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17Apr

Conservatorship case: Eyesore elimination or exploitation?

From Pittsburgh Post Gazette


A rowhouse on Buena Vista Street in the Central Northside is a dilapidated eyesore, according to a controversial nonprofit attempting to take control of the property through a process called conservatorship. But advocates for the property owner and their family say they are on the cusp of restoring and preserving the historic property, and argue that giving control to someone else would be unfair and rob them of their equity in the house. Attorneys for both sides made their cases this week before Allegheny County Common Pleas Judge Donald Walko, who authored the conservatorship law during his time as a state legislator. He now hears all the conservatorship cases in the county. The pending case highlighted the broadening application of the 10-year-old conservatorship law, touted by some as a godsend for neighborhood do-gooders, but also the target of criticism by some property owners.

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