Archive for Friday, January 27, 2012

City again orders recycling center to clean up property

Owner says he’s working with neighbors on noise, odor and other complaints

Representatives of 12th and Haskell Recycling Center, including owner Bo Killough, left, met with residents of the Brook Creek Neighborhood on Wednesday to discuss changes in operations on the property in this Aug. 2010 file photo.

Representatives of 12th and Haskell Recycling Center, including owner Bo Killough, left, met with residents of the Brook Creek Neighborhood on Wednesday to discuss changes in operations on the property in this Aug. 2010 file photo.

January 27, 2012


A battle over the future of an east Lawrence recycling center that neighbors contend is operating as an illegal salvage yard could continue into March or April, City Hall leaders said this week.

Officials with the city’s planning office have delivered a new letter of violation that orders the 12th and Haskell Recycling Center to eliminate by Monday much of its outdoor storage of old cars, scrap metal and other materials.

Lawrence attorney Brad Finkeldei said his client intends to appeal the violation notice to the city’s Board of Zoning Appeals, which likely won’t be prepared to hear the issue until March or April. City code requires that enforcement action be suspended pending the outcome of the appeal.

The owner of the 12th and Haskell Recycling Center, though, said he’ll continue to try to work with neighbors to resolve their concerns related to noise, odor and the general appearance of the property.

“We need to get the neighbors over here so they can really see our property,” said Bo Killough, who has operated the center since 2003. “I think there is some misconception about what we’re doing.”

Killough, for example, said neighbors complained of noise and odor problems between Christmas and New Year’s, but he said his business was not operational during that time. Instead, he thinks some of the noise and odor issues bothering neighbors are coming from the city’s Sanitation Division, which parks all of its trash trucks just north of his business.

“I think somebody needs to see how much noise the city is producing,” Killough said. “Before everybody blames everything on me, people need to take a closer look.”

Killough said he plans to host a meeting with neighbors in the next three to four weeks.

Neighbors, though, said they have documentation — video and audio recordings — that demonstrate how disruptive the business is to the neighborhood.

“It is pretty awful,” said Andrea Repinsky, who lives near the site. “It really takes away my ability to enjoy a peaceful home. It is just a constant stream of noise coming from the salvage yard.”

Repinsky said several neighbors don’t believe the city’s latest violation notice goes far enough in solving the problems. The notice states the business only will be allowed to have “limited palletized or containerized exterior storage.” But the notice doesn’t spell out how much outside storage would be allowed.

Scott McCullough, city director of planning and development services, said it is difficult for his office to an exact square footage restriction on the amount of exterior storage allowed.

But McCullough said the amount will have to be significantly less than a previously submitted site plan that showed the back half of the property being cleared of exterior storage but allowing metal, vehicle and other scrap storage on the front half of the property.

Ultimately, McCullough said the business will need to operate more in line with a description that was given to the department in 2003, when Killough was confirming that his new business would be legal. That description characterized the business as “purchasing returned or rejected housewares and outdoor appliances and furniture from distributors, and salvaging such items to reassemble and sell.”

That is different than what the city is seeing now, McCullough said.

“The current operations have a salvage yard element to it,” he said.

The business is operating on property that currently is zoned for residential uses. But the business is allowed to operate, Killough contends, because the property has a long history as legal “nonconforming use” from its days as a yard for an auto towing company. But neighbors contend that the property sat vacant long enough that it has lost its ability to operate with such industrial uses.

The Board of Zoning Appeals will consider many of those arguments when it hears the case. After the Board of Zoning Appeals, the case can be appealed to Douglas County District Court.


repaste 6 years, 2 months ago

Andrea is on the Sustainability Advisory Board, and wants to close the recycling center?

Richard Heckler 6 years, 2 months ago

There are no misconceptions. The owner is operating industrial on property zoned residential simple as that. Not anything like the business that opened its' doors as a small retailer.

