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D’Ottavio building to be issued condemnation notice; owner uncooperative with borough’s requests

The former Mario’s Pizzeria that was last occupied by D’Ottavio Italian House will be issued with a condemnation notice by Tyrone Borough and its Code Enforcement Officer James Metzgar. The notice implies the structure is unfit for human occupancy.
The 1302 Pennsylvania Avenue building endured a fire on October 9, 2006. Metzgar made contact with the property owner, Francesco D’Ottavio, on January 8, 2008 to submit a plan of action to the borough with his intentions of the property.
D’Ottavio informed the borough that the damages the structure sustained in the fire were “strictly cosmetic,” but Metzgar has since reviewed pictures and the fire report from the borough’s fire marshall at the time, and he disagrees with D’Ottavio’s assessment of the damaged building.
Tyrone Borough officials are “extremely concerned” regarding the structural stability of the roof truss system, interior structure and equipment located at the Pennsylvania Avenue property, and D’Ottavio hasn’t been thorough with a plan of action with the building.
Metzgar said that given D’Ottavio’s lack of attention to this matter, its present condition, and the possible danger of structural collapse, the borough issued a “Notice of Unsafe Structures,” under Section 108.1 of the Property Maintenance Code, on January 22, 2008.
D’Ottavio will be advised that occupancy of the building will not be permitted again until such time that the violations issued are repaired and removed from the structure, along with an inspection of the premises conducted by the borough to ensure compliance with the borough’s Property Maintenance Code.
All utilities will be ordered shut off to the building due to the safety issues. The utilities can only be restored to assist in repair of the structure after a building permit has been secured.
“Mr. D’Ottavio and his architect visited my office on January 23, 2008 and was very upset with the requests from the borough,” said Metzgar. “He expressed his frustrations with me and stormed out of my office stating that he would board up the building located on Pennsylvania Avenue and that it would sit there as long as he owns it.”
Metzgar also stated that D’Ottavio was informed by the borough to request a structural engineer to conduct an on-site inspection within 20 days, and provide the borough with a written report.
A report was not received by the borough within the allotted time frame, and a notification of a site inspection also was not received. The borough anticipated receiving the written report from D’Ottavio by the compliance date of February 28, 2008.
At that time, a meeting was to be scheduled with borough representatives and D’Ottavio, to review the report and his option at that time – the borough witnessed no results from the property owner.
On February 29, 2008, Metzgar stated that D’Ottavio continued to ignore the borough’s request, so the borough was left with no choice but to continue with legal proceedings under Ordinance No. 1216.
That ordinance states that “any person who shall violate any provision of this code shall, upon conviction thereof, be subject to a fine of not less than $100 nor more than $1,000, or imprisonment for a term not to exceed 30 days, or both at the discretion of the court. Each day that a violation continues after due notice has been served shall be deemed a separate offense.”
D’Ottavio had until March 3, 2008 to bring the property into full compliance, which included securing the structure, cutting the grass and weeds, and removal of snow and ice from the sidewalks.
“The borough hopes and desires to continue to work with Mr. D’Ottavio to reach an amicable solution that is beneficial to all parties involved, including the health, safety and welfare of the public,” said Metzgar.
The Daily Herald was unable to reach Mr. D’Ottavio for comment by press time.