June 20, 2018
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Rockland man appeals order to stop home business

By Stephen Betts, BDN Staff

ROCKLAND, Maine — The city’s zoning board of appeals will hear a Rockland man’s request Wednesday night to continue to park tow trucks at his home.

Bill Jillson, doing business as Knox County Towing and Recovery, has appealed an order by the code officer to remove tow trucks from his residence. In March, the order stating that the property is located in a residential zone where motor vehicle-related businesses are prohibited, was issued.

The property is located at 38 Lakeview Drive, also known as Route 17. The home is a ranch-style house with an attached 600-square-foot garage.

The code officer looked into the matter following the receipt of an anonymous letter on March 14 from someone who claimed Jillson was running a towing, auto repair and car sales business from the residence.

“I do not pay taxes to smell gas fumes and listen to big trucks and dud cars running all hours of the day and night,” the letter stated.

Code Officer John Root said he investigated the complaint and based on his findings, sent a written notice of violation to Jillson on March 26. Jillson appealed the notice on April 23.

The code officer said Monday that many of the complaints he investigates are spurred by people who send in anonymous letters or calls. The code officer said he does not take action against anyone unless he independently finds a violation.

In this case, the code officer said Jillson advertises the towing and recovery business as operating out of the residential address. He said the tow trucks are stored on the property when not in use and has evidence that towed vehicles have been taken to that site.

Jillson referred telephone calls to his attorney Darby Urey of Rockland. Urey said his client maintains he only parks his wrecker at the home where he lives and does not store vehicles there nor does he do auto repairs at the residence.

In a written response filed with the city, Jillson stated that he simply parks a company vehicle, registered in his name, in his driveway. Jillson stated in his letter to the city that he found it unfathomable that he cannot do that. He said anyone could drive throughout Rockland at night and see numerous company trucks parked in residential driveways.

Root said that no other action has been taken pending the appeal hearing.

The code officer acknowledged that other neighbors have notified his office that they have no problem with his vehicles parked at the residence.

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