08/08/05 — Salvage yard owner seeks zoning change

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Salvage yard owner seeks zoning change

By Barbara Arntsen
Published in News on August 8, 2005 1:47 PM

Sun glints off the metal framing from a line of cars behind Young's Auto Center and Salvage Yard on alternate U.S. 117, south of the fairgrounds.

Although a paneled fence and shrubbery partially hide the junked cars, one side is visible from the road through a wire fence.

Ricky Young, owner of the business, wants to expand his salvage yard. He says he has met all the requirements for screening that the county demands for junkyards or salvage businesses.

Two of his neighbors disagree.

At a recent public hearing before the Wayne County commissioners, Jeannette and Johnny Perry said Young didn't have the proper fencing around his salvage yard.

"There are hundreds of old cars behind there, bringing rats, snakes and mosquitoes," Ms. Perry said.

She also claimed the junked cars are a fire hazard.

"Mr. Young should be required to comply to the ordinance before expanding his business," she told the commissioners. "There are safety and health issues."

Willie Ray Starling supported the Perry's complaint, saying the laws and ordinances of the county should be enforced.

The county's junkyard ordinance does state that wire fences aren't allowed, and that the cars or junk shouldn't be visible from the road.

However, Young's business was operating prior to the 1986 ordinance, so his salvage yard is exempt from the ordinance. If he expands, he will have to meet the requirements of the current ordinance.

The Perrys maintain Young built another building on the property after 1986 without getting permission from the county.

The county only has records of permits for the past five years, as required by law, so Planning Director Connie Price said he couldn't say for sure whether Young had obtained permission.

"But there would not have been any reason not to issue a permit for another building because he built it on the same property zoned for his salvage business," Price said.

Young's current request is to rezone 40 acres of land in the Brogden Township from residential agriculture to heavy industry.

Young said he has always complied with all rules and regulations.

"I'm shocked by Mr. Perry's comments," Young said. "He's got cars on my property, and he's running a salvage yard."

Young said his salvage yard set an example for other businesses like it.

Commissioners will vote on the rezoning request at their next meeting on Aug. 16.