Bellevue closes loophole in public drinking law
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It is now illegal to walk the streets of Bellevue drinking a beer. An ordinance, which prohibits the consumption of alcoholic beverages in public, was approved unanimously by council Tuesday.
The new ordinance closes a loophole in the borough's liquor regulations that allowed a pedestrian to drink alcohol on the sidewalk but banned someone seated at an outdoor restaurant from doing so.
Violation of the law could result in a fine of $200 plus court costs.
Exceptions to the law include activities or events for which a special permit has been issued by the borough.
Also during the meeting, council members Mark Helbling and Kathy Coder were overruled when the rest of council (James Scisciani was absent) approved the purchase of 15 blue spruce evergreens from Steel City Landscaping at a cost of $99 per tree.
The trees are to be planted off of Bellevue Road next to the new Bellevue Dog Woods off-leash dog park, which straddles the border with Ross.
A disputed number of trees in that area -- Ms. Coder says 12, council president Linda Woshner says more than 20 -- were dead and had been removed by borough workers three years ago.
Some Ross residents who live in that neighborhood complained about the lack of trees, Mrs. Woshner said.
During last month's meeting, landscape architect Bradley Hazelwood of Civil & Environmental Consultants Inc. of Pittsburgh said the TreeVitalize Pittsburgh program may be able to donate at least 20 trees.
Council members unanimously approved the submission of the TreeVitalize grant application, however, they still plan to buy the trees from Steel City Landscaping, which is providing the trees at cost and also offered free use of equipment to install them.
Volunteers are prepared to start planting, which was the argument council members made for buying the trees and planting them as soon as possible.
"I don't understand spending money if we don't have to," said Mr. Helbling.
"Paying for trees when you can get them for free isn't fiscally responsible."
Mrs. Woshner said she did extensive research on the Internet and learned that fall is the best time to plant the trees, especially since the dog park will soon open and attract traffic, which will cause dusty conditions for the Ross neighborhood.
Mr. Hazelwood, who spoke with TreeVitalize experts, disputed her information, saying that it would be better to plant the trees in springtime.
He added that it's better to plant a variety of trees, instead of all the same kind, so that if they get diseased again, they won't all perish.
Manager Doug Sample said he called several nurseries in town to get quotes for the project, but he was still waiting for two more offers, which would likely be cheaper than $99.
Also, Mr. Hazelwood presented possible plans for Bellevue's Streetscape Design project, which is part of the Allegheny Together program. Established in 2007, the program assists pedestrian-based business districts.
First Published September 6, 2012 4:55 am