Roadside Junkyard Fiasco

Reader Jim B recently spotted a row of rusty old Jeeps sitting along the side of the road in Franklin, Pennsylvania. When he first spotted them, he had no idea how much drama these rust buckets and their owner has been causing in this Pennsylvania community. Jim did a little research and found out that the owner has even more old vehicles and RVs parked along the side of roads on several chunks of land throughout the township. Apparently, he refuses to sell any of them or to move them out of sight, simply to stick it to the township supervisors and his neighbors. It’s one heck of a story and thankfully Jim was kind enough to grab photos and information for us!

This isn’t the first time we’ve heard about a hoarder causing trouble, but this one is a bit different than most. Rather than parking stuff out of sight or at least in the heart of their own property, they are parking everything right on the edge of the road. It really is an eyesore, so it makes sense that their neighbors want the mess cleaned up. Now some might say that this hoarder is simply running out of room and should be cut some slack, but that doesn’t seem to be the case. It sounds like the owner is actually trying to use the mess as a negotiating chip.

Getting a license to operate a junkyard these days is quite difficult and expensive. There are all kinds of environmental concerns as well as zoning issues, but this owner wants to skip all that headache by forcing the community to give them not one, but two licenses to operate two separate junkyards. They’ve told the township’s supervisors that they will move all the cars and RVs out of sight once they’ve been given their licenses and reimbursement for $6,000 worth of fines they’ve had to pay as a result of the mess. You have to give it to them, they have some serious guts to not only demand two licenses, but also money!

Having talked to Jim about this roadside junkyard, it sounds like this has turned into to quite the fiasco. Neighbors are in an uproar, community leaders aren’t sure what to do and the owner has found enough loopholes to create a stalemate that is going to be difficult to resolve. And at the heart of it all, are several classic Jeeps and a number of old RVs that decay a little more each day that this standoff continues. Our best wishes to this community as they try to come to some type of solution. Perhaps the owner of the yard will get his licenses and actually follow through with cleaning things up, but it seems unlikely. So, what do you think of this situation? Should he be awarded his licenses? If any of you happen to know more details, we would love to hear about it!

If you’ve spotted something interesting along the side of the road, in a barn or a garage and can take photos, we would love to see it. You can send your sightings and stories to us via email at mail@barnfinds.com.

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Comments

  1. Claus

    Extra heavy layers of road salt during winter might help the rust eat up the vehicles faster……..LOL

    I hope they find a friendly solution soon, and someone saves the Jeep pickups.

    9
  2. Matt Member

    id love to have that jeep-a-trench!

    8
    • Bill 4

      That’s a Go-for-Digger. Jeep-a-trench was the light-duty slide-in unit. These are the real deal.

      1
  3. WELOVERUST

    I want to be one of those people that builds a new house next door and the CRY about the junk!!!

    15
  4. jimbunte jimbunte Member

    This is wrong on so many levels – using vintage vehicles as a cudgel in one man’s crusade against a municipality.

    15
  5. Andrew Gerns Member

    Looks like the township has both passed an ordinance about abandoned vehicles left in the open, (plus, if it is too close to a public road, the town might be able to move it any way). The plan is to remove the vehicles and pay the owner $9.50 per hundred pounds, so a 3500 lb vehicle could net him $332. The owner doesn’t even pay the cost of hauling it away. He will have to show up with a title to collect his money. Let’s see what the owner of these vehicles does.

    The bad news is that all the vehicles go to a junk yard to be disposed of.

    http://www.kittanningpaper.com/2018/03/30/east-franklin-supervisors-want-junk-vehicles-junked/72325

    5
  6. Jackie

    This issue has been going on for at least 20 years. Yes the owner now is being wrong but the township supervisors years ago were also just as stubborn to this man as he is now being to them. No 2 wrongs do not make a right, but please look further into a story and post both sides not just one.

    6
    • tugdoc

      Where do we get the rest of the story?

