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THOMAS J. MURRAY v. CITY WILKES-BARRE AND WILKES-BARRE CITY BUILDING BOARD APPEALS (11/17/78)

decided: November 17, 1978.

THOMAS J. MURRAY, JR. AND BEATRICE MURRAY, HIS WIFE, AND LARRY A. DEMINSKI
v.
THE CITY OF WILKES-BARRE AND THE WILKES-BARRE CITY BUILDING BOARD OF APPEALS, APPELLEES. THOMAS J. MURRAY, JR. AND BEATRICE MURRAY, HIS WIFE, APPELLANTS



Appeal from the Order of the Court of Common Pleas of Luzerne County in case of Thomas J. Murray, Jr. and Beatrice Murray, his wife, and Larry Deminski v. The City of Wilkes-Barre and the Wilkes-Barre City Building Board of Appeals, No. 2652 of 1977.

COUNSEL

James F. Geddes, Jr., with him Silverblatt & Townend, for appellants.

Carl N. Frank, for appellees.

Judges Mencer, Rogers and Craig, sitting as a panel of three. Opinion by Judge Rogers.

Author: Rogers

[ 38 Pa. Commw. Page 510]

This is an appeal by owners of buildings from an order of the Court of Common Pleas of Luzerne County, affirming a decision of the Wilkes-Barre City Building Board of Appeals which in turn sustained an order of the City Housing and Building Inspectors that the appellants' buildings be put in a state of repair on or before March 18, 1977 or that they be razed.

[ 38 Pa. Commw. Page 511]

The appellants, Mr. and Mrs. Murray, have legal title*fn1 to two sets of row houses located in the City of Wilkes-Barre. Over the past ten years they have received numerous notices from the city that these dwellings were in violation of building and housing codes. Mr. Murray testified in hearings before the Building Board of Appeals that he cured some of the defects but admitted that he ignored others. He also conceded that he made no repairs other than normal maintenance after 1972. On February 11, 1977 the City Housing and Building Inspectors notified the appellants of numerous violations of the Wilkes-Barre Building and Housing Codes and, as earlier noted, ordered that the violations be ended by March 18, 1977 or that the properties be razed by the city pursuant to provisions of the two Codes.

The City's Housing Code provides:

Section 108.11. When upon re-examination, after the expiration of the time for compliance the Enforcement Officer finds that the violations have not been corrected, he is authorized to cause such dwellings to be repaired, altered, improved, or demolished or razed.

The City's Building Code provides:

Section 8. Unsafe buildings.

(a) Removal or repair of buildings. Whenever any building, structure, or part thereof, or appurtenances thereto, shall have been declared dangerous or unsafe by the building inspector's office, the building shall, unless made safe and so certified by the ...


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