Shoveling the grass?

March 3, 2009 5:03:01 PM PST
In the wake of the big snow, not only do you have to clear the sidewalk in front of your house, but also if you don't have one, you've got to make one.

People usually mow their lawns and shovel the snow. Well, the people of Laureldale, Berks County are now mandated to perform a combination of sorts.

Faith Lutz didn't know she had to shovel her grass. She was recently handed a $110 citation because while she did shovel her front sidewalk, she, at the time, did not shovel a pathway along the side of her house where there is no sidewalk.

"We didn't know, we'd live here 15 years and we didn't know about an ordinance where you have to shovel the grass along a street," she said.

It's actually a local ordinance that's been in the books for 47 years. The measure states that everyone has 24 hours to remove snow from their sidewalks. But it defines the sidewalk as something that quote, "shall also mean any unimproved or ground surface area, or part thereof, fronting on a street and located within the curbline."

But that part of the ordinance was never enforced until now.

"I'm not going to back down from this. I will enforce it. They're just going to have to live with it," said Mayor Fred Feltenberger.

The mayor says leaving snow on unpaved sidewalks forces people to walk on the street making it a serious safety concern for children and the elderly.

But what has Faith Lutz confused is that the unpaved side of her property parallels a very short, dead end street.

Mayor Feltenberger's response to that is a rule is a rule.

"How do you tell one person not to do it and then arrest someone else for the same thing, so everyone's in the same boat here," he said.

The Lutz's decided to contest the citation and a judge did rescind it giving them a break, this time.

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