ShareThis Page

Charleroi orders man to fix up Crest Avenue home or demolish it

| Wednesday, Oct. 23, 2013, 12:01 a.m.
The owner of this structure at 909 Crest Ave. in Charleroi was told by borough officials Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013, he must either begin repairs to the building immediately or demolish it.
Jim Ference | The Valley Independent
The owner of this structure at 909 Crest Ave. in Charleroi was told by borough officials Tuesday, Oct. 22, 2013, he must either begin repairs to the building immediately or demolish it.

Michael Claybaugh began renovations shortly after he purchased a home at 909 Crest Ave., Charleroi, in 2008.

But he never completed the work. And since then, the building's condition has deteriorated.

Now the borough and at least one neighbor want Claybaugh to demolish the house where he apparently no longer resides.

Michele Mackey, Charleroi code enforcement officer, said a demolition order was sent to Claybaugh on Sept. 20. He has 60 days from the date of that order to demolish the property.

If Claybaugh does not demolish the property by Nov. 20, it could be placed on the borough's list of properties to be razed.

If it must be demolished by the borough, the legal process could take months or even years, Mackey said.

“It's been an ongoing problem for awhile,” Mackey said.

Claybaugh lived in the Crest Avenue home for a while and was picking up his mail there, Mackey said. But recently, the mail was piling up, she said.

Mackey inspected the inside of the property Tuesday with Claybaugh. The interior of the structure is being supported by some beams, but Mackey ordered Claybaugh to further reinforce the interior of the structure. She said the building is “gutted and not habitable at this time.”

Mackey told Claybaugh he must either begin repairs to the building immediately or demolish it. She told Claybaugh she wants to either see repairs begun or demolition commencing by Nov. 20.

The residence has “many external problems,” Mackey said. The grass needs to be mowed, there is rubbish scattered around the yard and the porch is unstable, being held up by straps. Bricks are coming loose on the corner of the building.

“He tried to do some improvements, but he did not finish,” Mackey said.

Candace Devers, who lives in a rental property at 911 Crest Ave., wrote a letter to Mackey in September listing concerns about the property next door.

Mackey said Devers' concerns involve the condition of the foundation and the porch.

A building permit was issued for the property in 2008, shortly after Claybaugh bought the residence. He lived there for a while while doing improvements, Mackey said. But the work ceased and Claybaugh apparently moved.

Mackey began citing Claybaugh in July. Because he failed to respond to the citations, Magisterial District Judge Larry Hopkins of Charleroi had issued warrants for Claybaugh's arrest. But following his meeting with Mackey, Claybaugh paid off all of his fines, totaling $1,501.

Candace Devers said her residence is only about 5 feet from Claybaugh's property.

“I want it shored up so it doesn't fall on my property over here,” said Devers.

Devers said as Mackey exited the 909 Crest Ave. structure, she told the neighbor, “I'm on top of it. If you need anything, call me.”

Chris Buckley is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-684-2642 or

TribLIVE commenting policy

You are solely responsible for your comments and by using you agree to our Terms of Service.

We moderate comments. Our goal is to provide substantive commentary for a general readership. By screening submissions, we provide a space where readers can share intelligent and informed commentary that enhances the quality of our news and information.

While most comments will be posted if they are on-topic and not abusive, moderating decisions are subjective. We will make them as carefully and consistently as we can. Because of the volume of reader comments, we cannot review individual moderation decisions with readers.

We value thoughtful comments representing a range of views that make their point quickly and politely. We make an effort to protect discussions from repeated comments either by the same reader or different readers

We follow the same standards for taste as the daily newspaper. A few things we won't tolerate: personal attacks, obscenity, vulgarity, profanity (including expletives and letters followed by dashes), commercial promotion, impersonations, incoherence, proselytizing and SHOUTING. Don't include URLs to Web sites.

We do not edit comments. They are either approved or deleted. We reserve the right to edit a comment that is quoted or excerpted in an article. In this case, we may fix spelling and punctuation.

We welcome strong opinions and criticism of our work, but we don't want comments to become bogged down with discussions of our policies and we will moderate accordingly.

We appreciate it when readers and people quoted in articles or blog posts point out errors of fact or emphasis and will investigate all assertions. But these suggestions should be sent via e-mail. To avoid distracting other readers, we won't publish comments that suggest a correction. Instead, corrections will be made in a blog post or in an article.