Homeowner's Lawn Battle With City - KMSP-TV

Homeowner's Lawn Battle With City

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NETHER PROVIDENCE TWP., Pa. -

Call it "At War with Wallingford."

A tree-cutting accident back in 2010 left Dave Colletta's home on Providence Road badly damaged.

And while Colletta fought with his insurance company over money for repairs, he set up a temporary modular home in the backyard.

Township officials said "no way," and so began the war.

As for the battlefield?

The grass and weeds seem ready to swallow up Dave Colletta's place, both his damaged brick home and the temporary modular structure that Nether Providence township decided was illegal.

Essentially, Colletta would be arrested if he tried to mow the lawn.

Last year, before the whole fiasco, the grass was cut and things were reasonably well kept.

Then, in an effort to get Colletta out of that modular home, Nether Providence Township got a court order demanding to decease and desist from any and all use or occupancy of the property. In short to "vacate the premises!"

Now, it's a jungle!

Colletta's attorney Daniel Pallen takes a hyper-literal view of the court order.

In his perspective, because Colletta's been kicked off his property, the grass that continues to grow and become an eyesore is not their problem."

Nether Providence officials have now upped the ante: fining Colletta on an almost daily basis for letting the grass grow long, and for placing dumpsters on the property.

The penalties now top 25 hundred dollars, with no end in sight.

"We're going to fine him. We'll get him back in court and eventually, I'm hopeful that we'll correct everything," says Gary Cummings, The Nether Providence Township Manager.

Colletta replies, "Go ahead and fine me! They wanted me to follow the law, now I'm going to follow the law."

And the result of following the law is a lawn that's become a jungle.

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