DeKALB - A junkyard long known as what city leaders describe as nuisance to its neighbors along Oak Street is getting a chance to make it right.
The DeKalb City Council on Monday voted, 8-0, to revoke a special use permit previously issued to DeKalb Iron and Metal Company, 1008 Oak St. The council’s decision, however, hinges on a second round vote that requires the owners of the junkyard to clean in up in accordance with city code within three months.
The junkyard has amassed a collection of cars and materials over time to fill the space, city staff said this week.
City staff originally recommended that the council revoke a special use permit for the junkyard, documents show, a move aldermen supported in their first-round vote Monday.
Mayor Cohen Barnes acknowledged that neighbors do not like the junkyard and said they’ve approached the city with concerns about the property.
But Danny Meyers, who owns the property, said he has taken steps already to address some of the concerns raised about the junkyard. He said he has a plan to work with the city to clean up the site.
“I think we can probably [crush] 30, 40 cars a day,” Meyers said. “Once both bailors are on that side, we can certainly make them all gone within 30 days.”
Meyers said that concerns about the junkyard existed long before he took ownership of the property and said the issues have only been compounded.
“It’s just the way things have piled up there over the last year-and-a-half combining all the [odds] together with [COVID-19], the markets,” Meyers said.
City Manager Bill Nicklas emphasized that Meyers’ focus is the junkyard in the east, for now.
Meyers said that once the junkyard is emptied, he is confident he can move forward with the terms of the permit. He suggested the City Council defer taking action on whether to revoke his permit to operate for 90 days, a request the council decided to allow.
“We’re trusting that you’re going to be an honorable man, say what you’re going to do, and I’m willing to take that at this point in order to get us to the 90-day point as quickly as possible,” Barnes said.
The existing special use permit stipulates a defined area for recycling, requires that fencing shield the view of the site and restricts the hours of operation from 7:30 a.m. to 4 p.m. Monday through Friday and from 8 to 11:30 a.m. Saturday.