AUSTINTOWN Proposals address billboards, pool safety

The regulations would not affect the pools and billboards already constructed in the township.
AUSTINTOWN -- Complaints from local residents have led the township zoning commission to propose new regulations dealing with billboards and swimming pool safety.
The regulations, which must be approved by the township trustees, state that any new billboard constructed in the township must be 1,000 feet away from any other billboard. If the regulations are approved, new billboards also would not be permitted within 500 feet of government or school property in the township.
The commission has also proposed creating regulations designed to help keep young children from falling into new private swimming pools. The regulations would require pool owners to install locked gates in the fences regulations already require around pools.
Under the regulations, above-ground pool owners would be required to remove any access ladders to the pool when it is not in use.
The regulations would not affect pools or billboards that have already been constructed in the township.
Complaints: Township Zoning Inspector Michael Kurilla Jr. said the pool regulations were proposed in response to complaints from local residents about pool safety. He said some residents have told trustees that they are concerned about children falling into their neighbors' pools.
"Obviously, as a responsible property owner, it would be prudent for you to adhere to the new law," Kurilla said.
The township's current zoning regulations state that the owner of above-ground pools must "take all safety precautions." Those precautions are not defined in the regulations, which state that fences must be constructed around in-ground pools.
The current regulations also do not include any space limitations for billboards. Kurilla said the proposed regulations were created in response to complaints from local residents about the number of billboards in the township.
He said the proposed regulations would give local residents "some relief from consecutive advertising." He added that the regulations could help reduce the number of distractions faced by drivers in the township.
The trustees are expected to discuss the proposed regulations at a meeting in September.

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