July 29, 2009 THE VILLADOM TIMES I • Page 15 MIDLAND PARK SIDEWALK SALE DAYS Thursday, Friday & Saturday, July 30, 31 & August 1  Sponsored by the Midland Park Chamber of Commerce Zoning officer says he is on top of maintenance Midland Park Zoning Officer John Wittekind met with the mayor and council last week to discuss several concerns officials had raised at previous meetings. He said he tries to go out on patrol regularly to find problems before they become big issues. He said he has stepped up his efforts recently because he has summer help which frees him up from other duties. Wittekind said that most residents and businesses are cooperative when he issues a violation notice. “We try to service with a smile and get people to understand what the next step will be if they don’t comply. For the most part, we are successful,” he said. Wittekind said that to date, 58 violations notices or summonses have been issued, more than for the entire year in 2008. He said in many instances he issues verbal warnings, and the violation is abated right away. Most of the summonses are to businesses, not residences. Among the issues tackled, he said, are property maintenance violations, unregistered vehicles, illegal signs or banners, construction without a permit and drainage flowing into a neighbor’s yard. Many are neighbor disputes, he said, where he has to play “mediator, referee and psychologist.” “Sometimes neighbors don’t get along, and they pick on little issues. I suggest communication between themselves before my office gets formally involved,” he said. Wittekind said he handles complaints within seven to 10 days in the order in which they come into his office, unless safety is involved. Council members asked about problems they had witnessed first hand, asking whether he knew of them and whether they were in fact violations. Among their concerns: • Signs in the residential zone advertising a homebased business. • Uncut lawns or bushes, including ones on Godwin near the Wyckoff border, on Franklin Avenue and on Vreeland Avenue near Godwin. • High number of vehicle parking at service station on Godwin. • Sign quantity and size in the commercial zones, including ATM sign. • Equipment parking on Paterson Avenue. • Neon signs, which are not permitted. There is no restriction on LED signs, however, he said. He said police had recently witnessed an illegal dumping operation along the railroad tracks and joint summonses where being issued between the police and code enforcement departments. On the issue of property maintenance, Wittekind said that as a last resort his office can have the DPW or a private contractor cut the lawn and then place a lien on the property for the costs incurred. Most of the time, however, the problem is taken care of, though sometimes it takes a while, he said. Wittekind serves as the borough’s building inspector and zoning officer on a part-time basis. His services are shared with the Borough of Allendale under an interlocal services agreement. July 30, 31 & Aug. 1 ������������������� ���������������������� ����������������������� �������� ��� ���� ������ ����� ��� ������� �� ������� ��� ���� �������� ����� �������� ��� ���������� ������� ����� ���� ���� ������������ ������ ���� ������� ��� ����� ����� ������ ���� ���� ��� ������������ ������������������� ������������������������������������ ������������ ������������������������������������������������� ������������������������������������������������ ������ ����������������������������������������� ����������� ������������������������������������ � ������� ����������������������������������������� �������������������������������������������������� �������������������������������������������������� ��������������� ������������������ 7-29-09 ester/janine • Lauretta4x(7-29-09)• 4 x 9.5