December 4, 2015
Last night the hearing for a Special Use Permit for a Junkyard at the corner of Hwy 83 S and Edwards Rd. was held. Here are some facts that were revealed by Sackie Seabourn, who runs the junkyard, and/or the P&Z staff or board members:
- Even though Mr. Seabourn had been in business since June or July, he did not obtain a license until 9/3/15, and that license is for a towing business.
- The land in question to be rezoned is in a ground water recharge area for Jasper County.
- There is a stream within 150 feet of the back side of the property.
- There are at least 200 junk vehicles on the site now.
- The vehicles are stored before the fluids are drained. Antifreeze is drained, but fuel stays in vehicles until they are removed from the site.
- There has been no fencing installed, nor any attempt to screen the vehicles from public view as required by State Law, even though the business has been in operation for approximately 6 months.
- Seabourn said he usually took vehicles to Conyers to be crushed and sold for scrap, but since prices for scrap had gone down so much he was just storing the vehicles, waiting for the price to go up.
- Seabourn advertises online, not as a towing service, but as “Junk-My-Ride.”
- Seabourn ran a similar operation in Jenkinsburg on rented property without any permits.
- Carlton ran a scrap yard, but all scrap was immediately sent off.
Mr. Holman of the P&Z Board then told Mr. Seabourn that any auto salvage yard, which is what he was running, that had more than 50 vehicles, had to have a permit from EPD, which Mr. Seabourn did not have.
Questions by the Public and P&Z members:
- What will happen in the future at the site? With so many junk cars will the land values be lowered?
- Why hasn’t P&Z shut down this site if they haven’t complied with the law?
- What is the potential health hazard with contamination of ground water?
- What happens to the property and cars if Mr. Seabourn leaves? Who is responsible to clean it all up?
- If approved, how many cars would be allowed to be stored?
- What is done with the fluids and how are we assured no fluids (gas, transmission fluid, antifreeze, etc.) are seeping into the ground and the water?
Recommendation by the P&Z Board
It appeared that if all the state and county requirements had been met before going into business, and an EPD permit obtained, the board could possibly approve the application. However, with this area being a ground water recharge area and the fluids are not removed from the vehicles, and Mr. Seabourn never followed the law getting permits, the motion was made to DENY the special use permit based on the information presented. The board agree to DENY the application 5-0.
This same application will be heard again on Monday, December 7, 2015 at 6:00PM by the Jasper County BOC. They can accept the recommendation of the P&Z Board or do something altogether different.
Citizens, be informed and stay informed! Only by being informed can the citizens understand what is being done and talked about, and then press our officials to make good decisions for everyone in Jasper County. That is our goal with the Taxdogs blog.