A downtown Hamilton auto repair shop has been given 30 days to stop storing used cars on its its property.
was first issued a Class II motor vehicles dealers license by the Hamilton Board of Selectmen in 2008 that allows it to broker used car sales from the site but does not allow cars to be stored on the property, on Route 1A just north of the Wenham town line.
“They are, by all appearances, in violation of their Class II license,” said Town Manager Michael Lombardo on Monday.
There are four Class II motor vehicle dealer’s licenses in Hamilton and none of them allow the cars to be stored on site, Lombardo said.
The Board of Selectmen, wehn it met on Monday night, gave Mike’s 30 days to remove the used cars from the property. There are about eight used cars for sale on the property.
David Neill, the newest selectmen who was also elected chairman on Monday night, said it was a “shot across the bow” and “not a hammer.”
“I think it’s a fair warning and a good start,” Neill said, later adding it gives Mike’s a chance to keep its license by complying with the terms of the license.
Lombardo said Mike’s Auto has not petitioned the Board of Selectmen, which issues Class II motor vehicle dealer’s license, to make changes to the terms of the license.
The 30 days to comply is “imminently fair,” according to Selectman Marc Johnson.
“Hopefully he can do it quicker,” said Selectmen Jennifer Scuteri. “Hopefully this fixes it.”
One selectmen, Jeff Stinson, said Mike’s Auto has been in violation for at least six weeks and should be given less than 30 days to comply. But he also said Mike's has been in good standing, otherwise, for many years and later voted to agree with the other four board member to give the business 30 days to comply.
Jim Kroesser, the Hamilton attorney that represents Mike’s, had not returned two phone calls and an e-mail seeking comment last week, after applications were submitted to the Planning Board and Zoning Board of Appeals. Those applications, that seek site plan review and other permits sell used cars from the site, are pending but Planning Board member Rick Mitchell told the Board of Selectmen that he felt the Class II license “trumps” and zoning decisions. Neil said the Board of Selectmen do not make any decisions about zoning enforcement.
One wrinkle is that the license that was issued to Mike’s did not say on it that he was barred for storing the cars on site.
Kroesser previously told the Zoning Board that Mike’s owner, Mike Holland, did not know about the restriction that cars could not be stored on site.
“Every condition is not on every permit,” Johnson said on Monday night.
The condition was included during the Selectmen’s meeting where the permit was approved.
“We granted the license with a condition and the condition has not been met,” Neill said.
The board said it would later take up discussion about the aesthetics of downtown, in general. While Monday’s decision addresses a “highly focused legal issue, there may be broader issues we need to put on our plate,” Neill said.