Greenbush may take alleged illegal junkyard to court

Posted Oct. 17, 2010, at 11:17 p.m.
Last modified Jan. 29, 2011, at 11:28 a.m.

GREENBUSH, Maine — The town likely will take a Cardville Road resident to civil court in pursuit of administrative hearing costs after the court approved town plans to inspect the resident’s property for junkyard violations, Code Enforcement Officer Jerry Davis said Friday.

Davis already has found enough evidence of what would be legally defined as a junkyard in the resident’s front yard — three junked vehicles — and might find more when he inspects the backyard, he said.

“I had the consent agreement [from the residents] and I had done the inspection when they refused to allow me to look in the back,” Davis said Friday. They could have entered a consent agreement for the backyard “before it went to court and wasted taxpayers’ money,” he added.

The refusal “leads me to believe that there are more violations,” he added. “Even if they do clean it up, we will probably be trying [to recover] court costs.”

The alleged Cardville Road violations constitute the third case Davis has had to take to Lincoln District Court since town leaders deemed fixing blighted properties a priority about a year ago.

In the other two cases, he found cut-up culverts, car parts, mattresses, excessive numbers of propane bottles, tires, junked vehicles — including a torn-apart camper — and mounds of trash on small residential lots at 190 and 198 Military Road, respectively.

The owners of both properties agreed during a pre-court hearing on Oct. 8 that they would clean up their properties within 60 days or face court action, Davis said.

Under state law, violators could face fines of $100 to $2,500 a day on receipt of initial letters advising them of violations if they fail to clear illegal junkyards or devise a plan within 15 days.

Davis had been trying for several months to clear the properties — in one case, for about three years, he has said.

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