Sinking Feeling

By on May 11, 2018

By Patrick Burns

Though the property owner has yet to file a lawsuit, Lititz Borough officials say they expect one very soon concerning a sinkhole situation on West Second Avenue.

That sinkhole appears to be partially filled but dips deeply onto the property at 530 W. Second Ave. It sinks within the driveway near the home where deep pockets have formed.

Elijah Yearick, Lititz Borough’s director of planning and community development confirmed the 500 block of West Second Avenue has been closed since March 20 “because there is a pervasive issue there that has not been addressed.”

Yearick said the borough’s attorney advised officials not to discuss the specifics of the sinkhole.

 

Sinkholes on this property have created a detour since March 20 around the 500 block of West Second Ave. The detour, across from Lititz Church of the Brethren and around the corner from Warwick High School, has created headaches for commuters and residents — though neighbors on the block are allowed to park near their homes.

“There is litigation ongoing,” Yearick said Monday. “There should be a complaint being filed if it has not already.”

No lawsuit has appeared on the court docket as of Tuesday evening. According to court documents, David Gerhart purchased the home on Sept. 28, 2017. Several attempts to reach the homeowner were unsuccessful.

“Unfortunately we have not been able to fix the cause of the problem that is causing the road to be closed at this point,” he said. “We are still working, in fact I’m working to find ways to provide information to those who need it. We cannot talk about some of these details (yet).” Yearick suggested the borough may be able to provide details in the future.

“We are not at this point going to be sharing that with the public because of the litigation we find ourselves in,” he said. Lititz Police Chief Kerry Nye said he has no timetable when a detour will be removed around the 500 block of West Second Avenue between West Lemon and West Orange streets.

“The road is still being re-routed because it’s not safe to drive on,” Yearick said last week “Unfortunately the main subsidence area is not in our right of way, but on private property. Our ideal solution requires the support of the owners, who we’ve been trying to work with since the closure.”

Patrick Burns is news editor and social media editor for the Lititz Record Express. He welcomes your questions and comments and can be reached at pburns.eph@lnpnews.com or at (717) 721-4455. 

2 Comments

  1. Dave Gerhart

    May 13, 2018 at 9:13 am

    This is our property where we are raising three children ages 10, 9 and 7. We are really disappointed that Lititz Borough is choosing to ignore the safety issues that our family faces every day. Even though we have photographs that prove that the sinkholes appeared the day of the water main break back in Nov 2017, they refuse to accept any responsibility for the property damage. This has forced us to shell out over $27,000 to date in emergency repairs, geologic testing and legal representation. We’re praying that they do the right thing and accept responsibility for this mess and make the necessary repairs soon!

  2. Jay

    May 13, 2018 at 11:11 am

    On another note about roads. Not to much worse than S.Spruce Street. Please!, with the now overwhelming, overpopulated,once greatest small town. Could you use some of the new tax revenue coming in from the now most overdeveloped City ever and do something about these roads for crying out loud! Please, everytime I go down S.Spruce street I feel like my car is going to fall apart. Let’s get some roads fixed please.

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