By Kaylee Lindenmuth
SHENANDOAH HEIGHTS - Heights residents came out to Tuesday's township supervisors meeting to voice concerns regarding parking issues of Swatara Road, as well as "fifty plus" cats in a Heights home.
According to Holly Petrushonis, Shenandoah Heights, a multitude of cats at a Virginia Avenue home have been a nuisance and a health issue for two years.
"Two years, I can't use my deck. Two years I can't use my front porch. My son cannot open up his windows in his room because the smell of ammonia is affecting his breathing," Petrushonis said in the public comment portion of the meeting. "Do something about it today... This is affecting my son's health. It needs to be taken care of."
"There's fifty-plus cats in that house. She (the resident) told me three days ago she has nine kittens and four pregnant females, so we're looking at 75 cats in the next week," Petrushonis continued. "Something needs to be done. Today."
According to Mark Waiksnoris, township code enforcement officer, he had visited lately but wasn't permitted to enter the property. He noted he saw animals roaming, and provided the resident with a copy of the township's ordinance on the subject.
"I told her about blocking the opening, I told her to get rid of the mattress..." said Waiksnoris.
"And she did. She got rid of the mattress, and she got rid of the chair," said Petrushonis. "If she had 100 cats over there, I wouldn't care. I'm the biggest animal lover there is, but the smell. (My son) Cam had his windows open last night. I went in there, he was choking. She has a fan from her house shooting straight into his window."
"Mark, and Marvin (Livergood, Township Police Chief), did you guys cite her?" asked Supervisors Chairman David Lukashunas.
"No she was not cited," said Livergood.
"She is cited tonight," said Lukashunas, adding that, if the home is unfit for human inhabitation, the SPCA should be called and the cats removed.
"It's embarassing to have friends over," added Lily Petrushonis, Shenandoah Heights.
"How many did she tell you she had, Mark?" asked Livergood.
"She told me she had six," Waiksnoris said.
"She's in violation already because we only allow four," said Lukashunas.
"At this time, we're going to instruct, Marv, Mark, to get on it, and like I said, tonight, I want them cited," added Lukashunas. "Start with that, and then I want the next approach taken to see what you have to do to get in to inspect that property. If it's unsafe, according to code or whatever violation there is, then you take that next step, and anything you need to do involving legal means, make sure you contact our attorney."
Recently, parking had been prohibited along the entire east side of Swatara Road in the Heights, and with parking already "at a premium" according to some residents, it's causing problems for residents in that area.
According to Christine Bokunewicz, Shenandoah Heights, parking both on the east side of the road and on sidewalks had been prohibited, whereas, parking on the sidewalks has been permitted on Schuylkill Avenue.
"There's nowhere for people to park. I could understand if its private, right across the street from me, they asked us not to park there because it was ruining their pavement," said Bokunewicz. "If the house is sitting, and its empty, and you can't even get in touch with people, why can't we park there? They do it on Schuylkill, they do it everywhere but Swatara."
According to Lukashunas, the township supervisors are going to look into a different solution, and recognized the parking issue in the Heights. In some areas, the no parking zone may be reduced.
In other business, the township supervisors: