The Herald, Sharon, Pa.

Local News

December 19, 2013

Grass ordinance draws cutting opinions

HERMITAGE — Harland Pifer understands Hermitage city officials’ desire to want to amend the grass cutting ordinance to deal with vacant lots on which a structure once stood.

But, it does not address a lot in his neighborhood he has complained about for several years.

“It will do me no good in my situation,” Pifer added.

The ordinance requires that the grass be kept to no higher than 8 inches tall on lots that have a house or other structure on them. If the ordinance introduced Wednesday is adopted, lots that once held a structure would be subject to the same standard.

Lots, that is, from which a structure is razed after the effective date of the ordinance.

Pifer has complained about a lot in the 800 block of Crawford Drive, which has been overgrown since a house was torn down. The owner does not have to cut it because there is no structure on it. The lot would not be subject to the amended ordinance because the structure was taken down before the effective date.

So, the Crawford lot will remain an eyesore and an occasional rat haven.

“Is this going to devalue our properties when we go to sell some day?” Pifer said.

Commissioner Rita Ferringer voted against introducing the ordinance because is imposes an eternal requirement, something she says is burdensome to property owners.

She gave as an example the Baker Street property from which the city demolished two houses this fall. The lot is too small on which to build a new house, she said. Unless neighbors buy the property, it has no value; yet, the property owner still would be required to maintain it.

“What happens to that property?” Ferringer said. “You’re going to have to cut the grass forever.”

Given that the property owner, Joseph Toth of Sharon, did not respond to city demolition orders nor defend himself when the city sought and received a court order for demolition, the city could end up paying for the grass cutting.

“I understand their issue, being next to a house,” she said of the proposal. “I don’t know the answer. I think we’re putting a burden on people that never ends.”

Commissioners set a public hearing and final vote on the ordinance proposal for Jan. 22.

Text Only
Local News
  • News briefs from April 17, 2014

    Man arrested for running from accident scene

    UPMC, Southwest eyeing security at hospital

    Crashes cause diversion of Interstate 80 traffic

    Court supports prison term in chase case

    Woman gets 5-10 years in crash that killed officer

    April 17, 2014

  • Officials pledge support to sewer project

    Publicly declaring their intention to donate county land to the Upper Neshannock Watershed Authority, Commissioners Matt McConnell and John Lechner said there’s no need for Commissioner Brian Beader to worry about the loss of the sewer project at the Interstate 80/Route 19 interchange.

    April 17, 2014

  • Griswold Avenue fire Neighbors tried to save victim

    As flames and thick smoke poured out of a Sharon house Tuesday evening, neighbors rallied to try and save the man who lived there alone.

    April 17, 2014 1 Photo

  • Woman nabbed, sister sought in assault

    Southwest Mercer County Regional police have arrested a Hermitage woman for breaking into a home in Farrell and beating a woman and are seeking the alleged assailant’s sister.

    April 16, 2014

  • Despite good deeds, man going back to prison

    Linda K. Kretzer had nothing but praise for Raymond C. McKelvey.

    April 16, 2014

  • 15-year-old legal battle returning to county court

    State Supreme Court has let stand a Superior Court decision sending a landmark medical malpractice case back to Mercer County Common Pleas Court.

    April 16, 2014

  • Southwest mulls how to adopt study points

    Even though some members of the Southwest Mercer County Regional Police Department had little respect for a study of the department completed by a consultant, Chief Riley Smoot Jr. pledged to implement as many of the study’s recommendations as he could.

    April 16, 2014

  • Beader plans to resign, just not yet

    Democratic Mercer County Commissioner Brian Beader acknowledges that he intends to resign, but said nothing will happen until after he meets privately with the county’s judges next Thursday.

    April 16, 2014

  • Wildlife fund for park Aiding Buhl Farm animals

    Some of Steven Jubelirer’s fondest memories of his mother, Natalie, was when they would walk together in Buhl Farm park, Hermitage.

    April 16, 2014 3 Photos

  • News briefs from April 15, 2014

    Man charged with attack on his wife in Walmart

    Woman arrested for stabbing man with knife

    3 injured in pickup-motorcycle crash

    April 15, 2014

  • Judge orders Marin removed from ballot

    Saying the testimony of Congressional candidate Mel Marin of Sharon wasn’t credible, the Commonwealth Court has ordered Marin’s name removed from the Democratic Party’s ballot for one of area’s congressional seats in the May primary because Marin now has less than the required 1,000 valid signatures.

    April 15, 2014

  • Fire ruled accident, but cause unknown

    The fire in Greenville-Reynolds Industrial Park was most likely started by workers who were gutting the building, according to a deputy fire marshal.

    April 15, 2014

  • Mertz Tower fire Mertz tenant charged with arson

    A tenant who was being evicted from her apartment because of bizarre behavior is accused of setting her sofa ablaze at Wade D. Mertz Towers in Sharpsville.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Tickled reflexology and pedicure salon Crafting a new downtown

    We’ll know better five years from now what lasting impact public interest in the arts and boutique shopping had in efforts to revitalize downtown Sharon with small businesses.

    April 15, 2014 1 Photo

  • Have van, need drivers to serve elderly

    April 14, 2014