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Hurricane Sandy Vehicle Storage Site (NJ) in News


Hurricane Sandy Vehicle Storage Site (NJ) in News

Old 02-06-2013, 06:17 AM
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Default Hurricane Sandy Vehicle Storage Site (NJ) in News

Burlington County township levies fine over flood-damaged vehicles

Jan Hefler, Inquirer Staff Writer

Posted: Wednesday, February 6, 2013, 6:50 AM

Soon after Hurricane Sandy struck, about 3,500 flood-damaged cars, trucks, boats, and other watercraft were hauled to a 40-acre field in northern Burlington County.

Convoys of car carriers and flatbed trailers brought the vehicles to the Mansfield Township site to be appraised, retitled, and resold to used-car dealers and salvage operators.

But now, the property owner faces a $500-a-day fine, retroactive to Nov. 20, for storing the cars and other vehicles without township approval. A court date has been set for March 7.

Township officials say Vanco Trailer Manufacturing created an eyesore on the site, at the gateway to the rural community. Next to the property are a giant landfill, the Burlington County Resource Recovery Complex, and an entrance to I-295.

Karl Massaro Jr., the owner, said he had no "second thoughts that we couldn't put cars there," since the property holds a factory and was once used to store as many as 200 tractor-trailers.

Massaro's comments came at a zoning board hearing Monday evening to review the issues.

Michael O'Grodnick, one of Vanco's lawyers, promised that the vehicles would be sold or removed within 90 days and that the grounds and soil would be restored.

"This is due to Hurricane Sandy. Over 70,000 cars were damaged. . . . This is just a temporary, emergency situation," he said.

But the board unanimously voted against giving Vanco permission to keep the vehicles on the land even temporarily, forcing the company to work with township zoning officer Robin Bucchi to resolve violation citations.

Bucchi said Vanco should have checked with her before leasing the property for an unapproved use.

"No one came to us and said, 'Hey, we want to use this site for flood relief,' " she said. Had the landowner and lessee of the property done that, she said, township officials might have worked with them to help with the emergency.

The lessee is Copart, a Texas company that buys and sells salvaged vehicles and holds online auctions. Copart is also leasing space in Hillsborough and Old Bridge to receive an overflow of flood-damaged vehicles.

On Nov. 20, Bucchi cited Vanco for violations. When she saw Copart bringing in more car carriers full of vehicles two weeks ago, she issued a "cease and desist" order.

"They have ignored us," she said. She is giving Vanco 30 days to remove all the vehicles.

The zoning officer in Hillsborough also issued violation notices to Copart and another Massaro company, Hercules Enterprise, for failing to obtain approvals to store vehicles in the Somerset County community.

In Mansfield, many of the vehicles have already been removed and about 2,400 remain, according to O'Grodnick.

Mayor Arthur Puglia said the sea of vehicles "makes the town look like a junkyard." He said he was also worried about potential gasoline and antifreeze leaks, especially since some residents use wells.

State Department of Environmental Protection inspectors, however, had found no spills or environmental issues at the site as of Monday, spokesman Larry Ragonese said.

"There have been no problems with pollution, hazardous waste, or water runoff," he said.

The New Jersey Division of Consumer Affairs also is monitoring the sale of flood-damaged cars to protect buyers. Sellers who do not disclose the damage face a fine of $10,000.


Last edited by Scabby Jack; 02-06-2013 at 06:19 AM.
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Old 02-06-2013, 06:23 AM
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Looks like a Corvair convertible.
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Old 02-06-2013, 06:49 AM
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Towns have nothing better to do
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Old 02-06-2013, 06:58 AM
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Nothing like trying to help out in a emergency situation & the county has to give the land owner a hard time, really gets me its next to a DUMP who really cares!! Out wonderful government at its finest.
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Old 02-06-2013, 09:57 AM
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its jersey...somebody didn't correctly scratch someone else's back......
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Old 02-06-2013, 11:09 AM
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Originally Posted by VtSteve View Post
Looks like a Corvair convertible.
I believe I read about that Corvair on the Hagerty Ins site, & how the old owner said it would make a good parts car... Watch out for it on ebay as a Sunday only driven cream puff.
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Old 02-06-2013, 11:18 AM
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If i were the owner of that land I would remove the vehicles as requested and then start looking for another building in a different county.

I can't stand B.S. politics.

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Old 02-06-2013, 11:20 AM
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somebody didn't get paid off
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Old 02-06-2013, 11:22 AM
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I saw hook em all up and tow em to the county's office free parking lot and leave em there. it's zoned for parking and probably has no signs that say "no overnight parking allowed".
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Old 02-06-2013, 03:47 PM
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Should have done it the easy way.
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