10/30/13 North Walnut Street resident Joe Franko appeared a bit agitated Monday night when he appeared before the Plymouth Common Council. This is not the first time Franko has been before a city board trying to address an issue in his neighborhood. Mayor Mark Senter said, “He is not satisfied with the answers he has received from the Board of Zoning Appeals.”
For the past 4 and a half to five years the owners of the property at 716 North Plum Street have apparently been operating a vehicle dismantling operation shipping vehicles to Honduras. Franko said most Sundays they are “working” on vehicles in the garage and on the property. During a BZA meeting it was spelled out that the property was zoned single family residential even though it’s a commercial type building.
The issue appears first to need a determination by the city if the property is being used as a business rather than just the owners’ working on their own vehicles and such.
In June Felipe Zalaya appeared before the Plymouth Board of Zoning Appeals seeking a special use to build two duplexes on one lot. He explained that he and his brother Ronal and Hernandez Javier purchased the property five years ago with the realtor telling them it was industrial zoned so they had wanted to run a salvage business there. Learning that it was zoned residential the trio came up with the idea of duplexes. After detailed drawings with a contractor attending the meeting the BZA approved the request for a special use exception. Zalaya said he would expect construction to being in 180 days or so.
No demolition of the current garage nor construction has begun at the site. Franko said, “I’m tired of this continuing going on!”
Mayor Senter asked for two council members to create a committee to work on the issue. Councilman Wayne Smith and Councilman Duane Culp volunteered to work with the building commissioner, BZA board and Franko on the issue and try to resolve the issue of rather a business is operating at the North Plum Street location or if it’s just the owners of the property working on their vehicles. Senter said, “If we have to shut them down and lock their door that’s what we’ll do.”
If found in violation of the city ordinance they would be sent a notification letter and given 15 days to stop. If the violations continued they would be assessed a $200 fine and another 15 day notice to stop. Building Inspector Keith Hammonds said, after that the fine is $200 per day per violations.
Both Culp and Smith gave their personal phone numbers to Franko and asked to be contacted when he saw the men working on vehicles at the locations.