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With snow shoveling a new full-time job for most Bronxites this winter, the last thing a homeowner wants is a ticket for not cleaning their sidewalk.
On Saturday, February 5, Pietro and Donna Serio were issued a ticket by the the city Department of Sanitation for not shoveling the property attached to their home on 2911 Wellman Avenue on the corner of Edison Avenue.
The Serio’s, who own the home and have lived there for 33 years, claim that they have shoveled their property after a snowfall, but according to Donna Serio, the part of the property that is always left with snow on it is actually a grassy area.
“I found the ticket in my bannister and all I can say was, you have to be joking right,” Donna Serio said. “Since we lived here we shovel our entire property and make it completely clean. The sidewalk attached to our house is always spotless so why would we leave a whole section completely covered in snow?”
The Serio’s received a ticket for the same violation in March 2004 and immediately took pictures of the property to prove in court that there wasn’t concrete underneath the snow. The ticket was dismissed and Donna said that the judge could not believe a ticket was even issued to them.
Just days after the ticket was issued, Donna Serio saw her long-time friend Councilman Jimmy Vacca in a local supermarket and expressed her anger over the ticket, which led to Vacca’s disbelief that the DSNY would even issue a summons for not shoveling snow covered grass.
“It’s been a crazy winter to begin with, but when Donna told me about this, I just thought to myself when is this all going to end,” Vacca said. “I understand that tickets are issued if property isn’t shoveled, but were talking about a ticket for unshoveled grass and it’s ridiculous. I urged Donna and her husband to fight the summons.”
After Donna Serio found the ticket, she immediately took her camera out and took pictures of the property to prove that there was grass underneath the snow, which at that point, enough snow had already melted for even the DSNY to see that the property was a grassy plot.
The Serio’s were issued a court date of March 8 and are prepared to fight the ticket with photo evidence that the summons issued was unfair and unnecessary.
“The fact that we have to miss time at work for such an unfair ticket is the worst part,” Donna Serio said. “We hope the judge this time is understanding and that we won’t have to deal with such a pointless ticket again.”
New York City law states that property owners have 24 hours to remove snow off of their property after a snowfall otherwise they will be issued a ticket from city officials, with penalties starting at $100 and can go as high as $350.
©2011 Community Newspaper Group
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