Cars from Super Storm Sandy Cause Controversy In South Jersey - FOX 13 News

Cars from Super Storm Sandy Cause Controversy In South Jersey

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Thousands of cars sit in a lot in Mansfield Township. The cars are all considered to be casualties of Superstorm sandy. Thousands of cars sit in a lot in Mansfield Township. The cars are all considered to be casualties of Superstorm sandy.
MANSFIELD TWP., N.J. -

"It looks like a junk yard, a major junk yard," says the mayor of Mansfield Township about the cars, vans, and SUVs as far as the eye can see.

Three thousand of them are parked in a big lot  just off Route 295 in Mansfield Township. All casualties of Superstorm Sandy. There's only one problem, township officials say they're not supposed to be here.

"A lot of them were coming in at night, through town and that's when somebody started complaining," Mayor Arthur Puglia told FOX 29 on Tuesday

"It's unsightly to see all those cars there,"said Dr. Stuart Shalit, a physician in town. "I think it puts a sore eye on the community."

Neighbors and township officials started noticing the build up of cars, boats, even some real classics in the last two months. Some were upset, others thought it was okay.  

"I just feel like it's a nice way for our community to be a part of helping out," said township resident Tracy Visali.

"I didn't think there was anything wrong with it," said Susan Feenan.

Township officials say the cars were being stored here so insurance adjusters could inspect them and recyclers and auto parts firms could come get them. They finally said enough.

"It's not zoned for that," Puglia contends.

"They just did everything like we were country bumpkins. And nobody in town likes that," said Township Committeeman Fred Clark.

So on Monday night, the township zoning board denied a variance to allow the cars to remain here. Now the mayor wants the cars removed within 30 days.

"It's a total mess. It's a disaster out there," said Clark.

"Don't come down to our town and make it look like a junk yard," the mayor added.

The mayor says the company will be moving cars out starting Tuesday. Committeeman Clark says he personally inspected the huge lot and found some of the cars were repossessed, some were junk cars. He claimed they pose a potential environmental and fire hazard.

State DEP officials told FOX 29 they have inspected the site weekly for the past two months. There have been no environmental issues there. No leakage or spills from the cars. The company also has equipment on site to deal with any leaks should they occur.

We contacted the lawyer for the company. As of this afternoon he did not return our call seeking comment. There's no information on where the cars will be headed next.

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