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WiseOwl58, Lawyer
Category: Real Estate Law
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Problem with neighbor and his pole barn. He is using it to

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Problem with neighbor and his pole barn. He is using it to fix cars. Changing tires, oil, and repairing motors. This goes on everyday. Last summer he decided to burn the tires in his backyard and I called the police. Nothing is done. He curses at his son and is verbally abusive. I live in a very nice home on a half of an acre of property. It is not on a commericial lot, but it is residential lot. It was bad last year, but now that the weather is getting nicer my windows are open and again I hear the cursing and engines roaring. What are my rights? Should someone be able to run a auto repair shop on a residential property?
Thank you for contacting us with your important legal question. I sympathize with you having to put up with this inconsiderate neighbor.

First of all, you should follow through with the planning department to find out exactly what the regulations are concerning running an auto repair shop on his property.

It is probably not permitted. Therefore, you should file a complaint with the planning department and zoning board in your municipality. The board should take action to have the shop shut down.

He may try to argue that he is fixing cars as a hobbyist and that the cars are his own property and he is not doing commercially.

Therefore you need to gather all the documentation and proof you can to show that he is doing it commercially. If he has any signs, take pictures of them. If you see people bringing cars to him, get pictures of that and take down the license numbers. Also, see if you can speak to the customers and find out how they got to him.

Google him and see if he has any advertisements out for fixing other people's cars.

Regarding the cursing, that could be considered domestic violence. You stated that you have called the police, but did not say what they have done. The next time you hear it, you should call the police immediately. You should also make a recording of what you hear, so that you can play that back for the police when they arrive. If you cannot get an accurate recording, then make a transcript, i.e., write down exactly what you hear him say to his son. That could be admissible as a simultaneous notation of what he is doing.

Finally, regarding the burning of the tires, that is certainly a violation of environmental laws. New Jersey is known for having the most stringent environmental protection laws in the country. Unbelievable that he would actually do that.

By any chance, do you have pictures of his doing that? Or is there still evidence of the burned tires around on his property? I would contact the New Jersey Environmental Protection Agency EPA about this, regardless.

Here is how you can file a complaint with the EPA:

NJ Dept. of Environmental Protection exiting epa
401 E. State St., 7th Floor, East Wing, P.O. Box 402
Trenton, NJNNN-NN-NNNN/p>

The Department has established a toll-free telephone hotline number you can use to report environmental incidents, abuses and complaints in New Jersey or impacting it. 1-877-WARNDEP exiting epa (1-877-927-6337) can be used from the New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Delaware calling areas.


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