Junkyard License Hearing Leads to Heated Debate

Edward Dudek, owner of Murray’s Auto Recycling at 55 Hall Road, returned to the Town for the third time this year to seek renewal of his junkyard license, only to face opposition again from two Hall Road neighbors.

Richard Bielinski of 89 Hall Road told the council Dudek can only run one business at the address but claimed Dudek runs a wood pellet business and a real estate business from the junkyard location as well.

“In order to get a license you have to be in compliance with all state, local and in this case you have court decrees,” Bielinski said. “One of the things in our ordinance and I believe in the state’s is that you can only run, if it’s a non-conforming use, which the court order clearly states (that it is), the business to keep that non-conforming use intact, (which) in this case is a salvage yard.”

Bielinski said that Dudek’s having other businesses that are licensed through the state, with their principal office at 55 Hall Road, means they are not in compliance with town regulations.
“Therefore, to ignore this during the hearing is wrong, “ Bielinski said.
Addressing Councilor Tom Freda, Bielinski said that Freda was on the council when Bielinski gave the information to the council and was told to look at it, “and nothing was ever done in at least six years.

So you’ve had six years to take care of this. To ignore it again, you’re not following your own regulations. So why have them, get rid of all zoning.” Vice Chairman Tom Dolan asked Acting Town Manager William Hart if he and code enforcement officer Richard Canuel could look into the matter and determine if an issue exist. Hart said he would.

“In my opinion this is outside the issue of the licensing of the recycling business,” Dolan said.
Dolan asked if Hart had received copies of the information Bielinski had sent and he said he did so in July, and Bielinski said he had sent it in March as well.

Freda asked Bielinski if wood pellets were being sold at the location and Bielinski said he didn’t know and it didn’t matter. “It doesn’t matter! It’s legally registered there at that address as a separate business, with its own business code, by the State of New Hampshire. End of discussion. It is what it is,” Bielinski said. “You’re filing your papers every year, you’re paying for your license and you’re paying to keep it up. It’s a business.”

When Freda again asked if the wood pellet business was operating there, Bielinski said it wasn’t up to him to enforce for the town. Freda said he wasn’t asking him to enforce anything. “You’re the one who’s saying that he’s running a wood pellet business,” Freda said.

Bielinski said he didn’t know if actual wood pellet sales were being conducted at the business location but again said it was registered with the state as a wood pellet business. Freda said that if he’s just registered as a wood pellet business, then Freda did not agree with Bielinski, but if Dudek was selling wood pellets from the location, Freda did agree with him.

The exchange got more heated as Bielinski said he didn’t care what Freda thought and Freda responded that he didn’t care what Bielinski said. Dolan stepped in and halted the exchange.
Neighbors Gerard and Claudet Adams, 54 Hall Road said that they had not received documents relating to the outcome of the previous hearing until just prior to Monday night’s meeting and did not have a chance to review them.

Dolan said the two issues regarding the junkyard and the neighbors was that crushed vehicles had been visible above the fence line and the trailer had been ordered to be behind a fence, but there was no fence in front of the office trailer. “We left the last meeting with the thought that we were going to have an agreement on this,” Dolan said.

The Adamses said the outstanding issues of the fence being in front of the trailer and the cars visible above the fence were still issues of concern to them, along with the hours of operation. They said that in the past the hours had been Mondays through Fridays from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., and Saturdays from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m., but now the hours were 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Saturdays.

Canuel said the hours have always been 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays and 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. on Saturdays. The Adamses said they had concerns that the hours would include trucks arriving at 7 a.m., and added they wanted the office trailer behind the fence, as was stipulated in the court agreement.

Dudek’s view is that the façade of the trailer is a fence in itself, as it hides the inside of the junkyard from view, as a fence would do. Dolan asked Dudek if he would be amenable to attaching fencing to the side of the trailer to mitigate the issue and Dudek said that he thought that would be ugly, while he was trying to make the property look better. When pressed by Dolan if he would be willing to put the fence in front of the trailer, Dudek said, “No.”

Dolan asked Hart to meet with the parties to try to resolve the dispute.
The council voted to continue the hearing until Aug. 19.

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