The zoning enforcement officer of Summit Hill is on the verge of condemning a large apartment building in Summit Hill.
Occupying space in the structure is Breslin's Hillside News, which has been located there for decades.
Some members of borough council said they expect the condemnation to occur this week.
It was reported about eight to 10 apartments are in the building, but only a few are occupied.
If condemnation occurs, the apartment dwellers and the business would have to vacate the premises by the end of the week. One occupant of the building told the council he wasn't informed that things were so drastic. The council said it only has an obligation to inform the landlord.
The building is owned by Charles Bott and reportedly has many building code violations. The borough said it has been trying to work with Bott for several years to address the violations, but the landlord hasn't been responsive.
There are a couple of thoughts regarding this.
One, even if condemnation occurs, hopefully Breslin's will be given time to find a new location and not have to shut down immediately. Although it's only a small business, it is still someone's livelihood and it isn't fair to put them out of businesses without giving them at least a little time to grasp the situation.
The second thing is, what's going to happen after the building is condemned? If the landlord still doesn't take care of the property, is the borough willing to fumigate the structure to get rid of bedbugs alleged to be in some of the apartments? Is the all-wood building going to remain a standing fire hazard?
We're not faulting the borough for the condemnation. There's no reason any landlord should be renting apartments with wiring deficiencies, an inadequate heating system, insect infestation, etc.
But does the borough have a plan to address the property if the landlord still doesn't do anything?
If not, then the council hasn't done anything to improve the situation at the building location.
By RON GOWER