Lawyers get out of the way please.....

pace 6 years, 2 months ago

Glock is obsessed and his mama didn't bother teaching him manners.

slbartlett01 6 years, 2 months ago

The recycle center closes at five too and only operates on Sat till 1am and never starts any machine before 8am unlike the trash trucks that start WAY earlier

windjammer 6 years, 2 months ago

Look at the picture and tell me that is a recycle center. Looks like a toxic, industrial salvage yard to me.

windjammer 6 years, 2 months ago

No, they are in Bo's sidepouch disguised as a phone carrier. The only thing green about this toxic, industrial salvage yard is Bo's bracelet. There could also be toxic plants growing on the back part of the property in the toxic dirt which is feeding Brook Creek when it rains. Hope this helped clear things up for you. Would love for you to come by and test the soil.

littlexav 6 years, 2 months ago

taxpayer dollars, hard at work. why can't people just follow the rules?!?

shadowlady 6 years, 2 months ago

Has anyone ever drove by "Lonnie's Recycling" ??????

somebodynew 6 years, 2 months ago

Has anyone filed any complaints ???? Plus, I don't think Lonnie's takes some of the things this place does. I could be wrong as I haven't been there lately.

Plus if I read the stories correctly, this guy has expanded what he was doing by a great deal from when he was allowed to open.

Cant_have_it_both_ways 6 years, 2 months ago

The neighbors should be good neighbors and keep their noses in their own business.

Brook_Creek_Resident 6 years, 2 months ago

What happens in and around Brook Creek Neighborhood IS our business. Perhaps Bo should consider being a good neighbor.

Brook_Creek_Resident 6 years, 2 months ago

Pretty bad when HazMat has to show up. They're here now. WTF has Bo done this time?


slbartlett01 6 years, 2 months ago

NO hazmat was not there today. that is a flat out lie! The fire deparment and pd was called by the neighbors who had no clue what was happening and it was a semi drivers fault (NO CONNECTION TO 12TH & Haskell) You need to get your stories straight before it turns into slander. PS anybody not believing this can get the police report 12th and Haskell was ruled to NOT BE AT FAULT for any of this

Brook_Creek_Resident 6 years, 2 months ago

That semi has a total connection to the recycle center. It left there and damaged a culvert at the corner of 12th and Laura and the neighbors have photos to prove it. It should never had tried to drive through the neighborhood. And when there is a pool of liquid on your street and it smells of chemicals, you kind of have to wonder what it is.

slbartlett01 6 years, 2 months ago

No it did not that's why their name was not on it. The driver should be held responsible for the culvert not 12th and Haskell. And if you thought the "pool of liquid" smelled like chemicals you need to get your sniffer checked. Like I said check the police report. 12TH & HASKELL WAS NOT AT FAULT!!!! Too many people rely on this business as their only source of income (not just the employees) and think of all the damage you will do to Lawrence's economy if you take that away.

Brook_Creek_Resident 6 years, 2 months ago

Think of all the damage you're doing violating city code. What makes you so special?

windjammer 6 years, 2 months ago

Once the driver pulls onto your scales he is the responsibility of the toxic,illegal, industrial salvage yard untill he rescales and leaves. There is no room to turn a truck around so the truck has to illegaly drive in a residental neighborhood off the truck route. And what do you think the neighbors should do get on the ground and sniff the liquid? Your record speaks for itself and we don't trust Bo or the toxic,illegal,industrial salvage yard. Move it to Bo's award winning farm or just go away as in far away.

Brook_Creek_Resident 6 years, 2 months ago

Actually, Hazmat WAS there, according to the incident report. So please don't accuse me of lying. You need to get your story straight before you accuse me of libel (you need to understand the difference between libel and slander).

windjammer 6 years, 2 months ago

Lies is what the neighbors have been hearing from the toxic, industrial salvage yard front office for years.

windjammer 6 years, 2 months ago

Bo has untill Monday to eliminate much of the storage of old cars on his toxic, industrial salvage yard. That would be the reason for the last few days he is accepting them by the semi truck load and unloading them with metal track loader with lugs on a city street.

slbartlett01 6 years, 2 months ago

There has never been a semi unloaded on a city street.

Kyle Chandler 6 years, 2 months ago

What are you? Last nights tween erection? are you 13 and 'hate mom and dad'? I understand man, i was totally young once too

Richard Heckler 6 years, 2 months ago

The operation is in violation. It has been cited previously. It is also a polluter.

For several years, 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) and as the original retail center 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. Once again it is zoned residential.

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 the City Commission would have been well within their authority to issue a cease and desist order based on the documented evidence presented by members of the Brook Creek Neighborhood Association.

gl0ck0wn3r 6 years, 2 months ago

"Speculation tells me..."

