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Junkyard license renewal tabled again in Ballston

The Town of Ballston, at its Tuesday, Aug. 5 meeting, once again tabled a motion to renew a junkyard license for Kyle Dieterle, who owns and operates a junkyard at 551 Eastline Road.

The same motion was tabled at a July 1 meeting of the board, when concerns were cited over two breeches of junkyard license compliance. The junkyard in question was missing a section of fence and had vehicles parked in front of the business.

The junkyard license normally renews annually, assuming the junkyard is in compliance and pays the required fees. Dieterle was late in paying his fees this year. On Tuesday, board members noted that enforcement of the code is rare, partly due to the fact that compliance can change moment to moment.

Today they could be in compliance, tomorrow they could park a car out front and be out of compliance, said Councilwoman Kimberly Ireland.

Some board members said the situation might be a signal that compliance should be more strictly enforced.

Checking compliance is the duty of the town's zoning enforcement officer, Anton Rohrmeier. He submitted a recommendation that the license be renewed, but board members who had driven past the junkyard that day said that vehicles remained parked out front.

Resident Linda Lambert, whose property neighbors the junkyard, stood at the meeting to ask the board to consider the possibility a junkyard poses of environmental contamination.

She noted that the property has been used as a junkyard for decades by a number of owners, and while the state Department of Environmental Conservation imposes strict regulations on the handling of dangerous materials and chemicals, there is little monitoring.

"The state's mandatory annual report for licensing is self-reporting. And since our zoning enforcement officer is not allowed on the premises unless invited, how can the town be assured the junkyard is in compliance?" said Lambert.

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