Penn Township sues to get blighted property cleaned
As a last resort, Penn Township is suing the owners of a property blighted by overgrown grass, junk vehicles and dilapidated buildings.
Community Development Director Dallas Leonard said for about 12 years township officials have been asking members of the Klingensmith family to clean up a Frye Road property.
“We've been trying to deal with this situation for quite a few years,” Leonard said Tuesday. “It's a total mess.”
The suit, filed Monday, seeks an injunction preventing further accumulation of garbage and inoperative vehicles and ordering that the property be cleaned up. Named as defendants are Lee R. Klingensmith of Loyalhanna Township, his brother Boyd N. Klingensmith of Penn Township and their mother, Helen Klingensmith.
Phone numbers for Lee Klingensmith and Helen Klingensmith could not be located. Phone numbers listed for Boyd Klingensmith were disconnected or rang unanswered Tuesday.
The property was formerly owned by Cecil Klingensmith, who died in May 1995 at 73. Township officials are unsure of the whereabouts of his wife, Helen Klingensmith, and believe Boyd Klingensmith may spend time at the property.
In the suit, township solicitor Leslie Mlakar wrote that the accumulation of debris, tall grass and unlicensed, inoperable vehicles has resulted in “unclean, unsafe and unsanitary” conditions that violate township code. The vehicles are “in a state of major disassembly, disrepair or in the process of being stripped and dismantled,” Mlakar wrote.
Some of the vehicles are registered to Boyd Klingensmith, Leonard said.
An old farmhouse and a few small structures on the property are “so dilapidated, they're ready to fall down,” Leonard said.
Complaints from neighbors have been “ongoing” throughout the years and seeking a court injunction is “not the way we like to conduct business” but the property is in need of remediation, Leonard said.
“We've done almost everything,” he said.
A hearing has not been scheduled by Judge Anthony Marsili.
Renatta Signorini is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. She can be reached at 724-837-5374 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Show commenting policy
TribLive commenting policy
You are solely responsible for your comments and by using TribLive.com 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.
- Group takes veterans, seniors in WWII-era planes at Unity airport
- Business break-ins in Donegal area may be related, state police say
- Westmoreland, Allegheny United Way units complete merger
- Copper stolen from construction site at Greensburg museum
- Greensburg senior care center salutes veterans
- $500K federal grant to pay for brownfield evaluation in Westmoreland County
- Rival Westmoreland vape shops develop own specialties
- St. Vincent professor, students use interviews for drug addiction data
- 3 injured in crash that ties up Route 22 in Salem for nearly 8 hours
- Greensburg torture killer Marinucci returns to court seeking lighter sentence
- Three teens injured in one-vehicle crash in Hempfield