Wright Twp. Plans Public Hearing On Neighborhood Dirt-Bike Track

Residents angered over a dirt-bike track in their neighborhood found out Feb. 12 that the Wright Township Zoning Board will hold a public hearing after all on the specifications of the operation. Also, at the Board of Supervisors meeting, the public was told that parking on roadways has been an issue for township plows and that police are now issuing tickets to those who park on the street.

The dirt-bike situation began last year, when residents complained that they’ve been suffering for months from a neighbor’s noise and pollution. Dozens attended three zoning hearings on the matter, only to be told each time that a continuance has been granted. At the most recent hearing, in December, they were dismayed when they were told that it was a mistake that this dirt-bike operation need apply for a permit, and that little may be done to combat the disturbance, lest they hire an attorney or plead their case to the township supervisors.

About a dozen of these disgruntled residents attended the Feb. 12 supervisors meeting and were told then, by Solicitor Jack Dean, that the matter has been turned back to the zoning board for permit review. That meeting is expected to take place before the next supervisors meeting, which is March 12.

Michael Kostelansky, the former township attorney who worked on the case, will return on behalf of the township. Dean added that the applicant who wants to continue the operation, the Gentilesco family, will also have legal representation, as will the neighbors. “We’re hoping to discuss if there’s a way to limit the hours and noise from the (dirt-bike) vehicles,” he said.

Vehicles of another kind, cars and trucks, have been causing difficulties for crews in Wright Township’s Department of Public Works recently, by illegally parking on roadways, blocking plows and other equipment used to maintain township streets.

“We’ve been having a lot of trouble with road obstructions. We need to let people know –please do not park on the roadway,” related Supervisor Matthew Howton, who is also the head of the public works department.

While the township understands that residents occasionally have parties where guests need to park on the road, some abuse that privilege and are constantly parked on the road, he went on. Police are cracking down and officers issued six parking tickets last month.

“We don’t want to hit a vehicle,” Howton stressed. He added that residents in Walden Park have been causing problems by putting their trash cans on the road as well, when they should be two feet from the edge of the roadway.

Also, at the supervisors meeting, Howton proposed the township participate in the Pennsylvania Yellow Dot program. By placing a yellow dot decal on their vehicles, residents can convey to first responders, in the event of an accident, that a folder containing necessary medical information for the passengers is in the vehicle’s glove compartment. “I think it would be a good idea for the community,” Howton noted.

In other business, the board began its meeting with a moment of silence for Vince Wojnar, who recently passed away. He attended nearly every meeting for years and he had a regular seat in the audience, as supervisors playfully put a sign on the front-row chair he always sat in, designating it just for him.

The board moved to hire Westmoreland Worldwide to revamp its website. Howton explained that the township’s website will be more efficient, providing need-to-know data and leading residents to the contact information for supervisors and department heads.

The Wright Township Volunteer.