Where Will They Park?

  Caution! - We Got Screwed  
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The Facts about our
Chancery Court Case


Our Opening Brief to the
Delaware Supreme Court

Supreme Court Reply Brief

Aerial Photo
Aerial Photo w/ Survey
Watch Video #1
Video #1 -
Introduction
Watch Video #2
Video #2 -
Successors & Assigns
Watch Video #3
Video #3 -
Triplex Common Areas
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  Where Will They Park?
  20+ Reasons Why There Is No Easement
  Bogus Attorney Fees
  New Castle County Department of Land Use
  Unclean Hands
  Delaware Chancery Court & New Castle County Sanctioned Land Grab
  Related Cases
  Deerhurst
  Historic Photos - The way it was...
  Illegal Pressure Washing
  Blackball Properties LLC
  Wrong Way on 202
  Tell Us Your Story
  What They Are Saying
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We are the property and business owners of 1703 and 1709 Concord Pike in Wilmington, Delaware.

We oppose the change of use of 1707 Concord Pike from general office to light auto service (auto detailing).

It has been 331 weeks and 6 days since we first complained to New Castle County about this property.

   
 

For all of you who own commercial properties in New Castle County or represent those who do, it seems that changing the use of a nonconforming property to a more intensive use does not require you come up to current code. If you have been spending tens of thousands of dollars to reduce your square footage, engineer parking plans, and/or get variances from the Board of Adjustment, then you have been duped by the Land Use Department.

And for those of you like us who have shared parking, be prepared to be overrun when one of your neighbors changes to a more intensive use. The County will lie to you and then look the other way. In their eyes, "shared parking" means "unlimited parking" and UDC Section 40.22.611 Subsection K does not apply.

Illegal Pressure Washing

According to a sewer waiver obtained on 9/15/2011, the property owner plans on pressure washing cars in front of the building.

In addition to occuping a parking spot that would normally be open for a customer, this activity is illegal according to the two sections of the New Castle County UDC quoted below.

This is not an individual washing their personal vehicle at their residence (that is permissible in #7 of subsection D, section 12.08.001). This is a commercial operation and according to section 40.03.430, all washing equipment shall be entirely enclosed within buildings. Drainage must be contained according to section 12.08.001.


Pressure washing vehicle

10/25/13 - New Castle County Code Official Notice of Rule To Show Cause Decision - 1707 Concord Pike

No Car Washing Allowed.

Mr. Smith indicated that New Castle County Code Enforcement has had an open case on this property regarding discharging of soapy water for several months. Mr. Smith continued to explain that the New castle County Code
Chapter 12, Section 12.08.001, B, 1 states that, "it shall be a violation of this chapter to discharge, or cause to allow to be discharged, sewage, industrial wastes, or other wastes into the storm sewer system, or any component thereof, or onto driveways, sidewalks, parking lots, or other areas draining to the storm sewer system." Mr. Smith referred to a May 29, 2013 letter from Ms. Tracy Surles from New castle County Special Services to the Respondents, informing them that several complaints had been received by New castle County and the letter also reminded them to comply with Section 12.08.001(6)(1) regarding discharging of materlal Into the storm sewer system.

There were three specific notices to the Respondent regarding the prohibition of discharging soapy water from the operations at the property: (1) a September 15, 2011 Waiver for the Respondent indicated no soap to be used in the operations; (2) a May 29, 2013 letter from Ms. Tracy Surles from New Castle County Special Services to the Respondent informing them not to discharge Into the sanitary sewer; and (3) a September 13, Violation Notice to the Respondent to cease all exterior washing operations until a best management practice was approved. On October 9, 2013 a Code Enforcement Officer witnessed and entered into evidence photographs which depict soapy water discharge runoff from the property into the streets to a sewer inlet.

After listening to the testimony from Mr. Smith, Officer Yasik, and Mr. Staffieri, I find the Respondent responsible
for violation #1 as depicted in the September 13, 2013 Violation Notice.

