By DONALD WITTKOWSKI
Richard Parkes says it is common courtesy for homeowners to clean up after themselves and respect their neighbors.
He believes that construction contractors in Sea Isle City should show the same courtesy.
Parkes, a resident of 90th Street, complained to City Council during its meeting Tuesday that some contractors are not tidying up their construction sites, allowing trash, dirt and other debris to spread throughout the surrounding neighborhoods.
“It’s just all over the place,” he told Council during the teleconference meeting. “It’s a mess and it shouldn’t be allowed to happen.”
Parkes also outlined his complaints in a letter to the Council members. Councilwoman Mary Tighe said she forwarded the letter to Police Chief Tom McQuillen.
McQuillen has reached out to the city’s code enforcement office for an inspection of the construction sites that Parkes said are violating the building regulations, Tighe said.
Parkes said he is particularly concerned about construction dumpsters that are not being covered. He said trash is blowing out of the dumpsters, ending up in the streets, the beaches, the dunes and eventually the ocean or bay.
“With all of the construction going on in our city, I have noticed that many sites have failed to use the net covering provided with each dumpster to keep trash from littering our streets and beaches before either ending up in the ocean or the bay,” Parkes wrote in his letter.
“Further, many sites have trash strewn all over the property including paper cups, cans, bottles and plastic wrap that never makes it into the dumpsters,” he added.
Dumpsters are a common sight around Sea Isle amid a flurry of housing construction and renovation projects during a real estate boom at the shore.
Sea Isle’s regulations require that dumpsters must be covered at night or on weekends when there is no work being done at the site, McQuillen said in a text to SeaIsleNews.com on Wednesday.
McQuillen noted that a city official will check out Parkes’ complaint and will advise the person who holds the construction permit of their responsibilities for maintaining the site.
Parkes indicated he will be satisfied when the construction regulations are strictly enforced by the city.
He believes that someone at each work site should be assigned every day to clean up the property and see that “best practices are put into place,” including making sure that the dumpsters are covered.
“I have to say that has not been followed. At some of these construction sites trash is strewn throughout the property,” he said in an interview Wednesday.
Parkes also wants the contractors to implement standard “erosion control” measures to prevent dirt from spilling from the construction sites into the sidewalks, the streets, the storm drains and the waterways.
Parkes, a 72-year-old retiree, formerly worked in the building and zoning office in Cheltenham Township, Pa. He said he became familiar with building codes while working in that office for 10 years as well as through the International Building Code.
He and his wife, Diana, have lived on 90th Street as full-time Sea Isle residents for the past four years and previously used their house as a summer vacation home going back to 1985.
He stressed that he simply wants his neighborhood and other parts of Sea Isle to be trash-free. In his letter, he said he hopes that construction contractors also feel the same way.
“It is common courtesy to clean up after yourself and respect the neighbors and the municipality in which you have the pleasure to work,” he said of the contractors.