Court denies Greenlaw Salvage appeal

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CUMBERLAND — A 2007 Town Council decision that denied a permit renewal for Greenlaw Salvage was upheld in Superior Court earlier this month.
An attorney for Thomas Greenlaw said he will appeal the decision, taking the matter to the Supreme Judicial Court for a final verdict on whether the junk yard can continue to operate.
Greenlaw’s attorney, David Lourie, said this week that he and his client were “disappointed” by the Superior Court decision. “There were a couple of points where we should have won,” he said, “but we’ll deal with it.”
Greenlaw has until March 25 to file an appeal, which Lourie said will happen. If an appeal is not filed, Greenlaw has 90 days from March 4 to begin clean-up of the junk yard, and 180 days to be finished.
Greenlaw has been operating Greenlaw Salvage, an automobile graveyard and junkyard on Route 9, for about 50 years. Town Manager Bill Shane said that there have been numerous complaints and at least one other court case during that time related to the junk yard.
In Nov. 2007, the Town Council denied the junkyard permit renewal citing four violations:
• Insufficient screening along Route 9.
• Deficient handling of fluids by failing to prevent leak into or onto the ground.
• Failure to keep a log of automobiles on the property.
• Operation of a junkyard that was not a viable business.
At that 2007 hearing, the code enforcement officer presented evidence including photographs and information from several inspections, including one performed with a representative from the Department of Environmental Protection.
In order for the Superior Court to rule in Greenlaw’s favor, Greenlaw needed to show that the council had abused its discretion, not used substantial evidence to support its findings, or erred under the law.
For each junkyard violation cited, the court found that the council’s decision and evidence was proper and appropriate.
Greenlaw went to the council again earlier this year seeking this year’s permit renewal, which was tabled pending this court decision. According to state law, Greenlaw can continue to operate the junkyard while his license renewal is being appealed.

Sarah Trent can be reached at 781-3661 ext. 108 or