April 06, 2020

Rockland auto recycler appeals license denial

ROCKLAND – A longtime Route 1 automobile recycler whose license to operate was denied last month by the City Council has filed an appeal in Knox County Superior Court.

Ruben Tuttle, owner of Mid-Coast Auto Sales at 166 New County Road, has asked the court to reverse the city’s decision and give other such relief as the court deems just and equitable under the circumstances.

Tuttle has operated the auto recycling business there since 1984. He buys salvaged cars, such as those involved in accidents, and reuses the good parts to piece together salable used vehicles.

On Sept. 11, the City Council unanimously denied renewal of a five-year automobile recycling permit, ruling that he must bring his automobile recycling business into compliance with applicable regulations within 90 days to be reconsidered for a permit.

Last month, some of the vehicles were located within a 20-foot setback between his property and that of abutters. At that time, Tuttle estimated there were 200 vehicles on his property.

Tuttle’s attorney, Anita Volpe of Rockland, could not be reached Thursday or Friday for comment.

It was unclear by the council vote whether Tuttle may continue operating his business during the 90-day period.

Neither City Manager Tom Hall nor Mayor Brian Harden could be reached Friday for comment.

In the court complaint filed Oct. 12, Tuttle claimed to have “consistently worked with and cooperated with the State Department of Environmental Protection and the Department of Motor Vehicles and has been in compliance with state regulations throughout the operation of his business.”

It also states the city “has no ordinances prohibiting the existence of an automobile recycling business.”

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