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City right to fine snow scofflaws [Letter]

The recent article highlighting issues with snow removal struck a chord with me ("Plenty of snow this winter brings plenty of fines, too," Feb. 26). I live in a neighborhood where everything I need is within a seven block walk of my house. This includes work, shopping and socialization. I've spent a frustrating winter slipping and sliding on icy sidewalks left for me by neighbors and businesses alike.

I fully side with the time limit for removing snow. If a person waits too long, the snow becomes trampled and turns to ice. I was very aggressive about reporting scofflaws this winter. I gave folks the benefit of the doubt and waited a few days before reporting. Most of the properties were frequent violators. In all cases the residential properties were occupied by able bodied young people.

There are four houses in a row in my block that are single family rentals. In all cases the property owners live out of state or out of the country. On a side note, all of these property owners are receiving the Homestead Tax Credit — how curious. Another property nearby was also reported. This rowhouse is owned by a millionaire celebrity chef who resides in California. This property has been used for years as a rental and is currently vacant. Last month the pipes froze and flooded two neighboring properties. Oh, and by the way, this property owner is also receiving the Homestead Tax Credit.

Forgive me if I can't muster sympathy for these folks. I'm not swayed by the representatives from the Church of the Redeemer who complained about being fined. Don't they realize that they don't pay taxes yet enjoy all of the city services we pay for? I also reported a church in my neighborhood that left icy sidewalks for weeks. This non profit rents space for weekly special events for $500-$700 a pop. Church or social club? Who knows. I guess not everyone has to play by the rules.

Carol Baker, Baltimore

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Copyright © 2015, The Baltimore Sun
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