What's right with this picture?

October 14, 2012
  • A tree, left, along part of a sidewalk on Northern Avenue in Hagerstown has been pruned, making the walkway accessible for pedestrians.
Photo by Andrew Schotz

A follow-up: In August, Jerry King of Falling Waters, W.Va., contacted The Herald-Mail about low-hanging branches that blocked a sidewalk along Northern Avenue in Hagerstown. King, who frequently walks in that area, said the obstruction forced pedestrians to step into the road near traffic to get by.

Who fixed it: The city of Hagerstown called it a code violation and required a nearby property owner to correct it

What they said: Responding to an inquiry from The Herald-Mail, Gary C. Lambert, the programs manager for Hagerstown’s Planning and Code Administration Division, wrote in an email on Friday: “I’ve spoken with the inspector assigned this case and confirmed that the owner of the property had the tree trimmed to the required height within a few days of receiving the notice of violation.”

When The Herald-Mail first asked about the branches in the summer, Lambert wrote:

“A notice of violation has been mailed to the owner of the property, requiring that they trim the overhanging branches to a minimum height of 15 feet above Northern Avenue The City of Hagerstown Property Maintenance Code, section 302.4.3, states that ‘It shall be unlawful for any person to suffer or permit the limbs or foliage of any tree or shrub on his property to extend over any public sidewalk or pedestrian right-of-way at a height of less than 7 feet from the ground or over a street or alley at a height less than 15 feet.’ They will be given a short but reasonable amount of time to comply and will be subject to a fine if they fail to act. Additionally, should they not act, the city will have a contractor trim the branch with the costs billed to the property owner.”

— Compiled by Andrew Schotz

If you are aware of a safety problem, a major annoyance or a pet peeve that one of our governmental bodies, an agency or an organization is responsible for fixing, send the information, and a photo if you have it, to:

What’s Wrong With This Picture

c/o The Herald-Mail newsroom

100 Summit Ave.

Hagerstown MD 21740

You can email the information to Please include a phone number where we can reach you.

Editor’s note: Each Monday, The Herald-Mail will highlight an infrastructure issue or other problem and will try to find out what is being done to fix or improve the situation. We will not tackle situations involving neighborhood or domestic disputes, or consumer problems.

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