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Property problems plague city council

October 24, 2012
By J.T. Whitehouse , Town Crier

It wasn't the Hatfields and McCoys, but there was a big property dispute aired at the Oct. 17 Canfield City Council meeting. It was a packed house with residents of the Stratford Green Condo Association and one resident from Brookpark Drive airing complaints over a buffer zone.

"I am appalled and outraged that 22,000 square feet of our property has been devastated by a resident from 535 Brookpark Drive," said condo association trustee Kathleen Dragoman.

The Brookpark property owner in question was David Bonamese, who was not in attendance at the meeting to present his side.

Dragoman said Bonamese had cleared trees and brush from a buffer on the association's property. She said he had brought in chippers and a bulldozer to remove the tree roots. In an attempt to stop the alleged trespassing, the condo association hired a surveyor and had the property line marked with stakes. Dragoman said the stakes were pulled up the next morning and were thrown on the association's property.

She said the association then brought out the surveyor again, on Oct. 8 and had the property line marked and put up a temporary fence with no trespassing signs, which she said was also torn down. The police were called out to investigate.

"We were cited for the fence, but the person trespassing was not cited," she told council.

To set the record straight, city manager Joe Warino said the association was not cited for the fence. They were sent a letter of violation, giving the association five days to remove the fence, which was put up against city ordinances controlling fences.

City attorney Mark Fortunato said he was aware of the buffer dispute, but it has taken some time to track down the original plans and meeting minutes for the construction of the Stratford Green development.

Canfield Mayor William Kay said, "I am not sure Mayor's Court is the place to solve this. It would have to be taken to a civil court for damages."

Representing the condo association was attorney Mike Sciortino who said, "It's obviously a property dispute. We have a claim against Mr. Bonamese."

The situation caught council members off guard. Council President Dan Frazzini said, "This is the first I have heard of it."

Frazzini said council would look into it. No action was taken at the meeting.

On the other side of the fence, Brookpark resident John Dance spoke on the buffer zone, stating that one of the Stratford Green Condo owners has cut back vegetation in the buffer and has put up a shed.

"The buffer area is gone," Dance said. "It was supposed to remain natural."

He said his concern is that the condo was for sale and he didn't want a new owner to face the problem.

"I don't want to see this transferred to another buyer," Dance said. "I am asking that the shed be removed and the natural buffer restored."

In other business:

Warino stated that he received a letter from Farmers National Bank stating they would no longer be accepting payments for the city's water billing. He said the water bills would have to be paid at City Hall for those who were using the discontinued service at the bank.

Joe Gonda from Buckeye Civil Designs gave a report on work done on the Fairview-Maple storm drains. He said his company was continuing to map and inspect catch basins in the area, many of which are in back yards. He said if anyone knows of a catch basin that is hidden in a yard, they should report it to the city so it can be checked out. Councilman Andy Skrobola said he will be interested in the final findings.

Resident Frank Micchia spoke on a company that is throwing phone books at the end of driveways. He said it should not be allowed. He also asked council to do something to recognize Breast Cancer Awareness Month.

Council approved an ordinance authorizing a change order for Spano Brothers Construction Company who is installing The Preserve Subdivision Plat 8 and 9 sidewalks. Warino said it was a reduction of $4,000 on the project.



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