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May 7, 2014

Town closes salvage yard

Neighbors complain of late-night traffic


Peg Smith, a resident of 49 Park Ave. for more than 60 years, said people would knock on her door at night, looking for Rocco’s.

“We have lost our neighborhood,” she said. “It’s gone.”

The neighbors said employees are loud and often repair cars on site, although town regulations only allow vehicles being sold there to be fixed on the property. Residents also said there were strong painting fumes.

Assistant Town Manager Leon Goodwin said on April 14 — the first night of the hearing — the business could no longer operate as a major repair shop. He said Rocco’s could only sell a limited number of used cars unless approval was granted by the Zoning Board of Adjustment.

Goodwin said the business could face possible zoning violations, punishable by fines of $275 a day, if it continued to operate.

McClellan said yesterday he had done nothing wrong. He still owes $313,000 on property assessed at approximately $150,000. But he said he doesn’t blame his neighbors for the permit not being renewed.

“The neighbors are all good people,” he said. “Personally, do I have anything against the neighbors? No. Am I upset they shut my business down? Yes. ... I am not going to let it get me down.”

Smith and her son, Frank Smith, who lives at 51 Park Ave., said yesterday they were relieved the permit would not be renewed.

“It’s definitely a good thing for the neighborhood,” Frank Smith said.

Also Monday, selectmen voted unanimously in favor of Salem continuing to be a member of the Greater Lawrence Sanitary District.

Selectmen endorsed a 30-year agreement with the district, which also handles sewage disposal for Lawrence, Methuen, North Andover, Andover and Dracut. Salem has been a member of the district since 1982.

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