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Archive for Wednesday, December 14, 2011

City sides with residents who say 12th and Haskell Recycling Center violates zoning laws

December 14, 2011

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One of the city’s larger recycling centers is in jeopardy of being shut down by City Hall.

Lawrence city commissioners at their Tuesday evening meeting primarily sided with a group of east Lawrence residents who said the 12th and Haskell Recycling Center is operating in violation of city zoning laws and has become a neighborhood nuisance.

“Who wants to live next to a dump?” asked Byron Wiley, who lives near the recycling business that takes everything from paper to junk cars. “We have a right to enjoy our property both inside and outside, and that is not happening now.”

City commissioners on Tuesday did not issue a formal order for the business to shut down, but it did direct staff members to move forward on enforcement action against the business, which may result in a cease and desist order.

Agitated after Tuesday evening’s meeting, owner Bo Killough said he was immediately closing the facility to all curbside recycling companies and residents who routinely bring their household recycling to the business.

Killough indicated that he would shut out six curbside recycling businesses that routinely use the facility, and he expected that the closing would make recycling in the community more difficult.

The city’s largest curbside recycling operation, run by Deffenbaugh Industries, does not use the facility. Smaller recycling companies, including Curbside Recycle, Sunflower Curbside, Tree Huggers, Ball Recycling, Honey Creek, and Home Recycling Service do use the facility, according to Killough. It wasn’t clear late Tuesday how the operations of those companies would be affected by Killough’s sudden decision.

City commissioners heard more than an hour’s worth of public comment against the operation that included video of car crushing, fires, excavation equipment and other industrial activities taking place at the site.

Commissioners generally expressed concern that such uses were happening right across the street from a neighborhood.

The property is zoned for residential use. But when the property entered the city in 1966, it was home to a salvage business. The business had some rights to continue to exist under a grandfather provision of the code.

But neighbors argue that the property long ago lost its grandfather status and that it has been operating in violation of the city’s zoning code. Killough and his attorney dispute that assertion.

Comments

Richard Heckler 2 years, 4 months ago

According to documents presented last night this location was never a salvage yard per se. It has been a location for auto repair. For decades as an auto repair business the property was maintained to an impeccable level beyond belief. Since Bo arrived the fence has sustained much damage and is falling into disrepair.

This lot never had mountains of material stacked until Bo Killough arrived.

There has not a ton of wrecker traffic or salvage yard traffic until Bo Killough arrived.

What we have here is many code violations and lack of enforcement of the codes. Had Bo operated according to code(s) the city would not be in this position. There is no logic in allowing an operation to remain open that is in violation of multiple codes and has been for some time.

Industrial use is not permitted by code in neighborhoods. Isn't it odd that previous owners did not encounter the same concerns that Bo Killough has brought on himself? Again there is no logic in allowing an operation to remain open that is in violation of multiple codes and has been for some time.

Again what we have here is many code violations and lack of enforcement of the codes. This placed the City Commission is quite a curious position. They would have been well within their authority to issue a cease and desist order based on the facts presented.

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kawryan 2 years, 4 months ago

"A snob is someone who believes that some people are inherently inferior to him or her for any one of a variety of reasons, including real or supposed intellect, wealth, education, ancestry, taste, beauty, nationality, et cetera." -Thanks Wiki

" and even loose another place to clean up their own yards (which are nothing to brag about in that area). Go figure." - none2

Ironic hu?

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none2 2 years, 4 months ago

It just goes to show that east Lawrence has its fair share of snobs. On one hand some of these very same people claim to want to be "green", yet on the other hand, they don't want any serious recycling in their area and St Merrill is even recommending wonderful Walmart! Perhaps he would like Walmart to build a store near him.

Would such snobs care about any other neighborhood? Would they be upset about Lonnie's which is also in a residential neighborhood? I doubt it. Some people actually appreciate having somewhere not far away to recycle. Obviously, not these snobs.

The only thing poisoning the area isn't the Haskell Recycling Center, but rather the toxic snobbery, NIMBY, and hypocritical attitudes of the people there that have nothing better to do than to gripe. The funniest part of it is that Haskell Recycling provides a place for people to clean up their yards and maybe make some money. Yet these snobs would rather loose another business, loose some jobs, and even loose another place to clean up their own yards (which are nothing to brag about in that area). Go figure.

