Thursday notes – 7/20/17

psAn interesting possibility surfaced during discussions at the Monday night planning meeting. At the center of the discussion was a sentiment that Columbia should have more owner-occupied structures rather than renter-occupied ones. While Lancaster County is a super-hot real estate market according to this Lancaster Online article, ” in 2014, homeownership dropped to a lower rate than it was in 1994, with a rate of 64%.” – Wikipedia

This Lancaster Online article, “High Real Estate Group buys 4 apartment complexes, hotel for $60M” shows one organization’s belief that renting will be a good investment. Remember, too, that home ownership has been an ideal that receives government suppport. “Homeownership has been promoted as government policy using several means involving mortgage debt and the government sponsored entities Freddie Mac, Fannie Mae, and the Federal Home Loan Banks, which fund or guarantee $6.5 trillion of assets with the purpose of directly or indirectly promoting homeownership. Homeownership has been further promoted through tax policy which allows a tax deduction for mortgage interest payments on a primary residence. The Community Reinvestment Act also encourages homeownership for low-income earners. The promotion of homeownership by the government through encouraging mortgage borrowing and lending has given rise to debates regarding government policies and the subprime mortgage crisis.” – Wikipedia

In a separate discussion following the meeting, the topic of codes enforcement was thrown into the mix. Is it the rental units that are problematic in Columbia or is it the failure to enforce codes? Certainly rental unit owners as the High Corporation will have exacting standards that will exceed the municipal codes standards.

In situations in which the rental unit owners do not enforce standards, it’s up to the municipality to do its job of code enforcement. Hold the rental unit owners accountable now.

Columbia’s owner-occupied percentage is 58.4% compared with Elizabethtown’s 55.4%. Columbia’s income numbers are significantly lower than the other larger boroughs in the county. Here are the demographic comparisons among Columbia, Ephrata, Elizabethtown and Lititz.

mcconnellJust cannot wait for this guy to completely disappear somewhere, back to the hills of Kentucky, somewhere. Never want to see him and his “goofy-assed” ideas ever again. He is a total shill for any corporation that funnels cash his way. Less than 5% of the funds he receives to stay at the trough come from individuals – he is a corporate shill.

antitetheringFinally, the elected public servants in Harrisburg have done something meaningful. “New Pa. law changes requirements on tethering your dog.” Penn Live

public noticePUBLIC NOTICE – Columbia Borough has created a Pollutant Reduction Plan (PRP) to meet the requirements of its Municipal Separate Storm Sewer (MS4) permit with the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP). – Read more at Lancaster Online.

GRATE AGAIN“American Oxygen Sucked Out By Far-Right Agenda’ Veterans Today

hard thingThe Promise The Guardian



  1. Renting may be an option for some, but it comes with negatives too. You remain at the mercy of the landlord. Suppose you are totally happy with the unit or home you are renting, but after a year the landlord sells the property and you are forced to move if the new owner chooses not to renew the lease. This leads to a transient population and no one wants to move all the time. That uncertainty is a heavy concern to carry. Often, renting means living very close to neighbors who can be inconsiderate, especially where noise is concerned. Not all rentals have laundry facilities, another downfall. It might be ok to rent if you are wealthy enough to get a unit with an excellent maintenance staff, off-street parking, laundry facilities, considerate neighbors, and a stable lease agreement.

  2. Your well-stated points are on target.

    The compete spectrum of shelter options are fraught with negatives and positives. One need only look at the sheriff sales listings and the back taxes lists and the conditions of some owner-occupied dwellings to see that, to your point, uncertainty is everywhere.

    Growing up with not a lot of money, many of us came from households in which we washed the sidewalks each week; we pulled weeds and we had school clothes and old clothes. Still we tried to have a well-kept property.

    In the discussion the other night, the subjectivity injected (that Columbia needs to have more owner-occupied housing was clear. Just as clear is the ownership of personally-held responsibility versus legislated responsibility.

    If there is a decline of personally-held responsibility for property maintenance (either by tenants or owner-occupied dwellings), then it becomes a municipal codes enforcement issue.

    You may recall that York city just announced “property inspectors will step up enforcement of the city’s ordinance regulating property maintenance, trash and debris.” SOURCE: The York Dispatch –

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