The State College Borough Council approved unanimously to revise Ordinance 2078 at its meeting last night — which designates the possession of less than 30 grams of marijuana as a summary offense instead of criminal — to include drug paraphernalia Monday night.
The original ordinance was passed on August 1 and seen as a progressive step forward by most. It was criticized, however, for not being all-encompassing enough by some council members as early as last fall. The penalty for paraphernalia has been a $2,500 fine and possibly a year of jail time. The revision to the ordinance makes it a citation, costing a few hundred dollars and able to be left off a criminal record, the key difference between criminal and summary charges.
Discussion about the proposed revisions to the Property Maintenance Code were postponed to March 20, to allow students to attend.
The Council discussed plans for a new multi-use complex which may be built on the corner of College Ave. and South Atherton St., which will include housing and commercial space. The company wishing to build it, Collegiate Development Group, attended the public hearing to testify for the project, offering expert testimony from engineering and architectural contractors, after they were sworn in.
The company’s lawyer, Ron Lucas, represented the experts and led discussions about design and safety compliances the building must meet. The chief architect on the project, John Harding, testified before Council attesting the building meets all requirements. Harding explained other design components of the proposed building, named The Residences, and explained it would include 236 living units. Architects involved in the project were also involved with the Fraser Center’s design as well.
State College resident David Stone testified as well last night supporting the group and said he hopes it will work out. At the same time, Stone requested the new building not pollute the air around it more than necessary.