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Resident Complains to Council About Neighbor's Property

Barry Yonney, of the 1200 block of Second Avenue, told Hellertown Borough Council Sept. 4 that a home across the street from his is currently an eyesore.

On Sept. 4, a resident of Second Avenue asked members of Hellertown Borough Council and borough staff if anything can be done about a property across the street from his home.

Barry Yonney, of 1226 Second Ave., said the poor condition of the property at 1231 Second Ave. is causing his home's value to depreciate.

Northampton County property records indicate the property is owned by Rosario Velas, and a public online database indicates that it is the home of Michele I. and Gwen P. Velas Sr.

Yonney told council that the grass isn't being cut, and that lawnmowers and other pieces of equipment are strewn about the home.

"Now you've got two cars sitting out back," he said. "I have had it. That is totally laziness, what they're doing there."

Yonney--who said he's been a neighbor for 15 years--also questioned why the borough hasn't been able to force the home's owner to clean it up.

Police Chief Robert Shupp said he had first-hand knowledge of the property, as he was briefly acting codes enforcement officer following .

While he was filling that role, Shupp said he cited the property's owner seven times.

All of the citations were thrown out on a technicality, he said.

The technicality, Shupp explained, is that the property's owner of record is deceased, and has been for a number of years.

“It was a big—it was ridiculous,” he said. “I don’t understand how a deceased person can own a house.”

In the future, he added, the current occupants of the property will be cited, rather than the owner.

Borough Manager Cathy Kichline said that a search of borough records turned up no liens on file against the property.

Council President Phil Weber directed to look into the matter and report back to council with his findings.

Steve September 11, 2012 at 03:32 PM
I remain surprised as to how many people can live like pigs and have no self respect or pride in the way they live. They simply don't recognize it and let the filth and mess just grow over time. The solution is simple.....have the town clean the place up, bill the owner of record and put a lien against the home for the costs if not paid. Let the liens accumulate if not paid and in good time, the town will eventually get paid when the home is sold. The owner (who ever that is) will simply take the "hit". Problem solved and the town does not loose out.
Stephanie Brown September 12, 2012 at 12:55 AM
Hey here's a novel idea. instead of having a judgemental self-righteous, mob-like mentality and ganing up on this person, for not meeting your needs, stop complaining and make friends with the neighbor and then offer to help the owner to clean it up.
Mike September 12, 2012 at 01:32 AM
The borough helped these slobs clean up before with tax dollars and it back to the same place it was. Its ashame anyone has to put up with people who are so lazy and take no pride in where they live.

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