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Richard Heckler 2 years, 4 months ago

A Grandfather Clause must be applied for and/or enacted within a certain time frame in this case. Neither of which took place. Time frame expired.

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Richard Heckler 2 years, 4 months ago

"It's time for someone else to step in and run this operation. "

If it can be operated within the walls of the structure....

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kawryan 2 years, 4 months ago

blindrabbit has a great point!

Those people that live over there that bought their home before 2005 and / or are poor so their kids that play in the city park behind this place deserve to be exposed to toxic waste!

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blue73harley 2 years, 4 months ago

blindrabbit - have you been to this recycling center? It is nothing like Ray's. I went to Ray's to pick parts off '57 Chevys back in the late seventies through early eighties. Not much activity other guys like me banging a knuckle and cussing. They did have a tow lot with trucks going in and out. I remember going to some auto auctions there as well. But there was nowhere near the traffic and noise that there is now. That being said, I really have no dog in this fight. I am just saying it is different now.

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blindrabbit 2 years, 4 months ago

Bullpucky: This site has been a car recycling/recycling center for years; formerly as Ray's Auto Salvage; in fact I hauled my junk 1938 Ford down there in 1956, so I don't understand this "neighborhood" idea. It's not like the houses in the area are maintained very well anyway; and what about the "grandfather" issue. It's like the City is bullying the business owner, just because the City decided to incorporate years ago. By-the-way, the City with it's vehicle maintenance and other operations adjacent to this property does not present a neighborhood quality example anyway.

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Centurion 2 years, 4 months ago

I'm guessing 12th street is closed? I called them today and there was no answer.

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Richard Heckler 2 years, 4 months ago

The 1966 owner provided a taped history and commented on the current situation as well.

Bo Killough was not there until 2003.

According to documents presented last night this location was never a salvage yard per se. It has been a location for auto repair certainly until Bo Killough arrived. This lot never had mountains of material stacked until Bo Killough arrived.

There has not a ton of wrecker traffic or salvage yard traffic until Bo Killough arrived.

What we have here is many code violations and lack of enforcement of the codes.

And Industrial use is not permitted by code in neighborhoods and Bo Killough knew of this and his property is zoned residential which Bo Killough was also aware.

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blue73harley 2 years, 4 months ago

I always go to Lonnie's with my scrap iron. The people there are a lot friendlier and you don't have to drive your truck way back into the yard to dump your scrap. I dropped stuff off at Haskell Recycling a couple of times and didn't like driving into the yard for fear of getting a flat tire or two.

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Staci Dark Simpson 2 years, 4 months ago

WJ and Merrill- So everyone in that hood has lived there since 1966? Would you not say to your self, "Self, I don't think I would like to live next door to a salvage yard. It might be noisy, and dirty, with large trucks and wreckers coming in and out?" Thanks WIndjammer, er, Captain Obvious, but I think the only thing on this board people agree with is that the site has always been some kind of salvage business. I was meaning that not everyone in that neighborhood has lived there since 1966. Unless you lived there before 1966 you would have noticed you were moving in by a salvage yard and you may not like that as a neighbor.

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Richard Heckler 2 years, 4 months ago

"If you didn't want to live by a salvage yard you should have moved elsewhere."

Most of the residents have been there much much longer than Bo Killough. It's time for Bo Killough to move.

Isn't it odd that previous owners did not encounter the same concerns that Bo Killough has brought on himself?

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windjammer 2 years, 4 months ago

spacystaci8 have you not been paying attention. No one is disputing there was a salvage yard there 20 years ago. Are you so spaced out you haven't noticed the word Industrial?

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Staci Dark Simpson 2 years, 4 months ago

Whats even more scary is I have heard of 2 more businesses that have received letters about zoning issues, one of which the city persuaded to move into their current location. The city picks and chooses who to hassle. There has been a salvage business in that location for years. If you didn't want to live by a salvage yard you should have moved elsewhere. This opens the door for the city to "strong arm" anyone they want when they become a nuisance. Be wary, it could be your business or home on the chopping block next.

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Richard Heckler 2 years, 4 months ago

They can take their recycling to Wal-Mart...... I suppose.

Had he operated according to code(s) the city would not be in this position. There is no logic in allowing an operation to remain open that is in violation of multiple codes and has been for some time.

It's time for someone else to step in and run this operation.

The city commission could have ordered city staff to enforce the codes thus shutting the operation down. Then again why should the city commission need to ask city staff to enforce codes that are on the books? This has put the city commission in a rather curious position.

