Reliable Towing & Recovery will continue to operate as it has been from its Green Mill Road address.

Reliable Towing & Recovery will continue to operate as it has been from its Green Mill Road address.

Members of the Monroe Township Board of Zoning Appeals unanimously declared Monday night that John and Lisa Sadinsky, owners of the property at 7707 Green Mill and the towing and recovery service that operates from that property, are not in violation of a conditional use permit granted by the board in September 1995.

The Sadinskys received a zoning violation notice from Monroe Township Zoning Inspector Bill Smith on Jan. 13 of this year alleging that the towing service was violating two of six provisions/limitations included as part of the original permit. Those were that John Sadinsky -- generally acknowledged during the hearing as a "car fanatic" -- was not to expand his part-time business and that there be a limited number of cars stored in the impound lot.

After a brief executive session, the appeals board ruled there were no violations.

Smith said the situation stemmed from a junk car statute adopted by the township, and that the board of trustees brought Sadinsky's property to his attention along with others that might be in violation. Smith said he hadn't actually been on the property to inspect it.

Attorney Larry Shafer, who said he was called on by township trustees to help address issues with junk cars, said legislation went into effect in March 2008. Shafer said the statute essentially provides clearer guidelines for the identification and definition of junk cars and procedures for having them removed from property.

Shafer verified that towing and storage businesses are exempt from the statute, and noted that Sadinsky's property claims the only such title in Monroe Township. Shafer, Smith and board member Rodney Bemiller raised the question at different times whether some non-operational vehicles in Sadinsky's impound lot are personal vehicles and not included in the business.

Sadinsky's attorney, Terry Treneff, argued that the statute can't prevent a person from keeping a "collector's vehicle" on private property, though the owner can be required to shield them by shrubs or fences.

"This (hearing) is about whether the conditional use permit is being violated," Treneff emphasized.

Trustee Troy Hendren, who noted the roughly three dozen residents attending Monday's hearing represented the biggest crowd he'd seen at a meeting in his 12 years as trustee, said other violators of the junk car statute were "pointing at" Sadinsky, and explained the notice to remove "unauthorized vehicles not permitted by the permit" was issued in an attempt to be fair.

"I work really hard to try to keep my place nice," Sadinsky told the board.

There was some confusion due, Treneff said, to a lack of detailed minutes from the original permit hearing, about which area of the property was to have housed a specific limited number of vehicles. Treneff and Sadinsky argued the number of cars in the impound lot area has not changed since the permit was approved.

Sadinsky said he wants to continue operating as he has for 14 years and "will continue to keep things clean for my neighbors."

Many of those in attendance Monday were Sadinsky's neighbors, who testified that his property is well cared for and that his business in no way inconveniences them or the community.

"Believe me, his property is the last of many that need oversight on that road," said neighbor Ken McClelland. He said no one has ever asked owners of neighboring properties if they have any complaints.

"I trust him," said Lonnie McClish, a 12-year neighbor. "If he was doing something that bothered his neighbors, John's the type that would just stop."

Hendren said before the board voted that he wanted to "make it clear" to residents that if Sadinsky's property was deemed to be "OK," that it would be because it was a licensed operation and would not mean "anyone else can have as many (junk cars) as they want."