A review of the Hansen files shows the Respondent as having previous code violations and recently assessed
$300.00 from a October 1, 2013 RTSC Hearing under Case #201307544. Additionally, the Respondent was given several directives not to allow soapy water discharge off the property and these directives were not met.
Therefore, the $300.00 Rule to Show cause Hearing Fee will be assessed.

Read the full decision.


 

In a 5/3/2013 email, Jim Smith (Assistant GM of Land Use) indicated that a cease and desist order would be issued prohibiting any on-site washing of vehicles:

 

So why does the washing continue?

 

Here are several videos from around the world that illustrate how the soap, chemicals, oil and dirt go into the storm sewer and into our fresh water supply. Wash water should be contained and sent to the sanitary sewer so it can be treated:

 

 

And now the property owner is washing car mats behind the building and against the residential neighbor's fence:

Watch the video below. What is the yellow chemical cleaner in the bottle? Note he washes all of the soapy discharge back under the fence. Then he climbs the ladder at 3:30 to dump the bottle into the neighbor's yard. Hope the neighbor isn't growing vegetables on the other side of the fence. Read more about how bad car wash discharge is on the EPA's website.

 


New Castle County UDC sections prohibiting outside washing of vehicles in commercial uses:

Sec. 40.03.430. - Accessory uses, nonresidential.

 

Nonresidential uses (not including agricultural uses) may have a variety of accessory uses within the principal structure or in separate structures, provided they meet the following standards:

...

J. Vehicular repair. Hydraulic hoists, pits and all lubrication, greasing, washing and repair equipment shall be entirely enclosed within buildings.

Sec. 12.08.001. - Prohibitions.
 

A. General prohibition. Any person who shall violate any provision(s) of this Chapter or shall fail to comply with any of the requirements hereof, or who shall violate an approved plan or directive of the Code Official, or of a permit or a certificate issued under this Chapter, shall be subject to the penalties provided in Section 1.01.009 of the New Castle County Code and/or any applicable equitable remedies.
B. Specific prohibitions. It shall be a violation of this Chapter to:
1. Discharge, or cause to allow to be discharged, sewage, industrial wastes, or other wastes into the storm sewer system, or any component thereof, or onto driveways, sidewalks, parking lots, or other areas draining to the storm sewer system; or
2. Connect, or cause or allow to be connected, any sanitary sewer to the storm sewer system, including any sanitary sewer connected to the storm sewer system as of the date of the adoption of this Ordinance; or
3. Discharge stormwater associated with industrial activity into the storm sewer system, or any component thereof, without State or County approval.
C. For a period of two (2) years after the termination of activity on the property, the County may require the person to redress any conditions that arise from any failure to comply with the requirements of this Code regardless of whether or not it can be demonstrated that the development complied with plans approved by the County.
D. Subject to the provisions of subsection E, the following activities shall not be in violation of this Ordinance:
1. Water line flushing;
2. Landscape irrigation;
3. Diverting stream flows or rising groundwater;
4. Infiltration of uncontaminated groundwater;
5. Pumping of uncontaminated groundwater from potable water sources, foundation drains, irrigation waters, springs, or water from crawlspaces or footing drains;
6. Lawn watering;
7. Individual car washing on residential properties;
8. Dechlorinated swimming pool discharges; and
9. Street washing.
E. In the event any of the activities listed in subsection D are found to cause sewage, industrial wastes or other wastes to be discharged into the storm sewer system, New Castle County shall notify the person performing such activities and shall order such activities be stopped or conducted in such a manner as to avoid the discharge of sewage, industrial wastes, or other wastes into the storm sewer system.

SECTION 40.03.521     OFF-STREET PARKING REQUIREMENTS
  C. Vehicle work prohibited. No vehicle work other than emergency tire changes or jump starting of vehicles shall be permitted in conjunction with off-street parking facilities.