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Township enforcing tougher junk car law

May 17, 2002|BY RICHARD F. BELISLE

waynesboro@herald-mail.com

WAYNESBORO, Pa. - Prompted by an increasing number of complaints, the Washington Township Supervisors are starting to enforce their ordinance governing junked cars and auto salvage yards, the township's zoning enforcement officer said Wednesday.

Jerry Zeigler said the supervisors have been patient with scofflaws but now are ready to take action. One case is heading to court in June, and the township is keeping an eye on three other properties.

A long-standing case against George "Billy" Nicholas of Blue Ridge Summit, Pa., is heading to Common Pleas Court June 3, Zeigler said.

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The township officially notified Nicholas that his six-acre property at the intersection of Pennersville and Tower roads was in violation two years ago. The supervisors issued a citation against Nicholas through the District Justice's office, but Nicholas filed for bankruptcy, Zeigler said.

When he failed to live up to the mandates of the bankruptcy, the case was thrown out, Zeigler said. The township followed up by issuing another citation against Nicholas ordering him to clean up his junk. Nicholas filed for bankruptcy again but this time the bankruptcy judge agreed to leave the township out of the case, paving the way for the municipality to move forward with its criminal case against Nicholas, Zeigler said.

On June 3, the township will ask the Common Pleas Court judge for permission to clean up Nicholas's property at his expense plus a 10 percent penalty, Zeigler said.

"He has all kinds of junk there - appliances, vehicles, a concrete mixer, trucks, even some cranes," Zeigler said. "We've been trying to get him to comply for years."

The township has a similar problem with Bruce Neibert Jr. and his father, Bruce Neibert Sr., for property owned by Neibert Sr. on Pa. 316 south of Waynesboro.

According to Zeigler, Neibert Jr. has a license to run an auto salvage yard on the land his father owns.

"The problem is the junk has overflowed beyond the boundaries of the junkyard," Zeigler said.

The township has taken legal action against the Neiberts, he said. The supervisors have agreed to give them an extension to May 31 to clean up their property or face fines of up to $500 a day.

The Neiberts have been making progress on cleaning up their property, Zeigler said. The supervisors also gave an extension to Randy Fridinger, owner of an auto repair shop on Woodring Lane east of Waynesboro.

In 1997, Fridinger applied for and was given an exception to the township's zoning ordinance that allowed him to operate his business. At the same time, Fridinger agreed to have no more than three licensed vehicles that he was working on on the property at a time and no more than five unlicensed vehicles for parts, Zeigler said.

The supervisors were ready to take Fridinger to court, but he came in and promised to clean up the junk and unlicensed vehicles on his property. He, too, is under deadline to comply or face fines, Zeigler said.

Also cited was Jason Kauffman of Iron Bridges Road for keeping too many unlicensed vehicles on his property. The supervisors agreed to give Kauffman an extension to Aug. 15, at his request, to build a structure to house his vehicles.

Nicholas and Fridinger declined to comment Wednesday.

"The supervisors want to work with people to get the township cleaned up," Zeigler said.

"We realize that keeping an unregistered vehicle on the property is important to some people and as long as it complies it's OK, but they have to follow the law," he said.

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