Owner Bo Killough is the primary culprit? Another question comes to mind is why did owner Bo Killough think he could operate against city codes? Owner Bo Killough had to know he has been in violation after all he may be on his third attorney as a result of his multiple code violations.

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Hudson Luce 2 years, 4 months ago

Merrill, "Smaller recycling companies, including Curbside Recycle, Sunflower Curbside, Tree Huggers, Ball Recycling, Honey Creek, and Home Recycling Service do use the facility." Where do they take their stuff now? Deffenbaugh? Their competition? Lawrence could easily end up with an enforced monopoly for recycling.

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Richard Heckler 2 years, 4 months ago

What if any toxic matter is found in the soil and/or running into the neighboring creek the owner should be held responsible for all expenses related to clean up. Plus fines. NOT THE TAXPAYERS!

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Richard Heckler 2 years, 4 months ago

-*"it's going to take six other local businesses down with it" How?

-*"nobody in their right mind will consider starting a recycling business in Lawrence again."

That may not be true. Someone has expressed interest in this location as a neighborhood friendly recycling center only.

-* rezoning to light industrial would not necessarily be acceptable. That opens too many doors depending on the owner(s) over the future years.

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Hudson Luce 2 years, 4 months ago

Just take your recyclables to City Hall, let them figure out what to do with it. Not only does the closing of this scrap yard put it out of business, it's going to take six other local businesses down with it, and nobody in their right mind will consider starting a recycling business in Lawrence again.

The place is probably a Superfund site now as it stands, looking at an aerial view in Google maps, it looks like an industrial area and probably should be zoned as such. The eastern part of the property looks like it had a lot of junk cars on it at one time which have been mostly removed.

Perhaps the answer to the problem would be to get the remaining cars removed from the eastern part of the property to the northern part of the western part of the property, clean up the remaining junk from the eastern part of the property, zone it residential and reclaim it, then have the operator clean up the mess on the remaining part of the property so that it doesn't look like a disorganized junk heap, and have the western part of the property rezoned as light industrial so he could continue to stay in business.

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Richard Heckler 2 years, 4 months ago

City is guilty of not enforcing codes by what authority? This center should cease and desist.

For decades this location was an auto repair business. The property was maintained to an impeccable level beyond belief. Prior to new owner the storage lot to the rear NEVER was full of vehicles or any type of salvage.....NEVER.

The fence now has much damage all of which has been at the behest of the new owner. In general the property is going downhill rapidly

  1. Years of multiple code violations = owner chose to do so = this center should cease and desist. No one necessarily authorized the owner to violate codes.

  2. Violates many aspects of "noise codes"

  3. Violates the property across the street as tire tracks indicate

  4. This is an industrial operation not a commercial operation. Industrial operations are not allowed in neighborhood scenario's.

  5. Since being advised of violations owner has had more than sufficient opportunity to comply however has chosen not to. This center should cease and desist.

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FalseHopeNoChange 2 years, 4 months ago

East Lawrence is a perfect place for a salvage operation.

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bearded_gnome 2 years, 4 months ago

I think my favorite part of the presentation by the neighbors was the recording of the chat with the elderly couple.

the interviewer was quite leading.
the hubby kept interrupting his Mrs.

just missed the popcorn.

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Centerville 2 years, 4 months ago

And pity the taxpayers in Washington DC. They have mandatory recycling and trash checks. Anything in regular trash that could be recycled is thrown on the ground so the whole town is becoming a dump.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 4 months ago

Somehow, reading the past few posts, I get visions of brazilian maternity wards.

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tracey_gold 2 years, 4 months ago

Please help me get this childrens video deleted. My daughter loves lazy town and the maker of this video has created a video that is harmful to children.

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tracey_gold 2 years, 4 months ago

We need more mayors into dadaism.

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gr 2 years, 4 months ago

So is this how Lawrence is fighting "Peak-oil"?

Interesting how this was in the list right after the article on bullying.

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kawryan 2 years, 4 months ago

This comment was removed by the site staff for violation of the usage agreement.

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53girl 2 years, 4 months ago

Oh wait a minute! I have a fabulous idea!! Let's move the recycling place out by the jail so the homeless people with their new shelter won't have to go so far!

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tracey_gold 2 years, 4 months ago

The city is up to something. They want this site shut down for some reason. It is not cause of a couple trashy people who live next to it want it shut down.

