The Clinton Herald, Clinton, Iowa

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September 20, 2013

Car business owner appeals


In his filing, which was made through William Shafer, a Williamsburg attorney, Walker also claims the ZBA decision wasn't supported by substantial evidence and the ZBA did not consider relevant and important matters relating to standards that a "rational decision maker in similar situations would have considered."  

"The actions are unreasonable, arbitrary, capricious, or abuses of discretion," the court filing states.

Walker is asking the court to reverse the ZBA's decision and further relief as the court deems fit.  

His business will stay open as the court considers his case.  

The battle between the city and Walker dates back to 2008, when he was cited for violations of the city's zoning ordinance. Walker was subsequently found not guilty in magistrate court.  

He was cited for illegal scrap operations in July and entered a plea of not guilty. That case is set for trial in October.  

During the August ZBA meeting, Harmon cited various ongoing violations to support his decision to revoke the certificate of occupancy, such as junk and scrap vehicles being kept illegally, constant parking on city right of way that would have blocked emergency vehicle access and neighbor’s driveways, piles of scrap metal, ties, rims, engines and other debris and repair work being performed outside the enclosed building.

In the past, concerns also surfaced over oil seeping into the ground from the vehicles stored on the property and possibly leaching into the storm and sanitary sewers. Improper disposal of waste oil on the property resulted in a citation from the Iowa Department of Natural Resources in 2008 and was later cleaned.

Walker claims the oil seepage was caused by vandalism which resulted in holes being drilled into barrels containing oil on the property. 

He provided a copy of his automobile recycler's license issued by the state of Iowa, which authorized him to recycle and rebuild vehicles and sell used parts at his Camanche Avenue location. Harmon has asked the state to revoke the vehicle recycler's license.

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