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Judge orders Elizabeth Twp. man to clean up property

| Wednesday, May 11, 2011

Gary Jordan claims a neighbor is responsible for him moving away from the Elizabeth Township home in which he had lived for 43 years.

And he now says he can`t sell a house because of his neighbor David Foriska.

Magisterial District Judge Beth S. Mills told Foriska Tuesday that he has 30 days to clean up his Turkeyfoot Road property and bring it up to township standards.

Foriska was cited for accumulation of debris and a missing rain gutter by township code enforcement officer James Matscherz.

Mills warned Foriska that he would face a $600 fine, plus additional fines for every day he doesn`t meet code, if he does not take care of the matter in 30 days. The judge said Foriska had never been in front of her before.

Matscherz said Foriska has a collapsed shed on his property that still needs to be cleaned up and various debris in his yard. He said Foriska removed a portion of his gutter and never replaced it.

Jordan said Foriska`s house became so bad that he was forced to move to Peters Township last October. He said that relocation cost him $300,000.

Some motorists might recognize Jordan`s house by a large sign that reads 'Living Next Door to a Pig Sty 2+ Years Is Unacceptable. Twp. Slow to Act' in red letters.

Jordan said half of the 15 interested parties coming to look at his home said, referring to Foriska`s house: 'Not next to this home,' and 'Does anybody live there?' He said the other prospective buyers made some other excuse, but he believes they lost interest when they saw the neighboring property.

'They say, ‘It`s beautiful. It`s perfect,` and then they go on the back porch and look left,' he said. 'Then the excuses start to come. Our Realtor doesn`t even want to show our house any more, saying it is a waste of time.'

The sign was put up after prospective buyers viewed the house.

Jordan said he dropped his original asking price of $149,000 by $10,000 and is not lowering it again.

Foriska said he has two children — one with a disability who can`t walk. He said his wife and he work different schedules. 'I do what I can,' he said.

He said his family is coming Friday to help him clean up.

Jordan said he`d be happy and surprised if Foriska fixes up his house before the 30 days granted him by Mills.

Township Commissioner Ed Gronlund, who covers Ward 5, said Jordan calls him every week about the matter. He said it might have taken a while to deal with the situation.

'You have to give people a chance to clean up before you cite them,' Gronlund said. 'Then it takes time after that to schedule the hearing. I feel sorry for Mr. Jordan. He has a beautiful home he`d like to sell. Mr. Jordan is very meticulous about his place.'

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