County enforcing junkyard ordinance

Published 7:00 am Saturday, July 1, 2017

The Pearl River County code enforcement office is responding to reports of a junkyard on Ceasar Road.
After receiving complaints from the community, Code Enforcement Officer Kolby Davis said he is in the process of having a large amount of cars removed from 393 Ceasar Road because it is in violation of the county’s junkyard ordinance.
The property is currently being leased by a mechanic’s shop, which has accumulated several stationary vehicles now parked within sight of the road, Davis said.
Because the property line runs about 15 feet behind the shop, the mechanic has been storing vehicles in the front yard and in a heavily wooded area on the side of the property, he said.
About 12 to 15 cars that belong to the shop owner have already been removed from that wooded area, Davis said.
Other cars located near the front of the property belong to a variety of people and are being removed slowly, he said.
Both the property and shop owner are cooperating with Davis, despite the slow progress, he said.
However, if a fence is not erected by the end of the Fourth of July holiday, Davis said he would take the matter to the next step by holding a public hearing.
Erecting a fence along the front property line will meet the criteria of the ordinance, Davis said.
In these matters, it’s difficult to say whether a judge would place the responsibility on the property owner or the renter, he said.
Despite being in an area primarily occupied by single-family homes, the county doesn’t have zoning laws so its current use is legal. But due to the local junkyard ordinances, Davis said he has more power than some other counties in these situations.
If the area was zoned as residential, Davis said he could force anyone operating a mechanic shop to close if it were operating in a residential area.
Pearl River County online GIS map and tax information lists the owner of the property as “Bennett Amos Earl,” of 615 Birdee Circle, Picayune.
The owner declined to comment on the matter.
Davis said he is also currently working on other, smaller code enforcement matters around the county.
The sign in front of the business says “Auto Repair, all makes and models.”

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About Julia Arenstam

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