Blight battle in Erie, Senator Laughlin hosts discussion tomorrow morning

Local News

An Erie resident says she is tired of complaining and is ready to see some action on a blighted property next door, but her neighbor is putting up a fight.

She tells us her neighbor has buried animal carcasses in her flowerbed and poured urine on her hedges, all because she keeps reporting his blighted property to the city. 

It’s an ongoing fight between neighbors.  Mrs. Quinn says she is sick of living next door to Arthur Pike.  Pike’s home blighted and filled with towers of trash, the front door chained shut and an obvious smell permeating from the building.

Quinn says, “this right here is unacceptable.  Kids come through here every day.  The gas company, they could not hook up lines because they couldn’t get through the house, it is just that bad”.

The home has been posted ‘No Trespassing,’ but Pike allegedly painted over all the code enforcements signs.  When asked why, Pike responded, “I paint the signs because I live by a school and kids throw rocks.”

And even though he is not supposed to be there, according to Quinn, Pike keeps coming back.

Pike is described by code enforcement officers as a hoarder.  Hoarding is a disorder that puts judges and code enforcement officers in a tough situation.

Andy Zimmerman, Manager of Code Enforcement tells us, “you wanna try and show leniency and clean up, then… we need code compliance, so it’s very tough on our code officers and the judge in a hoarding situation…  you can have the police remove him, but he will be back the next day.”  

But, Quinn says that’s not good enough.  “He’s passed a hoarder; he’s disgusting, he needs to be removed.  His house needs to be bulldozed down.”

Zimmerman says the judge tries to show some leniency to hoarders because of the disorder, while still trying to keep the home up to code.

Pike will appear in court again later this month.  Zimmerman says they want him out for good.

To address the blight situation in Erie, Senator Dan Laughlin is hosting a roundtable on the issue.  

Laughlin is welcoming the Senate Majority Policy Committee to Erie tomorrow.  The roundtable will be a collaboration between the committee, other local elected officials, and business leaders addressing solutions to the community’s blight and revitalization issues.

Senator Laughlin encourages the public to attend.  “This is not us talking to you,” says Laughlin, “this is a discussion.  We want to know what is on their mind and we are open to suggestion.”

The roundtable begins at 10am tomorrow at the Magee Women’s Hospital on East 2nd Street.


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