Pownal board hears feedback on proposed junk ordinance

This article by Patricia LeBoeuf originally appeared Aug. 2 in the Bennington Banner.

POWNAL — Equal parts concern and support were on display Thursday at a special meeting of the Select Board, as board members heard feedback on a proposed junk ordinance regulating salvage yards, waste disposal and junk and junk vehicles.

The one-hour public meeting at the Pownal Valley Firehouse to hear public comment on the proposed ordinance had about nine attendees, offering their thoughts in a back-and-forth discussion with board members. Four of the five board members attended the meeting, with Marlena Pellon absent.

Wikimedia Commons/Riley

Like the current zoning bylaws, the ordinance specifically defines “junk” — old or scrap copper, brass, iron, steel and other old or scrap material, including things like rope, rags, batteries, glass, waste, trash and wrecked motor vehicle or parts.

One man shared his frustration with his property, which he rents.

It’s so expensive to get rid of stuff, he said.

“Actually it isn’t your property,” said Jim Winchester, who also attended. “You’re a renter. You’re in a different circumstance. You don’t own that property.”

“But it’s still a s—hole,” the man said. “I’ve got so much stuff; I’m overwhelmed.”

The board has considered a possible junk ordinance in recent weeks, with the assistance of Town Administrator Michael Walker. Walker drafted the junk ordinance considered at Thursday’s meeting, considering the Vermont League of Cities and Towns and other towns’ ordinances.

The draft ordinance, which was posted online prior to the meeting forbids placing, disposing, discarding or abandoning junk or junk vehicles anywhere where they are visible from the main traveled way of a highway or abutting property owner’s land.

Multiple attendees discussed specific items that could be classified as “junk,” including things like tires and a construction trailer “that’s just settled in the dirt,” one woman said.

“I think we could do a better job of defining what junk is, and actually list specific examples,” said Chairman Bryan Harris.

Read full article at the Bennington Banner.

(Fair use with written permission from the New England Newspapers Inc.)

Image courtesy of Wikimedia Commons/Riley

3 thoughts on “Pownal board hears feedback on proposed junk ordinance

  1. I say the thing no one wants to hear; This “need” is a result of flat-landers moving in who want to live in a park like setting.

  2. It’s truly ironic that wind mills on ridges are OK, unsightly solar farms are fine, trash and highly visible junk are OK, while the folks in Montpelier keep harping on maintaining Vermont’s pristine environment.

  3. One man’s “Junk ” is another man’s ” Treasure “, so it’s your property, you pay the
    taxes…….maybe you just need a fence, a high one !!

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