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Sewickley leaders say home 'falling down,' but owner seeks more time

| Wednesday, March 26, 2014, 9:00 p.m.
Kristina Serafini | Sewickley Herald
Sewickley officials want to tear down this house on Dickson Road, photographed on Friday, March 21, 2014, because they say it's unsafe. But the property owners want additional time to discuss the matter.

Sewickley council members next month could consider having what they call an unsafe home on Dickson Road torn down.

Council members were supposed to consider the demolition of 923 Dickson Road during a March meeting, but property owner Percy Hogan asked for the decision to be delayed, saying he wanted his wife to be present.

Hogan said his wife, Gloria, is in Phoenix and is barred from flying because of health concerns.

“Once she's back home, then we'll request to put this on the agenda,” he said.

The home has been an issue for 18 years, borough leaders said.

“This building's been a problem since 1994,” borough solicitor Richard Tucker said. “We're not going to continue this indefinitely.”

Hogan said his wife's family has been on the hillside since the late 1920s.

“That's my reason for being here — the family,” he said.

Council President Susan Aleshire said she wanted to see the home torn down.

“What I'm looking at is that this has been an issue for 18 years,” she said. “There's been nothing that's happened to this property for 18 years.

“There's been no work done to improve it. It's still a safety hazard. To have the hearing now, I just think we need to move on this.”

Hogan did not have an attorney present at the hearing.

Council member Bill Cornman said he, too, want to see council members vote soon.

“I'm not saying we would not listen to you in May, but I honestly cannot believe anything can truly be done with that property,” Cornman said to Hogan. “It is really in bad shape. Any money that you would put into that property, I think, would be a waste of money because it is … it's falling down.”

Borough Manager Kevin Flannery said moving the decision to April 15 would allow for the property owners to discuss their options.

“You allow Mr. Hogan to approach his wife so that they could become agreeable to the grant for the demolition,” Flannery said.

“If not, regardless, if on (April 15) they do not have that letter in, you can hold a hearing.

“If they agree to the demolition, I think that's all we're really looking for … is that we get the house torn down. Or, (they) rebuild it, and I don't think they're in a position to rebuild it right now.”

Bobby Cherry is an associate editor for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 412-324-1408 orrcherry@tribweb.com.

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