Court refuses to throw out razing appeal

HERMITAGE, Pa. -- Commonwealth Court has denied a city motion to dismiss the appeal of a court ruling that allowed the city to raze an East State Street house.
City officials said they received word of the ruling Monday.
Attorneys for the city and Helen Stacey, now living in Cuyahoga Falls, Ohio, conducted a brief telephone oral argument before the court last week on the motion to dismiss and the court promised a prompt decision.
The ruling means the appeal will go forward.
Stacey is appealing a decision by Judge Thomas Dobson of Mercer County Common Pleas Court that allowed the city to tear down the one-story brick structure at 1560 E. State St.
The Staceys maintained that the house was sound but the city said it was unsafe, uninhabitable and the Stacey family failed to make necessary repairs to the structure.
The city ordered Stacey and her late husband, Andrew, to vacate the premises after a June 30, 1997, rainstorm caused a portion of a basement wall to collapse.
The city sought to have the appeal dismissed, arguing that the house already has been razed, so the question of Dobson's denial of an injunction sought by the Staceys to prevent the demolition is now moot.
The court, however, ruled that the appeal will continue.

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