Bridge construction is supposed to start in April, and the bridge construction crews already have authorization to use the field as a staging area.

Councilwoman Christine Weaver presented a proposal to institute a ticketing program in the borough. The goal is to reduce “blight” and issues considered nuisances. Weaver has the support of borough Manager Eugene Goldfeder.

“For example, what happens now if someone doesn’t clear off their sidewalk in 24 hours? The code enforcement officer needs to come back to the office, issue a letter and give the homeowner time to clear the walk,” he said.

The problem is that by the time the rule can be enforced, the snow is gone.

The new ticketing program would allow the code enforcement officer to tag the house with a ticket. If a resident gets too many tickets, he or she will be in the magisterial district justice’s office. Details are still in the discussion stage, but plans may be enacted in March.

Residents can present input at the next planning and zoning meeting.