Charlotte property with repeat health, zoning issues hit with citation

Neighbors complains of auto repair business at home
Published: Dec. 10, 2014 at 3:29 AM EST|Updated: Jan. 9, 2015 at 3:57 AM EST
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CHARLOTTE, NC (WBTV) - The house on Sleepy Hollow Road is well known - to Charlotte's Code Enforcement, and to neighbors.

"There's usually quite a few cars in the yard - doing some body work and such" Henry Anderson told WBTV. But Tuesday morning as Anderson was leaving his house in the Yorkmont neighborhood, he noticed something.

"I turned the corner and there is a car hauler sitting there at the curve with several vehicles on it," Anderson said. "I can't say whether they were bringing them in or taking them out."

If city inspectors are to be obeyed, the cars were likely leaving. On December 3, Charlotte Code Enforcement division issued a $500 citation to the property. City records found heavy vehicle repairs, and staging vehicles in a residential zoned area.

This isn't the first time city inspectors have had to deal with the house. A lengthy list of repeat health and sanitation issues dates back years. It includes dilapidated conditions, junk motor vehicles, weed and grass violations. The zoning violations and citations also have a history.

In April 2012, city records show inspectors received a complaint of an operation of auto repair garage so city workers, Charlotte Mecklenburg Police, and investigators from the state Department of Motor Vehicles went to the house.

City records show inspectors said they saw "three unlicensed vehicles on the property but did not see any automotive repair type activities."

In August 2012, another complaint that a "flatbed delivered 3 cars for repairs."

In October that year, the city issued a violation notice, warning citation and a citation to cease and desist operating a commercial business. Neighbors tell WBTV the owner would comply for a short time, then revert back.

"Surely every man is trying to make a dollar to support his family but there's a place for everything" neighbor Henry Anderson said.

Code Enforcement told WBTV inspectors have been out several times this year - for health and sanitation issues, and zoning violations.

Back in March, a citizen contacted Code Enforcement to say "residents are running a car repair business out of their home. Citizen states that they have about 10-15 cars on property." Inspectors went out, took photographs, and issued a zoning notice of violation and warning for "heavy vehicle repairs" in residentially zoned areas.

One month later, Code Enforcement issued a $50 zoning citation.

But cars apparently stayed on the property and repairs continued. In June, another notice of violation and zoning warning citation for heavy vehicle repairs.

The city slapped another citation - this time for $200 for untagged vehicles, and repairs.

But once again, that wasn't enough to force permanent change.

At the beginning of December, inspectors took more photographs of cars, and issued yet another zoning violation notice, warning citation, and citation. The city said the homeowner was staging vehicles in a residentially zoned area, and still doing heavy vehicle repairs. For a third violation of heavy vehicle repairs, inspectors issued a $500 citation.

The city told the owner "all vehicles stored at the residence must belong to the homeowner/lesee. Untagged vehicles belonging to your business cannot be stored a residence. The citation list the business as La Esperanza Auto Sales.

Neighbors are hoping this time the cars will be kept away permanently. No one knows if the car hauler Henry Anderson saw Tuesday morning was taking vehicles away for good.

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