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.