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Neighbors want help to make junkyard obey ordinance

Published September 27. 2010 05:00PM

Junkyard owner Alfred Hanna stacks cars in his junkyard even though they are not crushed. He stores them against the border line of his property say neighbors Patrina and David Meixsell.

When Meixsells bought their property they believed it extended another 400 feet. Hanna had it surveyed and found the boundary was closer to the Meixsells' home. He installed chain link fencing and stored cars up to the new boundary.

Patrina found a real estate ad on the web that shows an open field where cars are now stacked. She said it is not grandfathered that cars were stored to the boundary. Silliman, the previous junkyard owner, crushed the cars and got rid of them once a year

Washington Township passed a junkyard ordinance three years ago. It says, there shall be no expansion in existing junkyards from the effective date of the ordinance nor shall any business extend beyond the boundaries occupied by the junk. There should also be a 30-foot buffer.

The junkyard has been expanded in percent of the area being used and in the construction of a new building.

Engineer Roy Stewart told Patrina at the August supervisors' meeting that the building had received a permit.

It was a year ago that Meixsells first started contacting the township to have them enforce their ordinance.

Zoning officer Justin Yaich says he has to talk to the attorney, but so far nothing has happened.

Meixsells say the cars are driven up the hill so they must have oil and gas which is supposed to be drained before they are stored.

Supervisor Josh Friebolin said Hanna should be cited if he is doing things that were not being done before the new ordinance was passed.

When the TIMES NEWS was out, Yaich had been to the home and said things that made Patrina hopeful they were finally getting help.

A second issue is that stormwater runs downhill from the junkyard and washes dirt into an intersection of Best's Station and Friedens roads. A meeting was held with the Conservation District, Department of Environmental Protection and the township.

Hanna was to present a plan to the Conservation District to control the stormwater, but at the Sept. 7 meeting resident Ed Ziegler said dirt was piled on the road again. That is a PennDOT matter, the township said.

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