Funny on so many levels.

windjammer 6 years, 2 months ago

Another brillant post with no input on the subject.

BruceWayne 6 years, 2 months ago

Will it take another murder by Amyx and his minions ( MagnaGro ) to get this place shut down?

Lawrence Burton 6 years, 2 months ago

  1. This location has been a business for at least 20 years that I remember. This business is making money, paying taxes, recycling and providing jobs. What more could a city or community want. It just like the homeless shelter everybody wants it to move from downtown but nobody wants it close to them. How about the people who are burdened by the KU football traffic every fall, should we make KU shut down Memorial stadium. Lawrence High has a high noise level, creates parking problems in the street, and operates after 5pm on game nights. Should we shut them down? So I say just suck it up and deal with it. I hear that Home depot has insulation on sell. LB

Boston_Corbett 6 years, 2 months ago

Let's see..... comparing an industrial waste processor to a KU football game. Hmmm. What could possibly be wrong with this comparison.

Richard Heckler 6 years, 2 months ago

An industrialized recycling center was never approved at this location.... never.

May I suggest that all the supporters invite 12th Street Recycling to their backyard with all the violations that come with....

Tricky Gnosis 6 years, 2 months ago

Here's a guy who has been providing a service for decades. The neighbors are like people who move under the flight path and complain about the plane noise. Shouldn't have been a surprise, guys.

I also must point out how Lawrencians LOVE recycling and "green industries" until they see one up close. Then they become about five years old and start yelling "ooooh, yucky!"

You want jobs to stay in America? Get used to some of them not being pretty. Not everyone's an architect or a techie or a professor. If you're going to have a good life, someone else has to get their yard dirty.

Kyle Chandler 6 years, 2 months ago

+1 Im far from a conservative, or a liberal ....but this is EXACTLY the problem with Lawrence most times, faux liberals making the rest of the free-thinking town look bad in front of neo-cons, great job again guys. This is hilarious beyond words.

Brook_Creek_Resident 6 years, 2 months ago

The problem with your analogy to planes and flight paths is that the planes are permitted to fly in the flight path. Bo is not permitted BY CODE to do what he is doing. Do you understand why we have city and zoning codes in the first place?

windjammer 6 years, 2 months ago

I will give slbartlett 01 the straight story and you are the one flat out telling the lie. I followed the truck in from the south and it was not dripping a thing. He could not turn into the toxic, industrial salvage yard. Employees were washing a piece of junk and then a front loader came out on the street and loaded it on the trailer. The truck left the scales dripping fluids and breaking the box culvert at 12th and Laura. Dripped fluids all around the block back to the toxic, industrial salvage yard. Don't threaten the neighbors with slander as you are the ones giving false information to the police. Are we watching you? That would be a big "YES" with video cameras pointed your way.

matahari 6 years, 2 months ago

I have been on the fence about this issue for some time, and have refrained from comment until I am convnced that more information is available. I live in the vicinity. I have heard rumour of atrocities, but it IS a recycling for the fence, boo hoo~ I don't think I'd care much for the owner if I met him, but it sure is convenient having a center so close to home, although I cannot prove a thing, I note a lot of lawrence citizens use the site for both profit and "believed proper codes are followed.

I have noticed some health issues that are personal, and no way to accurately put the blame anywhere, until I am more informed. Also, why if it's not a business zoned area is there a black hair care shop @ 13th and Haskell? Anyone know where the line stops and starts? On a minor side note I have worked in the hair care industry and can tell you that a lot of toxic chemicals are both air and water born from such a business... Also, a small footnote, how much fuel is burned (air pollution etc) taking our recyclables to another company? I am not sure anyone can calculate.

I don't care (really) if it stays or goes. One thing I am sure, someone stands to profit by a change. City or private entity.

I just wish the city and the owner can provide some real solid statistics so that we are able to develop and informed decision. (lord only knows how much that would cost, and as we all know stats are scewed or indecipherable. Seems to me "stay or go" is going to boil down to money and power, as is most every thing.

My uniformed guess, is that "yes, the owner violted some, maybe many rules, and that yes, the city wants the property for city use. Any doubts on both of those thoughts?

