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Published: Thursday, 7/26/2001

Junkyard neighbors seek redress


King of the Road Auto Parts, a salvage yard at 9414 Angola Rd., will face accusations of zoning violations at the Lucas County Common Pleas Court next month.

Several citizens living near the yard have complained that it is an eyesore.

“There's dirt piled up so high that you can't see most of the yard. The owner's supposed to put in a pleasant-looking fence,” said John Ankney of Frankfort Road.

James Meredith has led the township's Citizen's Advisory Committee in demanding that King of the Road improve its operations.

The salvage yard owner, Mark Gorney, “has arrogantly ignored the zoning laws set forth by our township, and has continued to do business in this manner with no regard to the law,” said Mr. Meredith in a press release.

“He never obtains a permit. This man (Mr. Gorney) just came in and bulldozed his way through,” Mr. Meredith said.

Mr. Gorney said he has tried to cooperate with local residents and he does not understand why the township continues to complain.

Mr. Ankney said that King of the Road, along with many of the area's other junkyards, operate outside the law.

King of the Road is on 20 acres in an area with a type of commercial zoning that does not allow salvage yards. The yard is allowed to exist because it was built before the township's zoning plan was complete, but the township says the yard needs permission to grow.

“It's our position that they've expanded the use significantly without a permit,” said David Simko, the township's attorney.

King of the Road also lacks fencing required by the city's codes, said Kenneth Pheils, zoning inspector.

But Mr. Gorney said he has landscaped the property and put up new fencing.

“They wanted a 10-foot fence, so I got a 10-foot fence. Now they say that's too high,” he said.

The trial was originally scheduled for today, but Marshall Guerin, attorney for King of the Road, filed a motion to delay the trial until Mr. Gorney applies for a zoning change. He said Mr. Gorney plans to ask for new zoning that would allow the salvage yard to expand.

The court moved the trial date to Aug. 20.

The citizen's committee was scheduled to hold a meeting Tuesday to inform local residents about King of the Road's alleged misdeeds.

The township is asking the court to force King of the Road to comply with zoning regulations.

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