The Fairview Township Board of Supervisors meeting, which is usually scarcely attended, was once again packed with residents Feb. 6, all demanding that the board revisit earlier issues and complaints, about snowblower use and street light installation.
Mike Schwab, of Circle Drive, attended the meeting with his family and a neighbor to question the interpretation of the township’s noise ordinance regarding snowblowers and, in particular, to ask that the board prohibit one neighbor’s early-morning use of his snow-clearing equipment.
That neighbor, Dave Kalinowski, came before the board in January, asking about the noise ordinance and snowblower usage. While the ordinance states that lawnmowers and household power tools are only permitted to be used between 8 a. m. and 9 p. m., Kalinowski said he sometimes has to use his snowblower before work, at 7 a. m., and his neighbor has called the police on him for doing so. “This isn’t a regular occurrence. I’m not out there daily,” he related. “I’m at the mercy of Mother Nature or an act of God.”
Attorney Donald Karpowich responded to Kalinowski then that a snowblower is not a household power tool, so it is not included in the noise ordinance. “You can’t predict the snow,” he said, telling Kalinowski that he is free to use his snowblower as needed.
Schwab disagreed with that
interpretation and, at the Feb. 6 meeting, described Kalinowski’s constant 6 a. m. and 11 p. m. snowblower use as being a nuisance to all in the neighborhood. “Nobody in Fairview Township should have to be woken early in the morning or late at night by this,” he said.
Supervisor Michael Iorio responded that Kalinowski has to leave for work early, so he has to use his snowblower then. Schwab countered that there hasn’t been snowfall this season that justifies snowblowing that early, as Kalinowski has a flat driveway and can drive his vehicle out easily over the packed snow.
The law does not specify that Kalinowski cannot run his snowblower, Iorio said. The noise ordinance states that a household power tool over 55 decibels is not allowed between certain hours and a snowblower is well over 100 decibels, Schwab replied.
“It is not the township’s job to regulate and dictate how you maintain your driveway,” said Supervisor Robert Orloski, adding that the board would have a difficult time distinguishing when and how often one can use a snowblower and how many inches of snow warrant snowblowers to be used.
Solicitor Karpowich added, “There’s lot of things the government does to protect you and there are other things the government is silent