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Ex-owner of Fayette County sex club cited over illegal camping

| Thursday, July 10, 2014, 11:18 p.m.

The former owner of a private club in Fayette County has been cited under the zoning ordinance because advertisements indicate the site is being used for camping.

Thomas Wajda, who no longer operates the clothing-optional Mountain Retreat along Route 40 in Redstone, said he now rents the property to Ray Como, who has addresses in Pittsburgh and Redstone.

Online advertisements indicate the retreat hosts events through Pittsburgh Bridge, a self-described BDSM peer group. BDSM, according to UrbanDictionary.com, is an abbreviation for bondage and other sexual activity.

Wajda, who has an ongoing landlord-tenant civil case against Como, went to county officials when a neighbor showed him photos of visitors camping on the property. Camping is not allowed on the site, which is zoned for agricultural use.

Wajda waged a three-year battle with the county and nearby residents to operate his club on the property. In 1998, he obtained a zoning certificate that allows a bed and breakfast to operate at the site.

Leonard Minnick, zoning technician, said he issued an enforcement notice on July 9 that gives Wajda 30 days to put an end to camping on the site. Alternatively, Wajda can seek a special exception to have a campground on the property.

Minnick said the enforcement notice went to Wajda and not Como because Wajda owns the property.

Wajda on Thursday said the enforcement notice is “a bunch of (expletive).” He said he had no immediate plans to respond to the enforcement notice but said he will monitor the situation and “play it by ear.”

Minnick said he filed the enforcement notice based on online advertisements posted on Pittsburgh Bridge's website for a July 19 “play party” at the retreat. The ad indicates camping is available at the site and encourages overnight participants to “pitch a tent” or sleep in their cars if they have not booked one of the venue's “limited number of indoor private rooms.”

Liz Zemba is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.

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