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Hilltown residents plead for help with nuisance property


Residents of a Hilltown development say a derelict house on their street is a health hazard and an attractive nuisance for everything from vermin to hard-partying teenagers – and they want the township’s help.

At the March 25 board of supervisors meeting, residents said the abandoned property on Yarrow Court has a large hole in the roof, six feet of standing water in the basement, dangerous black mold that could be an airborne threat to neighbors, and an attic that’s home to a volt of vultures.

The property is a mess and there’s a hole in the garage door, inside of which teens “drink and do drugs,” one resident said.

“It’s not acceptable,” said resident Joanne Kain, whose property neighbors the derelict house. “Could you imagine trying to sell your home next to that?”

Township Manager Lorraine Leslie said the property owners told the township that they’d be in contact with a plan for addressing the issues the week of March 25.

Still, residents said demo efforts have started – and were abandoned – in the past. Over what a resident said has been seven years, the property has fallen into increasing disrepair. Residents are worried the hazards will continue to go unaddressed.

Ideally, said Kain, neighbors would like the township to step in and demo the home. Hilltown Solicitor Stephen Harris said the township’s zoning officer can cite the property owner for violations. However, “it’s not easy to tear down someone’s private property,” he said.

Harris said he would discuss the matter further with the zoning officer to see what can be done to mitigate the situation.