Brook_Creek_Resident 6 years, 2 months ago

No doubts, just facts. As far as I know the city has no interest in that property. The neighbors were the ones who brought the violations to the attention of the city several years ago. And once the city commission heard (and saw) the extent of the violations, they directed staff to enforce the original Notice of Violation FROM MAY 4, 2010! That's how long Bo has been milking this thing. And now he says he wants to meet with neighbors in 3-4 weeks? LOL.

You can certainly read the minutes from the 12/13/11 city commission meeting to become more informed. Sadly, there is not a link to the video of that meeting any more. Not sure why. But the facts are out there, just not so much in the newspaper.

windjammer 6 years, 2 months ago

You have completly missed the point. The hair care shop and I don't know why you would call it a black haircare shop as they probably do brown hair also. That shop applied for a permit and has done everything right including being a good neighbor. The Bo shop applied for a permit and has gone so far beyond what he was permitted to do it is a blight on the neighborhood. It is time for the city to step and enforce the codes. If I were to apply for a permit for a sandwich shop could I then start a hog farm on the same property to get my ham? Send Bo back to his award winning farm.

HelenaBertinelli 6 years, 2 months ago

This looks to me like a classic case of Not In My Back Yard (NIMBY) syndrome. It's nice to have recycling centers but it sucks to live close to one. If this is the case, and the center has really done nothing wrong, then it would be pretty messed up for the city, as suggested by matahari, to shut them down so that the property can be used for city purposes. I suppose the outcome of the pending appeal will show, at least in the eyes of the city, whether or not a violation actually occurred.

Kyle Chandler 6 years, 2 months ago

I am DYING to see this 'video' evidence, or photos, or audio whatever. If such evidence exists and you are such a CONCERNED citizen with your fellow neighborhood brook creek association THEN PLEASE, you can obviously post to youtube to show everyone right????

please link me up. there is no excuse

if you can comment on this website you can surely post to youtube, i'll help you out if you want.

Kyle Chandler 6 years, 2 months ago

still waiting for the links to the 'videos' ANYONE? ANYONE?

Brook_Creek_Resident 6 years, 2 months ago

I'll see what I can do this weekend. The easiest accessible A/V presentation would be the presentation made at city commission, but they seem to have taken that link down. The minutes of the meeting are still up, however. What people don't seem to understand is that Bo is operating illegally and the city commission ordered staff to cite him for numerous violations. Most people posting here don't understand the city and development codes, however, so they think we're just a bunch of NIMBY whiners.

This story will be in the archives by the time I can get anything posted, so I have created a Facebook page (Brook Creek Resident) to direct people to videos posted on YouTube. Please be patient...I have a busy weekend ahead.

(Are you related to Marcia, by any chance?)

Brook_Creek_Resident 6 years, 2 months ago

Your question was answered at the city commission meeting on Dec 13th. There is a lot of information that was presented that has not been reported. Only so many column inches allowed, I guess.

Richard Heckler 6 years, 2 months ago

The hair salon moved into the location that once was a camera shop.

Commercial code seems to be a case by case issue. The neighborhood welcomed the Hair Salon to the hood.

Prior to the hair salon and after the camera shop the owner of property violated the approved site plan. Then allowed a toxic chemical operation to move in. One of the questions that did come to mind is how in the world did the property owner sneak by the city inspectors? Was the blind eye in operation?

Why is it neither city hall nor the city commissioners will force compliance once violations are discovered at least in this case? How prevalent are site code violations? The property owner seemed confident that compliance was not an issue.

The property owner was approached by the hood. The City Commission was asked to stand by the site plan. The toxic chemical operator had to leave because the building was simply not designed for such an operation. Fortunately for the hood the hair salon owner decided to relocate her operation and brought the building into compliance. The business is doing well and the owner is quite a nice person = win win win for the hood.

Richard Heckler 6 years, 2 months ago

12th Street recycling appears to blow off compliance once legal counsel is called in which makes this current matter a repeat performance.

Why does city hall not follow up on these matters to insure compliance? 12th street recycling is the violator not the neighborhood. How does 12 Street recycling get away with ignoring City Hall and a variety of regulations attached to such a business?

I surmise if 12th Street Recycling is allowed to remain in operation City Hall will be asked to revisit the situation as history is documenting as we speak.

Flap Doodle 6 years, 2 months ago

"...history is documenting as we speak..." LOLZ! (from many, many, many, many, many, many sources)

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