When: East Petersburg Borough Council meeting, Jan. 25.
What happened: A yearlong discussion on short-term rentals culminated with a public hearing on two ordinances that define short-term rentals and the rules and regulations surrounding them.
Background: Solicitor Amy Leonard gave a synopsis of the issue and said that all legal channels and requirements have been met for the ordinances. There were no questions or comments from the audience.
Details: Short-term rentals are defined as stays that are less than 30 days. They must include one off-street parking space; the property owner must show evidence of insurance of at least $1 million and provide a valid Lancaster County hotel excise tax certificate. Overnight occupancy is limited to no more than two people per bedroom. Short-term rentals include vacation homes, but not bed and breakfasts/inns, boarding houses, hotels and motels. For a full list of regulations, residents can contact the borough.
What’s next: Council will vote on both ordinances at the next meeting Feb. 6.
Home sweet home: Amanda Reilly-Sokoli of Pennsylvania Furniture Mission spoke about her nonprofit organization that provides gently used donated furniture to families and individuals in need. She said the organization seeks to create a sustainable environment, while allowing clients to choose their furnishings free of charge. They serve several counties in the region and hope to expand.
Quotable: “We are a hub for resources,” she said.
More: Since its launch last June, the organization furnished over 100 homes and provided 230 bed sets to families who would otherwise be sleeping on the floor.
Why it matters: She said they are looking for additional donated warehouse space and volunteers who can contribute their time, talent and treasure. More information can be found at https://pennsylvaniafurnituremission.org/.
Fire company: Resident Josh Roberts asked if the East Petersburg Fire Company had submitted its annual audit yet, “since they receive a fair amount of taxpayer money.” Borough Manager Karen St. Clair said she usually has it by now, but will reach out to them “for the third time.”
Trees: Three trees near the East Petersburg Community Park Pool are diseased and need to come down. There was some discussion of alternative “shade systems” like Funbrella shade structures or fabric covers. However, those were expensive — $10,694 to over $18,000 — compared to replacing the trees at around $1,600 each, so this green space will remain green.
Upcoming meetings: Council will hold a meeting at 7 p.m. Feb. 6 and hold a committee meeting at 6 p.m. Feb. 22