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Sidewalks & Alleys

WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE SIDEWALK IN FRONT OF MY HOUSE?

In short, you are. The borough regulates the types of sidewalk surfaces permitted, and stipulates where sidewalks shall exist. But the property owner is always responsible for any necessary repairs to the sidewalks, and the borough may order that repairs be made.

AM I PERMITTED TO CUT DOWN A STREETSIDE SHADE TREE?

Maybe. Just like the sidewalks, the borough regulates the streetside trees. However, they too are the responsibility of the property owner. Permission should be sought before removing any tree. If a hazard exists, the borough may order the tree removed. Any tree removed must also have the stump removed.

WHO OWNS THE ALLEY BETWEEN MY HOME AND THE NEIGHBOR?

If the alley is paved and being maintained by the borough, it is a borough-owned alley. If the alley is grass, it may not belong to anybody. In many cases, the property lines allow for a fourteen feet wide alley between properties. Those alleys were originally included in the borough plot many years ago, but were never opened up. The borough has since lost any right to those alleys. It is possible that if all contiguous property owners agree, they can acquire equal shares of the grass alley. Under no circumstances can access be denied to another person that has customarily been afforded access to the alley, regardless of who owns the alley.

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