      • Jackie

        Ask the property owner or go back through the last 20 years of newshearlds. The local paper.
        If my memory serves me right he tried to get everything to make it a scarpyard legally in the beginning and the township fought him tooth and nail because the then supervisors didn’t want one there. Even passing ordinances to make it impossible for him to have one.
        As I said earlier 2 wrongs don’t make a right, but there is more to this story. Everyone is just using social media to try to get it cleared up now.

        3
      • Jackie

        Or ask for the last 20 years of minutes from the cranberry supervisors. It’s all in there.

        1
      • Mark

        venango voice on FB,owner has fought township and won every time,township has wasted estimated $350,000 on lawsuits that they lose, including the PA Supreme Court

  7. Drew V

    The township should draw up plans to develop a small strip mall or new roadway and just take the land via eminent domain, they could clean up the lots and the owner would be paid for his loses. If after the clean up,the new project hits a snag and never goes through,then oh well, that’s life…Please Note: I do NOT advocate the township doing this as I fee lit is a violation of the owners rights but the old adage goes “You can’t fight city hall…Now if there was someway the community could tie this in with the High-Way Beautification act of 1968, then they could get Federal powers involved to force the owner to enclose all of the vehicles…

    2
    • Dan in TX

      First you come up with a plan that the town SHOULD do, and then you say you do not advocate for the plan you just came up with. Hmmmm…

      17
  8. Dirk

    I firmly believe that in a country that supposedly prides itself on supporting the values of personal freedom and rights of personal property, a man ought to be able to do as he wishes with and on his own property that he bought and paid for out of his own pocket. I fully support the rights of this man to operate a junk yard or any other thing that he may wish to do without hindrance or restriction so long as he does not endanger or do physical harm to his neighbors or their property.
    Good luck to him.

    44
    • Ikey Heyman

      Easy to say when you don’t live across the road from this guy and your property value has pancaked.

      11
      • Dirk

        Well, for some people, I guess maybe it’s always just all about money but I’d love to live across the road from a good ol’ country junkyard, I’d be peekin’ over the fence every day to see what was new!

        20
      • Loco Mikado

        If you are complaining about your property value than you must have moved in sooner than 20 years ago. I would say that 90% of the people who are crying about the cars weren’t even there 20 years ago. Almost all of these problems are caused by people who have moved to the area, not natives. Have seen it happen too many times, I could write a 20 page report on Portland, Oregon area alone, starting with the airport.

        10
      • Andy

        @Loco – sounds like my county. We’ve had a bunch of citiots move up from nyc, and bought up large tracts of open land from some down on their luck farmers. Now they’re complaining about the smells from the farms that are still operational…

        5
  9. Hoos Hoos Member

    If the government is going to take them, he should fill them with rocks….

    9
    • glen

      The owner of a local scrap yard told me he’s had people try to add weight, but having years of experience, he can tell when he’s being ripped off.He won’t take the vehicle, if he thinks it’s been tampered with.

      2
      • Hoos Hoos Member

        Sounds like the ideal solution…. Government takes them, and the scrap yard won’t take them….. Government has fleet of new cars. Serves them right.

        10
  10. CanuckCarGuy

    Deteriorating into the ground, and what isn’t deteriorating has little scrap value….politics and regulations will outlast this ad-hoc junkyard effort, and the owner will still have environmental issues to contend with. When making a point evolves into spite, you’ve lost.

    9
  11. cold340t

    America! Gotta luv it! Or maybe not? Has this Guy heard of “Eminent Domain” or “Asset forfeiture”? We don’t have the right to do anything if We push Municipalities/Govt. too far. Me thinks He’s about to find out about one of the two, or BOTH! Soon. Sad. We can’t “Own” things on Our own property anymore. Who decides what is an “eye sore” and what is not?

    7
    • MSG Bob

      It seems to me that the whole mess boils down to the owner wanting something from the municipality that the township can’t legally give. No bonding, no environmental assurances, etc. Just the permits, please. I think the plan described in the newspaper article would work fine for both parties. unless the owner doesn’t have the titles for his hunks of junk. Just remember the words of Will Rogers, “Your freedom to swing your fist ends where my nose begins.”

      5
  12. Derek

    ” No profanity, politics, or personal attacks”

    Verging on the political, no?

