A Greensburg Pike resident told North Versailles Twp. commissioners last week that she feels like a prisoner in her own home because of work being done on a neighbor's house.
“I get no peace and quiet in my house, he is pounding, moving ladders and tools late into the evening,” Lisa Didiano said at the May 16 meeting.
She claimed that work on the two-bedroom duplex is being done by the owner's husband without proper permits.
Commissioners said they understand Didiano’s frustration and recommended that she call the police if the neighbor is creating a disturbance.
It wasn't the first time Didiano has confronted township officials.
At the April 18 meeting, Didiano claimed her neighbor’s husband is “working from nine o'clock in the evening until four in the morning,” and said that she can smell noxious fumes.
“Maybe you’re tired of dealing with me, that’s why I continue to come here,” she said. “I don’t care, I'm protecting my house (and) myself and I'm trying to make my community better.”
Allegheny County property tax records indicate the two-bedroom duplex was purchased for $6,401 last fall. The registered owner is listed as Inha Kotsur of 731 Greensburg Pike.
Township police have issued a citation in the name of "Inha Kostsun" for performing work without a building permit at the Greensburg Pike address.
The case is scheduled to be heard by Magisterial District Judge Roxanne Sakoian Eichler on June 19.
No phone number was available for either Kotsur or Kostsun in public databases and they could not be reached for comment.
Didiano questioned why it takes a magistrate to intervene.
Township Solicitor Greg Evashavik said building permit violations are civil offenses, not criminal offenses.
“How would we stop (a building owner) from doing the work short of arresting him?” Evashavik said.
However, he said, if someone is disturbing the peace or making excessive noise, police can respond and order it to stop.
“If he's disturbing you then you need to call the police, if he's making noise you need to call the cops on him,” Commissioner George Thompson said.
Township police Chief James Matrazzo agreed. “Especially, if you get up at four in the morning and he's still there, you need to call us again,” he said.
Richard Finch Jr. is a freelance writer who covers news from McKeesport Area School District and North Versailles Twp. for Tube City Almanac. He may be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Originally published May 24, 2019.