WILKES-BARRE — From where John Magda stood outside the fenced-in property on Mineral Street, he saw junk cars and trucks.
But from the inside, John Tricarico had a totally different perspective.
The rusted 1947 Chevrolet Coupe brought in on a rollback wrecker for restoration looked a mess. An orange Mercury Cougar parked on the lot appeared to be in better condition. However, a Ford truck with Plymouth Township Public Works Department painted on the doors and a rusted-out dump body had seen better days.
“I understand where John is coming from,” said Tricarico of DMR Holdings LLC. “I am not running a junkyard.”
The property has been a trouble spot for Magda since the Wilkes-Barre Zoning Hearing Board gave conditional approval to Tricarico in March 2015 to operate a towing company and sell used vehicles at the Parsons site that was already being used as an auto repair business. Magda has complained about alleged violations and he’s been disappointed with the city’s response.
“I want them to comply with the zoning ordinance that they were issued,” Magda said during a walk around the outside of the property late last month. “And it’s not being followed.”
Tricarico put a chain-link fence around the property in accordance with the zoning board’s decision, but still hasn’t installed a gate. A Ford Bronco with a snow plow attached blocked the entrance off Mineral Street. There haven’t been any vehicles displayed for sale on the property facing Scott Street.
Magda pointed out unlicensed cars and trucks parked on-site as proof of noncompliance and referred to the definition of a “automobile wrecking yard” in the city’s zoning ordinance to support his position.
The definition read in part: “The presence on any lot or parcel of land of two or more motor vehicles, which, for a period exceeding 30 days, have not been capable of operating under their own power and from which parts have been or are to be removed for reuse or sale, shall constitute prima-facie evidence of an automobile wrecking yard.”
In January, Magda attended a meeting a City Hall with Mayor Tony George, Tricarico, Zoning Officer Bill Harris and others about the property. “There were no issues there,” Harris said.
Harris and Tricarico added that Magda is the only one making a fuss.
“I guess if you look at it and not knowing and explanation for it, yes (it does look like a junkyard),” Tricarico said.
That’s because it is, argued Magda. “The city is letting them get away with everything they want,” he argued.
Reach Jerry Lynott at 570-991-6120 or on Twitter @TLJerryLynott.