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Court Upholds Decision In Cluttered Yard Case

SCOTTDALE (KDKA) -- Urban garden or pile of garbage?

A state Appeals Court has upheld the decision of a Westmoreland County judge that the clutter in a Scottsdale man's yard is garbage and needs to be cleaned up.

The dispute over the cluttered yard on Maple Street has been going on for years, but neighbors are hoping it will finally come to an end thanks to the recent court decision.

Ponding water in the yard attracts mosquitoes; there's garbage that some believe attracts rats, and lots of weeds.

The man who lives in the house is 58-year-old Thomas Zeller.

He wasn't home when KDKA's Trina Orlando visited on Friday, but he has previously claimed that the collection of stuff in his yard is needed to maintain his garden throughout the year.

This week, a state Appellate Court ruled against Zeller saying that he was in violation of a Scottdale ordinance that forbids accumulating trash in yards.

The decision echoed earlier rulings by a Scottdale magistrate and also a Westmoreland County common pleas judge.

Zeller will now have to pay the $600 and clean up his property or he could be cited again.

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