Attorneys negotiate extension of permit for junk yard near Peabody

County gives King another 30 days

Staff reporter

With the state breathing down his neck and the threat of being put out of business, Daniel King asked and received a 30-day reprieve from the county Monday regarding a conditional use permit for his salvage operation.

Previously Marion County Commission gave him six months to make notable progress (construction of 75 to 80 percent of a fence) in becoming compliant with the state's requirements for a salvage operation. Unfortunately for King, that progress was not made and the county revoked King's conditional use permit. In turn, Kansas Department of Transportation could not issue a state permit for the operation without the county's permit, and is planning to seize King's operation Dec. 15 if King is unable to obtain a county permit.

The property, located at 1202 120th Road, Peabody, has been in operation for more than 20 years but had never been compliant until a complaint was filed with the county. King appeared before Marion County Planning Commission which recommended a conditional use permit be issued based on the state's requirements which included an adequate fence. A survey also was required to verify property lines.

A survey was completed which King claims was the beginning of the delay of erecting a fence.

King's attorney, Jay Sizemore, told the commission that the survey showed King's property line to be eight feet off which required King to move some of his salvage.

King also contended that Kanza Road, which runs parallel to his property, has been moved which makes his property line in the middle of a ditch.

"Every time it floods, the road gets moved," King said. "The center of the road is four to six feet off."

King continued that he has made significant progress even though the fence has not been started.

Trees have been removed on the east side of King's property, a damaged trailer house was demolished and removed, 30 tons of debris had been removed, his residence was moved on to his property, and 75 percent of the fencing materials have been purchased, King said.

Sizemore said since King is disabled, it takes him longer to get things completed and King has $10,000 in the project thus far.

"We're asking for a timeline so the state won't come in," Sizemore said.

Commission chairman Randy Dallke said the commission had given King a fair amount of time to become compliant.

"Our main concern was there wasn't much happening or much progress except for the survey," Dallke said.

"We gave him six months with little progress," commissioner Bob Hein said. "Six months is long enough."

King was given from March to October to complete 75-80 percent of the fence and to obtain a survey.

King responded that the commission didn't take into consideration the weather kept him from working for three months.

County zoning administrator Bobbi Strait told the commission that the survey was done within 90 days of the request which should have given King plenty of time to make the necessary adjustments to put up the fence.

Commissioner Dan Holub said the county issues the permits which follow the requirements of the state and King was given sufficient time to complete the tasks.

King continued to argue that the location of the county road and ditch that adjoins his property has affected the layout of his operation.

Piles of debris had to be moved to accommodate the new boundaries and fence, King said, which has taken more time.

He continued to contend that when it rains, silt covers the road, and the county motorgrader operator grades the road which moves it closer to his property.

"We're asking for a timeline," Sizemore said. ". . . we don't want to file a lawsuit on something we can work out."

King said he could have the work completed in six months. State officials told King that he if he had a county conditional use permit, they would not come in and sell his property.

King then asked why he wasn't grandfathered-in.

Strait explained that in order to be grandfathered-in, a business has to be in compliance when zoning regulations were adopted. King was not.

Hein asked if King could hire someone to erect the fence. King responded that he couldn't afford to do that. Hein said King won't be able to get anything done for 90 days because of the weather.

King said he was fighting a "two-headed snake" — remodeling his house and dealing with this issue.

Dallke said he recognized that King provides a service to the area by accepting junk.

Strait said she was not in favor of any extension because the original deadline was not met.

"The county needs to stand by its deadline," she said.

Since the commission seemed to be reluctant in granting a six-month extension, Marion County Attorney Susan Robson suggested the commission set a shorter timeline where incremental progress could be monitored.

She suggested a 30-day time frame with a report from King and county officials checking the progress. Dallke asked King what he could accomplish in 30 days, weather permitting. King said he could put up 500 feet of fence.

Hein then made the motion to give King another 30-day extension with 500 feet of fence to be erected on the west side of his property and posts set, with a progress report at the Jan. 7 meeting. Dallke seconded the motion. The motion passed 2-0, with Holub voting against.

It was emphasized by the commission that if King did not meet the 30-day deadline, there would no further discussion or consideration of extensions.