John Kocher, the owner of John’s Auto Body Repair Shop in Wilkes-Barre, PA, says he’s in compliance with zoning rules, but the township’s zoning officer and local residents disagree.
Wilkes-Barre Township cited Kocher in December 2013 for storing junk too close to neighboring property lines and the street and for not screening his lot with a fence. Kocher is appealing the findings before the zoning hearing board. He said the township already said in 2012 that his business is in compliance with local zoning laws.
“I have a small business I’m trying to keep going and I’m being totally harassed,” he said. “Just like neighbors have rights, so do I.”
Despite Kocher’s challenge of the findings, a letter from his attorney Andrew J. Katsock III to the township zoning department explains the steps he plans to take that will address the violations. He agrees that no junk will be stored near his neighboring property lines. Only cars being dropped off or picked up that day will be stored near the property line. He also agreed to complete a fence before May 31, 2014.