    7
    • leiniedude leiniedude Member

      I agree Derek.

      1
    • Jackie

      Sadly this whole thing is about politics. And has been for 20+ years.

      2
  13. Jeffro

    What about the environmental impact all these cars, trucks, and campers are leaving? Not comfortable having transmission fluid, brake fluid, etc., enter the local water table.

    3
    • half cab

      Won’t matter,the earth’s gonna burn a new anyways 🔥

      1
  14. glen

    If he’s not meeting the requirements, he won’t get the permit he requires. If he’s breaking the law, he’ll pay, one way or another. If this has been going on for years, it may have been smarter to sell a vehicle when someone was willing to buy, after all, as a scrapyard, he’s in it for money.

    2
  15. J.P jacobs

    They need to give him what he is asking for and shut up if he cleans up the mess then everybody will be happy he’s obviously smarter than the people making the laws he keeps finding loopholes so give him the money and go bug some body else

    10
  16. Classic Steel

    just need a dozer to drive over them to assist getting them back to mother 🌏

    2
  17. Mdog

    We had a very similar situation in our town. Federal marshalls tried to arrest a salvage yard owner who had been ordered to close his yard, and he ended up suing the city, tying it up for years in court. He wore a neck brace for thirty years, and would ride in his ancient Cadillac whenever there was a board of alderman meeting. The huge loudspeaker on his car was so distorted you couldn’t understand a word he said. He had a pile of old cars parked along the street on the land he owned. He finally settled with the city, and the cars disappeared overnight. He died less than a month later.

    3
  18. Dovi65

    The only vehicles I see that are of any ‘nutritive’ value are the early Jeeps. The Jeep pickups, and the Cherokee wagons have been consumed by rust. The RV’s .. . maybe Flyte Camp would be interested in them for parts, tho they may only deal with vintage trailers, and not RV’s

  19. Levi Andrus

    Crusher food

  20. Comet

    At what point does a private parcel of land become a junk yard? These folks give all responsible collectors a black eye. To the folks that defend his childlike behavior, what if your dream house existed adjacent to this guys place prior to his “collection?” The big bad local government imposes zoning laws to protect all property owners. This seems to be just another eccentric character with a personal beef against the local community authorities….you know, the evil local bureaucrats…the ones the majority voted in.

    1
  21. Maynard Reef

    Leave the guy alone. Along he pays his taxes each year, he can do what wants on his own property. At least that’s how it should be.

    16
  22. King Brude

    There was a similar situation in Orkney, Scotland. Owner tried to claim he was able to do so through ancient Udal (Viking) laws!

    1
  23. P T Cheshire

    I had under Eminent Domain 225 acres of my farm taken by the town of Riverhead after they built park near my property line. They cited that dust, fertilizer and pollen were environmental hazards to the people who used the park, so they needed it as a buffer zone.
    Nobody stands a chance when the special people are involved.

    8
  24. Wrong Way

    I would just like to buy one camper from him just one! LOL

    1
  25. Davis

    His yard, his stuff. That should be the end of the story.

    7
  26. Bill 4

    I’ve had a few conversations with this guy before. He is pretty cool about his stuff, I guess he plans on restoring most of these. He wasn’t interested in selling anything…. hopefully someday he’ll come around.

    1
  27. Mitch

    The township will outlive the man.

  28. chrlsful Member

    stailmate just cuz the township won’t move…they’re the 1s w/everything on their side…but our national right to do as we like (if not violent).

    I like the chinook’n 2 ‘honchos’. But he won’t sell.

  29. PatrickM

    I wouldn’t mind having one of the campers. Let’s take a stroll through the lot and see what we have

    1
  30. John m leyshon

    Absolutely entertaining ! Love these kind of stories. Don’t care to opine, fun to watch situations like this play out.

    Tourist attraction ?

  31. Mark

    venango voice on FB,owner has fought township and won every time,township has wasted estimated $350,000 on lawsuits that they lose, including the PA Supreme Court he has a state licence and paid for permits which had to be approved or denied within 60 day,in no action from township they were”deemed” approved(PA municipal code) township has been wrong every step of the way

    1

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