Scrap yard forced to close

New­ton Su­pe­rior Court de­clares Jay’s Re­cy­cling a pub­lic nui­sance

The Covington News - - FRONT PAGE - By Rachel Oswald

The scrap metal yard, lo­cated on Rose­berry Road which had be­come a thorn in the side of lo­cal res­i­dents liv­ing near it, has been de­clared a pub­lic nui­sance and or­dered to close by the New­ton County Su­pe­rior Court.

An in­ter­locu­tory or­der from Judge Eu­gene Ben­ton, signed last Fri­day, or­dered Jay’s Re­cy­cling to cease and de­sist its op­er­a­tions im­me­di­ately. Fol­low­ing the judge’s or­der, Jay’s Re­cy­cling owner James Sharp­shair be­gan re­mov­ing the large piles of scrap metal which could be seen three weeks ago tow­er­ing above the ground.

By Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon, the ma­jor- ity of the scrap metal had al­ready been re­moved leav­ing be­hind large swaths of red­dish dirt and a peace­ful­ness which had been miss­ing on Rose­berry Road in the 15 months since Jay’s Re­cy­cling set up shop.

Ac­cord­ing to the or­der, Sharp­shair and his co-de­fen­dant, Wayne Maloney who owns the land used for by Jay’s Re­cy­cling, have been pro­hib­ited from “any and all re­cy­cling, scrap metal or junk­yard busi­ness in­clud­ing but not lim­ited to pur­chas­ing, stor­ing, crush­ing, pil­ing, pro­cess­ing and trans­port­ing scrap met­als, old cars, ap­pli­ances and other com­modi­ties from, to and at 59 and 83 Rose­berry Road.”

Res­i­dents along Rose­berry Road, who had pe­ti­tioned the New­ton County Board of Com­mis­sion­ers to in­ter­vene in the op­er­a­tion of the scrap yard, were elated by the or­der.

“We’re just very ex­cited. We’re very pleased with the judge’s de­ci­sion. We feel like jus­tice has been served,” said Rose­berry Road res­i­dent Paul Autry. “Ev­ery­one on Rose­berry Road is breath­ing a sign of re­lief that this has ended.”

Whether or not Sharp­shair or Maloney will de­cide to ap­peal the or­der is un­clear. Michael Wa­ters, at­tor­ney for Maloney, spec­u­lated that it was a pos­si­bil­ity.

Bob Stans­field, at­tor­ney for Sharp­shair, said he was still re­view­ing the or­der with Maloney and had no com­ment on the pos­si­bil­ity of an ap­peal.

The court or­der found that the county pre­sented con­vinc­ing proof to a rea­son­able de­gree of cer­tainty that the scrap yard con­sti­tuted a sub­stan­tial threat to res­i­dents of New­ton County and was a pub­lic nui­sance be­cause it dam­aged all per­sons who came within the sphere of its op­er­a­tion.

“ The op­er­a­tion

causes the loss of quiet en­joy­ment be­cause of the ex­ces­sive noise,” reads the or­der. “The dust and fumes that spread to the neigh­bor­ing area through the air cre­ates haz­ards for all who come into con­tact with said dust and fumes thereby ren­der­ing en­joy­ment of life and prop­erty un­com­fort­able.”

The or­der found that the de­fen­dants pre­sented no valid ev­i­dence to show con­tin­ual op­er­a­tion of a scrap yard on the prop­erty since 1987.

Lawyers for Sharp­shair and Maloney had largely rested their de­fense on try­ing to prove that there had been a scrap metal yard in con­tin­ual op­er­a­tion on the Maloney prop­erty since the 1960s, there­fore qual­i­fy­ing the prop­erty to be grand­fa­thered into the county’s new zon­ing or­di­nance which would oth­er­wise have pro­hib­ited the op­er­a­tion of a scrap yard in a res­i­den­tial area.

The or­der also found that Jay’s Re­cy­cling had en­larged the use of the prop­erty to cover more land than what was pre­vi­ously oc­cu­pied by the Maloney Ma­chine Shop, some­thing which is not al­lowed un­der a non-con­form­ing use such as what the de­fense was claim­ing the prop­erty con­sti­tuted.

Mandi Singer/The Cov­ing­ton News

Closed gates: The gates of Jay’s Re­cy­cling, lo­cated on Rose­berry Road near Por­terdale, were locked shut Wed­nes­day af­ter­noon as the re­sult of a court or­der to cease and de­sist op­er­a­tions signed into ef­fect last Fri­day. Em­ploy­ees of Jay’s have been busy re­mov­ing the large piles of scrap metal which had ac­cu­mu­lated over the 15- months the busi­ness was in op­er­a­tion.

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