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After Complaints, Lacey To Crack Down on Residential Car Repair Businesses

Committee: quality of life issues resulting from proliferation of home-based car repair businesses

Patch File Photo
Patch File Photo
The Lacey Township Committee has committed to tackling the growing issue of home-based car repair shops springing up in the township, a problem that has prompted quality-of-life complaints from some residents.

Mayor Gary Quinn said Thursday that car repair businesses have proliferated in town recently, causing angst for neighbors who are complaining about lines of cars being dropped off at homes as well as environmental issues.

“We’re having some major problems around town,” Quinn said. “I’ve had three individuals call me about situations occurring in residential neighborhoods with repair shops being run from residential homes. We need to have something on the books.”

Complaints have included one resident who reported cars not only being constantly dropped off at a neighbor’s home, but tow trucks dropping cars off at all hours of the night, including a recent 4 a.m. dropoff.

Lacey would join some other local communities, such as Brick Township, in banning the practice of home-based car repair businesses, though Quinn said any ordinance would not interfere with residents who wanted to complete personal car repairs on their property. It would only affect people running repair businesses.

In addition to the quality of life concerns raised by neighbors, Quinn said, there are environmental concerns since the disposal of fluids such as motor oil is not regulated.

Township Attorney Lauren Staiger said she would review ordinances on the books in other local communities and provide options to committee members.

