Residents concerned by Sewickley apartment complex
Concerned citizens voiced their issues with tenants in a residential complex in the 600 block of Maple Lane at last week's Sewickley council meeting.
Issues ranged from negligent drivers not obeying the speed limit to complaints of rude behavior and illegal activity.
“There is constant noise coming from that house,” said Lorraine Lubbert, who lives in the area. “Profanity is over the top on a daily basis — yelling, arguing, loud music in the morning, noon and night. There is constant traffic at that house.”
Lubbert said three individuals — two adults and a teenager — moved into the residence, the first floor of a duplex apartment, the second week of August last year. Since then, though, three other individuals have moved in and a seventh person moved in this month.
“Section 205 of the code states that the landlord is supposed to report changes in use or occupancy, including changes in tenants,” Sewickley Councilwoman Tonya Sulia Goodman said. “I think at the very least we should let this landlord know that there are seven people living there and that's different and the landlord needs to enforce that. If there aren't seven people on the lease and there's seven people living there, I think we should take some action.”
Lubbert said neighbors are afraid to speak up.
“A lot of the tenants and some of the neighbors don't want to say anything because they're scared,” Lubbert said. “I get it, but at the same time, the only way you can get change is if everybody bands together. I may be somewhat scared, but I'm going to stand up, not only for myself, but for my child, because I do not want him to be subjected to the profanity and other things that are going on down there. It is now so bad that I choose not to come home after dark. You do not know what you're going to encounter in the back.”
Borough Manager Kevin Flannery said the borough has “had a lot of problems in Sewickley that are duplex-related.”
“They never were officially certificated as duplex or triplex or four units,” he said. “Basically, they were probably family homes and people just needed to live there. I know there is one on Chestnut Street.
“The problem is when they are sold and banks want to give mortgages. Banks require that they be certified as two units, three units or four units. Most of the time they don't have three water or electric bills, but they've been three units. This is what has happened here. There was no records that said they shouldn't have three units.”
Lubbert has called the police and also had a sit-down meeting with police Chief Rich Manko.
“The chief has mentioned several issues from this area,” said mayor Brian Jeffe. “We will continue to have our attention there.”
Matthew Peaslee is a Tribune-Review contributing writer.
Correction: An original version of this story incorrectly named the road residents spoke out about. It is Maple Lane.