MOORE TWP., Pa. – Moore Township's board of supervisors decided Tuesday not to pursue a traffic-impact study on Route 512 because the potential payout might not cover the costs.
In April, the supervisors discussed setting up a committee and paying for engineering studies that would allow Moore to charge developers for road improvements and traffic signals. The cost for the work could start at $80,000 to $100,000.
"We're never going to recoup that kind of money" with developer fees, Supervisor Richard Gable said.
Chairman Daniel Piorkowski said most of Route 512 in the township has already been developed, limiting the value of an impact study. Piorkowski, Gable and Vice Chairman David Shaffer agreed to drop the idea.
One of the last open spaces along Route 512 in Moore Township is the Southmoore Golf Course, and residents are concerned about warehouses covering that open space. A preliminary sketch has been presented to Moore's planning commission.
Blaine Berry, who lives near the course, asked the board about blocking warehouses from the site. The land is zoned for industrial uses, which include warehouses. Warehouses would damage property values, Berry said.
"There is only so much you can do," Piorkowski said. "I can assure you that the board sitting up here is not in favor."
Solicitor David Backenstoe said state law requires the township to provide zoning for multiple uses. The supervisors passed regulations last year that impose limits on warehouses in Moore, but Backenstoe said the township cannot prohibit the buildings.
The supervisors agreed to move forward with a potential ordinance permitting fines for residents who allow livestock to stray from their property. A final vote will be made at a future meeting.
In this case, the culprit is not "the goat," but a real goat. Township officials said a goat has gotten loose several times, creating a safety hazard as it runs on roads. That prompted the consideration of the ordinance.
Matt Flowers objected, as he did at an earlier meeting, to levying fines on farmers. Animals sometimes get loose, and he objected to fining farmers over a "one-off" escape. He also objected to relying on police discretion in enforcing the law.
Police Chief Gary West noted dog laws as a case of officers using discretion. Township police have responded to many calls over the years for loose dogs, but only assessed fines on a few repeat offenders.
Resident Sherry Eyre was successful in teaching the supervisors a new word and having it used in the proposed livestock ordinance. She said "ratites" is a comprehensive term for a class of large birds, and would save Moore the trouble of listing the likes of emus and cassowaries, along with horses, cows, swine and other farm animals.
She said that would stop somebody from dodging a new law based on lack of specificity.
"You list ostriches and emus, but I have a rhea," she said, posing a hypothetical rebuttal to the ordinance. The supervisors and Backenstoe agreed to use the term "ratites" in the ordinance, which will be subject to public comment and board votes at future meetings.
The board is also considering a ban on bamboo, an invasive species that can cross property lines.
"It's trickier than you might think," Backenstoe said of writing a bamboo ban. He said the supervisors, if they choose to act, could ban bamboo or limit it. Choosing to limit it could be complicated because that would require providing guidelines.
There are more than 1,400 species of bamboo worldwide, according to Bamboo Botanicals, a Canadian organization that grows and collects the plant. Some species of the woody grass can grow three feet in a day, according to Bamboo Botanicals. The bamboo proposal may be reviewed at the next meeting.
The supervisors and township staff, along with an audience of 10 people, met at the township recreation center pavilion because of concern about COVID-19. Piorkowski said the next meeting, July 6, will be held at the township building.