Staiger said an ordinance could be up for introduction at an upcoming meeting.
Emilie Difino February 28, 2014 at 06:11 AM
I fell like this is less about environmental concerns ant more about taxes.
casual observer February 28, 2014 at 06:25 AM
3 phone calls = a major problem? Or is that poorly worded? There are already noise ordinances and codes on the books for home based businesses. Why not just enforce those?
Phil Johnson February 28, 2014 at 06:51 AM
Trying to squeze every penny out of the towns residents. Its like a headless chicken running around not knowing whats going on i hope u all od on black tar
Patrick Schuler February 28, 2014 at 06:57 AM
Oh man you've have three complaints let's make a new law and restrict the rights of our citizens liberal trash
gettin by February 28, 2014 at 07:02 AM
They had more than 3 complaints about the tiki bar, FOHO, etc and did nothing...people are just trying to get by in these times. I agree with casual observer.
Vee February 28, 2014 at 07:44 AM
Lacey sucks everything with this town is money! What's the big deal with people making money fixing other people stuff who don't have much money!!! I think Lacey gets kick backs from business around here like Comcast, we can't have fios Verizon because Lacey has a contract with Comcast! I think this town is corrupt, can't wait to get the F@@k outta here!
The Captain February 28, 2014 at 08:10 AM
DI have no problem with not allowing TRUE car repair businesses as described but almost always this gets perverted and next thing you know you cant change your own oil. In fact I already had one of the code enforcement officers give me a hard time once about ONE car I was working on because I had the fender off. I was told ALL CARS must be fully operable at all times and not being repaired! I SHIT YOU NOT! So doing your brakes, or rotating your tires is supposedly ILLEGAL in Lacey! This is LACEY TOWNSHIP and NOT Beverly Hills people. And we are STILL in America not Nazi Germany. Im all for keeping the town decent and doing away with people running businesses that look like crap and are disturbing everyone. But other then that leave people alone. If you want to really do some good start-with the people who let their dogs bark outside all hours of the night. Nothing is worse then that. And I love dogs.
Don Spontaneous February 28, 2014 at 08:44 AM
Yeah I'm typically the first person to criticize overbearing nanny-state laws, but I'm OK with this one. Too much of this town is looking like a trailer park with the half dozen hollowed out cars littering everyone's front yard. Looking like one big junkyard in some neighborhoods.
Robert Yates February 28, 2014 at 09:29 AM
A law like this would be primarily about tax revenue and control. I mean all those cars outside of OTA and Lacey Collision are real eye sore, but because they paid the proper taxes and fees, they get the privilege of operating freely. Why is everyone so scared of freedom? With that said each household does have the right to quietly enjoy their property without unreasonable interference from their neighbors. If a neighbor is creating a nuisance, file a little lawsuit. The remedy is already there. There is no need for a new law. Also if your neighbor is doing auto repair work on the side, it is likely that they need the money. It is a tough economy out there. Cut them a break but ask them to be respectful too.
makemyday February 28, 2014 at 09:33 AM
I feel like if neighbor can help neighbor, one can get their car fixed by a reliable mechanic that's not ripping the car owner off, the reliable mechanic is making honest money to keep the family going, what's wrong? If there are lines of cars, tow trucks all hours, talk to the owner, come to some agreement, at least they're trying to make an honest living. Times are hard for a lot of families, try working things out. Hey, you may need your car fixed one day.
4Liberty February 28, 2014 at 10:36 AM
@Robert Yates doesn't the Mayor own the building and property that Lacey Collision is in?
Robert Yates February 28, 2014 at 10:40 AM
@4Liberty: I do not know but that would be amusing and furthermore it would be a good reason for him to abstain from voting on this matter as it would be a conflict.
johnny_ryall February 28, 2014 at 11:00 AM
Good.. Shut it down.. Pay an astronomical amount of Property tax to live here. The last thing I want to look at is some sanford and son junk yard on my street, or have all kinds of strangers dropping off their cars lurking around. For that matter, you can also shut down the Sunday quad races that occur on so many residential streets as well. You wanna open up a shop, go to Rt 9 or Lacey Rd. You wanna race your quad, go out to power lines or some dirt pit in bamber. This kind of stuff should not be taking place in residential neighborhoods. It is, in fact, a "Quality of Life" issue.
Amanda Macarthur February 28, 2014 at 11:19 AM
How is this a quality if life issue if ur that stuck up about someone making an honest dollar com pair to selling dope to ur kids then go move to holiday city where no one can do anything after dark .. what the counsel has to realize is that if I can get a buddy to fix my exhaust for price of parts compared to going to say Firestone for a 600 dollar charge for labor + parts .. I'm Goin to pick the lesser .. and for environmental buffs as long as fluids r Goin into a container to be recycled then these people r doin nothing wrong . So what if the tow trucks comin at 4 am .. u can hear them all hours at night for repos and other towing needs
Doug Hart February 28, 2014 at 11:34 AM
This towns and all towns for that matter crack me up I bet if the mayor got his cut from this hed over look it. Fix cars and earn an honast mans living or sell drugs and continue to ruin this town. You decide mr mayor
Resident of Lacey February 28, 2014 at 11:46 AM
A home based business that brings considerable traffic to a neighborhood is not what people want then they buy a home in our community. A car repair business doesn't belong in a neighborhood. Would you want your children watching the mesmerizing flashing of an arc welder for ten minutes? Do you want the toxic chemicals washing down the road? Do you want the revving of and engine? A car repair shop is not the same as a home office based business, you might have one next door and never know it. Many types of businesses are totally acceptable in a residential area, a car repair shop NO! We live in an age of change and adaptability and allowing home-based business should permitted so long as the type of business has no impact on the quality of in our community. If you have been running your business out of your home for ten years and I never knew until you told me than your business belongs in a home office. If your business is waking people up at night and presenting risk to the community then move it to the proper place. They will likely do better work and offer fair competition to the other established rip-off car repair shops (no names) in town.
