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Letters to the Editor

Code enforcement

December 17, 2011


To the editor:

According to documents presented, 12th Street Recycling 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. Since 12th Street Recycling arrived, the fence has sustained much damage and is falling into disrepair.

This lot never had mountains of material stacked until 12th Street Recycling arrived. There was not a ton of wrecker traffic or salvage yard traffic until 12th Street Recycling arrived.

What we have here is many code violations and lack of enforcement of the codes. Had 12th Street Recycling operated according to code(s), this entire matter would not be news. 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 12th Street Recycling has brought on itself?

Once again, what we have here is many code violations and lack of enforcement of the codes. This placed the City Commission in quite a curious position. Speculation tells me they would have been well within their authority to issue a cease and desist order based on the extraordinary presentation by members of the Brook Creek Neighborhood Association.


windjammer 4 years, 1 month ago

What we have here is a illegal industrial salvage yard operating against several city codes in a neighborhood. A city that has not enforced those codes but must start doing so now. A owner that thinks he can step on anyones toes he wants without negative feedback. A owner that misled the city at his request for the first permit. Bo must be stopped now and be forced to abide to all city codes. One suggeston for Bo. He could move this operation to his award winning farm in Douglas County.

Tony Holladay 4 years, 1 month ago

I remember back in the 70's Hillcrest Wrecker used to lease part of the lot. We used to play in the cars when we were kids. Many a time we were chased out of there by a wrecker driver. Atleast I thought it was Hillcrest. And think Mr. Ray had a wrecker also. I was thinking the city had purchased some land to the north in the late 70's or early 80's. From what I remember it took a decent size chunk out of the nonexistent salvage yard. But anyways since the boom in recycling, I have noticed that the activity has picked up there tremendously. It's not the quiet little auto repair/salvage yard it used to be. I can't blame the neighbors for complaining.

jhawk_36 4 years, 1 month ago

This land that is now used as a recycle yard was and has been a storage lot and salvage yard long before most of the current nabors moved in.. Recycle yards are not industrial salvage yards, althought they do have the tendency to cause a bad view for the naborhood around them they can a could do more to protect the surounding propertys from unwanted trash. the Ray family operated a repair and salvage bussiness in that spot for many many years when they closed the property to the north was sold to the city bit this property has always been used as a wrecker/repair operation till the current owner made the move to running a fullblown recycle facility. with the current economy and money short and scape metal bringing a high price so brings the high traffic

Stephen Roberts 4 years, 1 month ago

I thought Richard was big on recycling and wanted everyone to go go green. Oh wait. he does but as long as these companies are not by his house!!! NIMBYism at it best.

gl0ck0wn3r 4 years, 1 month ago

Ftw. He is also probably upset that tax dollars aren't being used. Perhaps he can start some sort of advisory board.

windjammer 4 years, 1 month ago

You jhawk_36 need to read the city codes. I will explain them to you. Rays was operating under a no conforming use permit. Once a non conforming use business closes for 6 months it can never be opened again as a non conforming buisness. The reason it is a non conforming business is because it is in a coded residental zone. Bo should not have ever been allowed to expand for what he was permitted. He is violating numerous codes that city needs to enforce. Violations include, operating a nuisance, noise, dust, toxic fumes, floodplain violations, open land use, operating in a residental zone. You state recycle yards are not industrial salvage yards and you are correct untill they morpf to a industrial yard.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 1 month ago

The city commission essentially turned this over to city staff to deal with, presumably neighborhood resources. It would appear that 12th St. Recycling has never been in compliance, so a cease and desist order is likely just a matter of time.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 1 month ago

The city commission essentially turned this over to city staff to deal with, presumably neighborhood resources. It would appear that 12th St. Recycling has never been in compliance, so a cease and desist order is likely just a matter of time.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 1 month ago

Looks like another "double posting" day at the JW forums.

Ron Holzwarth 4 years, 1 month ago

I think that the problem is that the LJWorld website sometimes takes so long to respond that it appears to not be working. Then, if you click again, bingo, you've double posted.

At least, that seems to be my experience.

just_another_bozo_on_this_bus 4 years, 1 month ago

That has occasionally happened to me, but not this time.

windjammer 4 years, 1 month ago

Brook Creek has been to the city complaning many times. That is why they went to the city commission. The city turned away and would hardly listen to complaints. Their complaints are more than valid. The license was not renewed for several years so the property should have been returned to residental.

Tony Holladay 4 years, 1 month ago

I don't know the time frame of when the city purchased part of the property but are they in violation also? Don't bash me. Just asking.

Chris Scafe 4 years, 1 month ago

Bo is a one percenter trampling on the 99.

JayhawkFan1985 4 years, 1 month ago

the underlying problem in this city with codes is their approach of only responding to complaints rather than city staff being proactive in identifying violations themselves and working with property owners to resolve violations. This is why some neighborhoods in town look better than others.

The police on patrol should be aiding code enforcement. They have eyes. These are city ordinances that are being broken just like speeding.

ForThePeople 4 years, 1 month ago

I totally agree. I have been practically begging the city to follow through with code enforcement procedures dealing with a house/property on my street that has been in a SEVERELY blighted condition going on 4 years now. The owner has fought every step of the way and has gone so far as to place an RV in the driveway to live in since the city finally condemned the house. I'm beyond fed up with the nonsense and wish the city would just do what is necessary to have the house demolished. I would much rather have an empty lot on my street than the "junkyard" that is currently there!

windjammer 4 years, 1 month ago

I wonder why the Brook Creek folks went to the city when all they had to do was ask oneeye he seems to have all the answers. Ho Ho Ho and a Bo Bo Bo

pace 4 years, 1 month ago

I am big on recycling. I find the city restricting recycling to what is heavy industry is outdated. I do think 12 st. recycling has made serious mistakes and the neighbors are rightly offended.

I also think the city planning office should adjust the code to allow a business to have a clear idea how to meet reasonable code requirement. The city code basically requires any recycling center to reach heavy industrial standards. Most modern communities have adjusted the zoning requirements. NOT Lawrence.

windjammer 4 years, 1 month ago

Please tell me which modern communities have adjusted codes so that a industrial business could be located in a residental neighborhood. Do you really think running a heavy duty track loader less than 100 feet from a home is permissable? Windows rattling and floors vibrating. Six semi trucks lined up on the street in the summer running the motor all night to sleep in the air conditioned cab? Why have a residental code if you are going to adjust it to heavy industrial?

pace 4 years, 1 month ago

I was not suggesting you did not have a problem. I am sorry you misunderstood my point. There are a variety of codes developed that define how a recycling center should be screened and operated. I know of many legally zoned businesses next to homes. There seems to be a poor traffic plan at 12th. st. and it is compounded by poor management.

Richard Heckler 4 years ago

City Hall does not keep enough staff to support code enforcement. City Commissioners offer up all types of enforceable codes but never offer up money and staff for code enforcement.

Enforceable Codes without budgeting in Code Enforcement is defacto deregulation.

Site plan enforcement is non existent. So when the most important stakeholders in Lawrence,Kansas aka taxpayers think they have won a battle surrounding a site code violation don't bet on it. Words come easy as do drawings on paper but follow up and enforcement not so easy. Constant and persistent observation cannot take a break no matter what.

Think a new project is following the approved site code ....... don't bet on it. Stakeholders such as neighborhoods cannot take a break. Must always keep one eye open 24/7.

Flap Doodle 4 years ago

I'd swear that I just saw the exact same post on another thread of this award-winning website.

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