Greene St. lot draws complaints from neighbors

In Marietta, any change of use of a property or changing of hands within that same use in a manufacturing zone requires permit approval.

That’s what Code Enforcement Official Wayne Rinehart emphasized Monday following up on a series of nuisance complaints filed against 1223 and 1225 Greene St. last month.

The complaints were in regard to noise, piled tires and junk cars on the lots abutting residences on the outskirts of the city, by the Social Security Administration building.

Rinehart said the complaints filed by neighbors of the junk car garage were addressed with the tenant of the garage, Jason Waterman, last Tuesday.

“The health department and I went out, we talked to the guy, he was really nice. He’s only been there coming up on a year, I think he said,” explained Rinehart. “I didn’t tell him everything was fine. But I didn’t see any tires laying at the time… he said he got rid of them once a month.”

Rinehart said regardless of disposal frequency, no one within city limits may store tires or other items outside that could catch water because of the threat of mosquito breeding and confirmed cases of West Nile Virus in the area.

“As far as the gravel and the mud getting into the street, you really need to keep that cleaned up too,” he noted. ” Then as far as the use of the property, that’s through (Marietta’s Engineering Department) and I know you’re required to go to the (city) planning commission for a special permit.”

Waterman said he didn’t appreciate the nuisance complaints filed, and in turn, filed a complaint of his own against his neighbors along similar lines.

“The boats they have laying out there are full of green nasty water,” said Waterman. “My tires, the 22 that didn’t have rims are cleaned up and gone. I also had a bunch of scraps to sell. It’s just (neighbors) calling the law all the time on us, but there’s no noise ordinance in manufacturing zones. I hear the call on the scanner all the time when she calls.”

Rinehart clarified that noise complaints are under the jurisdiction of the Marietta Police Department, which two weeks ago encouraged residents to continue calling when disturbed by noise and tire burnouts.

“Burnouts are just the people driving by,” said Waterman, denying the tire marks leading out of his garage are his concern. “People pull in and pull out on this lot all the time. I’m usually out of here by 6 p.m., the only late nights we were here were in October when we were getting prepared for derby races. That’s my hobby, I build up derby cars.”

Rinehart said he also spoke with the property owner, Gerry Donahue of Donahue LLC, and indicated the same list of requirements of zoning and use permits.

“It did not sound like they had been to the (city) planning commission. I said either you or the business owner needs to go into engineering and apply,” he added.

But Waterman said his operation isn’t a business. He said it’s just a hobby and that the zoning of manufacturing gives him carte blanche to use the garage in whatever manner he pleases, and at whatever time of day.

“According to the zoning code it’s any use,” said Rinehart. “It doesn’t say any business. It says any use on the property. So even if it’s just a hobby, even if the owner himself wanted to put something in there and work on cars or whatever he would have to go to planning commission because he’s using the property.”

Rinehart did point out the other properties owned by Donahue LLC– 31 properties including the motor home park on West Montgomery Street in Marietta– have no filed nuisance complaints.

“Mr. Donahue’s other tenants (along Greene Street up until 2007) have records of going to the planning commission,” he added, noting that in 2007 the city turned over permitting to the Southeast Building Department, run by Washington County officials. “Once the city turned zoning over to the county to enforce, then we don’t have files on it.”

Rinehart added that the property owner was made aware of the needed permits.

“I’ve been in touch with the property owner. (Donahue and Waterman) are supposed to meet and then they need to file an application through engineering and need to go to the planning commission for a special permit in order to locate there,” said Rinehart. “Any new use in a manufacturing unit requires a special permit from the planning commission. And they have not done that. They have permits from the county is my understanding, the property owner is supposed to be emailing me those. But I haven’t gotten them yet.”

Gerry Donahue could not be reached for comment Monday.

At a glance

¯ Neighbors of a junk car garage operation at 1223/1225 Greene St., Marietta, filed four complaints against it with city administration for piled tires, noise and use.

¯ Any uncovered tires, buckets or boats/structures which collect standing water present a health risk by creating a haven for mosquito populations and shelter for rodents.

¯ Any use in a manufacturing zone requires permit approval through the Marietta City Engineering Department and City Planning Commission.

¯ No permits are currently on file for the junk car garage run by Jason Waterman at 1223/1225 Greene St.

Source: Times research.

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