Doug Hart February 28, 2014 at 11:48 AM
Good fences make good neighbors.
Daniel Nee (Editor) February 28, 2014 at 11:57 AM
Vee - Regarding FiOS, you are incorrect. Verizon has a statewide franchise which gives them the right to operate within any community in New Jersey. If they wanted to expand their FiOS network to Lacey, they could. It is my understanding, however, that they have suspended expanding the buildout of their network due to a variety of economic issues. Verizon, unlike a cable competitor, would not need a franchise from Lacey Township to operate.
Robert Yates February 28, 2014 at 12:57 PM
@Resident of Lacey: that is not an unreasonable position, but it is contrary to libety. It's advocating the concept of city planning; that is, centralizing control of who may do what where, without knowing the deatils of any given situation. I diagree with that in principle. As long as someone is not creating a nuissance by virtue of their work on their property, I think they ought to be permitted to do it. A welding torch is no big deal and certainly no more harmful than staring at the sun. We instruct our kids not to do that and they are generally okay. No one is saying that they should be permitted to make a racket at all hours of the night nor dump chemicals into the street. Those would be nuissances which are already illegal. I would assume that someone has the right to conduct any business they want on their property as long as they are not infringing on one's quite enjoyment. If they do, then remedial action should be taken, not preemptive action.
Daniel Nee (Editor) February 28, 2014 at 01:04 PM
I can't speak for the township committee, but the idea with many of these ordinances is to avoid residents having to resort to taking a neighbor to court or having to argue to township authorities that an activity is not permitted. Again, this ordinance would not restrict someone from working on their own car or a friend's car in their garage - it would prevent people from operating a car repair business, which apparently has led in some cases to a mess of cars in front of homes and tow trucks dropping off vehicles in residential neighborhoods.
Robert Yates February 28, 2014 at 01:30 PM
@Daniel: we understand. That is always the goal of legislators. They see a singular problem pop up and they want to legislate it away. How many John's, George's, Amanda's or Betty's laws do we have on the books? Before you know it, there are hundreds of thousands of laws (most of which are duplicates). On average, every US citizen breaks the law multiple times without even knowing it. This is an extremely dangerous precedent to set.
it could be me February 28, 2014 at 03:13 PM
We have a property codes in Lacey, lets have the core enforcement officers do their jobs------very simple. One more thing their is an Ord in Town allowing home base business, providing it does not interfear with the quality of life, and you must get a permit to operate the said business.
tr February 28, 2014 at 04:54 PM
Writing on this media site means nothing. If you believe something has to be said, say it, in person, at the Township Committee Meeting. If you don't, then what is said here is just talk with no substance! By the way, if money is exchanged, for profit, aren't permits required or do taxes for income have to be reported? If you have a business, then act like a business and be a responsible business owner and corporate citizen.
johnny_ryall February 28, 2014 at 05:00 PM
@Amanda Macarthur . That's fine, your buddy can fix your car all you need, in his or your garage. That's not what this article was about. This was about "Lines of cars" being dropped off in residential neighborhoods. When I want to go outside and play with my children and I have to look at, and avoid, and be wary of said line of cars. That is in fact a "quality of life" issue that is being encroached on. Ordinance Up!
Doug Hart March 01, 2014 at 10:25 AM
Also dont wanna hear 10 babies cry either when the neighbor decides she gonna start baby sitting for extra cash.but you deal with it because some are just trying to make end meet.and why would u let your kids play in the front yard close to the street isnt that what a back yard is for?
The Captain March 04, 2014 at 06:35 AM
Im with Yates that we certainly dont need any more trouble causing laws or regulations . They are one of the things truly destroying peoples quality of life. There are too many of them now and people have too little power and towns and government has far too much already. I get that people pay taxes and dont need to be disturbed and see cars everywhere but Im sure there are plenty of laws now that cover this including zoning laws. Take a video of this "huge car business" and file a complaint. Nuff said. In this town you need to pay like $800 and get a variance in order to move your fence like 5 ft according to a friend of mine who went thru it. Lacey is starting to mimic big government with these insane fees, taxes and laws. We need to stop doing this to people and leave them alone. Pissed off residents are the last thing you want to create. And too many laws and fees will do just that. Leave people alone its that simple. And if you wanna clean things up I can think of a dozen off hand in Lacey that have been an eyesore since before the millennium. Im sure most people know exactly which ones Im talking about.
DJD March 04, 2014 at 01:36 PM
Here is the problem with this. First you need to have a business permit and the zoning to have the repair shop. The means to collect oils and other chemical that would harm the ground waters in the area. The space to have multiple cars parked. ( not on the street or on the front lawn ). Pay their taxes and mortgage. This so called repair shop or just a good guy fixing cars for free.. Would you want this next to your home and if you say you would you are fooling yourself. You don't buy a house in a residential area to live next to a repair shop. So if you want to work on cars go rent a garage that is zone for it and have a great business.
grace March 07, 2014 at 05:57 PM
@ djd right on

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