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53girl 2 years, 4 months ago

Wow! I was astounded when I read this article! That neighborhood over there is scary; junk in all the yards, including dangerous stuff everywhere. The scrapyard cleaned it up really well when there was an issue regarding the cars being recycled with gas tanks, etc. Have the "powers that be" even bothered to go over there and look at it??

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tracey_gold 2 years, 4 months ago

So where are all the alcoholic homeless men going to get cash for their cans now? I will miss that one guy who yells and talks to him self who always walks past my house with his bag of stolen cans.

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neolib 2 years, 4 months ago

The City may be able to shut it down but as for building on it, as one of the posters said above, the ground has decades of rain soaking mercury and who knows what else into the soil from electronics , so I don't see how a cumbersome EPA remediation could be avoided. Set up noise and visual barriers, have KDHE make sure they aren't contaminating any potable water and let cash keep circulating in the local economy.

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consumer1 2 years, 4 months ago

What??? It was a car/truck junk yard prior to that. Typical whinny Liberal, we want recycling... just not in our neighborhood. Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaaa!!!

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pizzapete 2 years, 4 months ago

Where was the zoning enforcement when someone built a 7 story apartment building with no additional parking added? Where is the zoning enforcement when a developer builds a highrise hotel in a residencial neighborhood? Our zoning rules need to be enforced equally.

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sierraclub 2 years, 4 months ago

Has anyone actually looked at the residential housing in that area? There are junk cars and trash all over that neighborhood. Heck, the recycling center looks better than most of the housings within that area. The neighbors are concerned why?

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irvan moore 2 years, 4 months ago

i have to think the city wants the property to expand the city holdings in the area

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 4 months ago

I wonder who's going to be responsible for the cleanup on that site-- it's pretty clear that operations have been extremely sloppy when it comes to containing various automotive and other fluids.

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just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 2 years, 4 months ago

The city commission really had no choice on this. There is really no defense for the operations that are being conducted there considering the zoning that it has.

And has been pointed out, many, if not most, of the neighbors living there have been there much longer that the current operations on that site have been.

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flux 2 years, 4 months ago

They should be shut down for knowingly buying stolen scrap copper and keeping every junkie and criminal in town in buisness

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Jeff Supernaw 2 years, 4 months ago

So, this wasn't an issue when people moved into the neighborhood, just when they're trying to sell?

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SofaKing 2 years, 4 months ago

Thirdplanet, you should be using "their."

Simple rule: they're is the contracted form of "they are" so if you say "they are tyranny" and it doesn't sound right, use their.

"There" is for when you are saying something like "I went over there."

Example: "They're taking their recyclable goods over there to that junkyard in the middle of a residential area."

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thirdplanet 2 years, 4 months ago

The despotic Republic of Lawrence and they're tyranny of zoning codes is the true one percent'

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thirdplanet 2 years, 4 months ago

Of course if anyone came to the city complaining they're trucks are too loud, the city wouldn't do a thing. But with a stroke of the pen they threaten a mans business and his families lively hood. Even if they don't force him to shut down the poor guy's going to have to spend thousands to hire a lawyer.

Occupy City Hall.

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Steve Jacob 2 years, 4 months ago

"Bo's business had thousands of dollars going out of it daily to those selling scrap. What other business in town hands money out? None!"

That is a good point. I don't see who they are hurting. I don't think they make noise late night. Lot of truck traffic, but you get that in the area anyway with the city garbage trucks nearby anyway.

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oneeye_wilbur 2 years, 4 months ago

Unbelievable decision by the city commission. So, new scenario. Bo closes. City buys the propert;y because it is next to the current city trash department and city facilities. Then city builds more city buildings on the property, turns trash service over to Defenbaugh and the neighbors can then blame the city. It's in the works.

Now really does anyone believe that housing will be built on that site?

If the zoning is not correct, then why isn't the city rezoning the corner? What is the zoning of the adjacent city property?

How soon will the city enforce the blight of the "neighboring' houses ?

What is really strange is that the city and school district take scrap metal to sell at Bo's.

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thirdplanet 2 years, 4 months ago

What job is safe from the city commission. We already have the construction workers out jobs with numerous plans either denied or on hold. You'd think that of all cities, it'd be safe to operate a recycling business here. But under the rule of the despotic Republic of Lawrence and they're tyranny of zoning codes, I guess not.

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