SYKESVILLE — The Sykesville Town Council unanimously passed an ordinance Monday that allows residents to erect satellite television dishes in their yards.
The ordinance, introduced in November, removes from regulations a previous ban on the devices in town limits.
At a Jan. 14 Town Council meeting, voting was delayed until revisions could be made to the measure, such as setting limits to the size dish that would be allowed. The council also added a "grandfather" clause, allowing people who had previously installed dishes with special permission to retain the devices.
"We decided it would be impractical to impose a limit to the height," said Town Manager James L. Schumacher, who noted that residents in low-lying areas may need elevated dishes to get proper reception.
The revised ordinance also includes relaxed screening requirements for the dishes, so as not to interfere with reception.
Other provisions of the ordinance include:
* Antennas must be located in the rear or side yard.
* The antenna must be set back at least 10 feet from the property line, public right-of-way or any other easements.
* The antenna shall be screened to minimize visual impact on surrounding properties, public rights-of-way and public property. The screening may include architectural or landscape treatments along the antenna's non-reception window axisand low-level landscape treatment along the reception window axis, providing minimum opaqueness without interfering with signal reception. Any other type of screening must be approved by the zoning administrator.
* A zoning permit must be required from the zoning administrator before installation of a satellite dish.
Also at Monday's meeting, a renovation consultant informed the council on work the townmust complete to move forward the transformation of the town's historic train station into a restaurant.
The consultant, Jonathon Herman, said the town, which owns the property, must build two fences andsidewalks if the planned March opening is to be a reality.
One fence -- a 6-foot safety fence between the train station and the railroad tracks -- is required by CSX Corp., Herman said. The town also must install walkways around the train station, which is being developedby businessmen Charles Cullum and Jack Saum, who are renting the building from the town.
The town also agreed, at Saum's request, to put up a privacy fence between the station and the blighted area of the mill next to the building. The council agreed to try to do the workas quickly as possible.