Owners of dumped boats identified
Wednesday, 15 August 2012 12:34

The first of these two abandoned boats was dumped on Stansbury Road in January; the second joined it earlier in August.
 photo by Brenda Keller

County to issue order for boats to be removed

by Bill Gates

Baltimore County Code Enforcement, working with the Maryland Department of Natural Resources, has identified the last registered owners of the two boats dumped along Stansbury Road.
    The larger of the two boats was last registered to Woodrow Nash Jr. of Dundalk, while the other boat was last registered to Jay Wissmann of Glen Burnie.
    The DNR traced the owners at the request of county code enforcement, using the state registration numbers on the two abandoned boats.
    Code Enforcement was to issue citation notices to the owners on Tuesday, instructing them to remove the boats.
    “We are going to go after the last registered owners,” said Lionel van Dommelen, chief of code enforcement for Baltimore County, who said the owners will probably claim they sold the boats.
    “We’re going to tell them to remove the boats ASAP,” Van Dommelen said. “We’ll probably give them seven days to do it. If they don’t, we’ll have them removed.”
    If the boats are not removed in seven days, the county will have a citation hearing so as to have a judge issue an order giving the county permission to remove the boats.
    “We’d be moving and destroying private property, so we have to through the legal process and dot all our i’s and cross all our t’s,” Van Dommelen said. “The boat owners have rights, too.”
    The saga began back in January, when someone dumped the first boat along Stansbury Road.
    The boat has remained there, gradually becoming filled with debris and trash, and was joined by another abandoned boat earlier this month.
    Compounding the problem, both boats were dumped on private property. The property owner was fined for the abandoned boats, although the county feels he was likely unaware they were being dumped on his land.
    If the county is ultimately forced to hire a contractor to remove the boats, the property owner could be billed for the cost of the operation along with the owners of the boats.
    “We will pursue the registered owners as vigorously as we can, but ultimately it will fall back on the property owner,” Van Dommelen said. “He’s allowed conditions to exist there that are friendly to dumping.
    “We’ve requested he put up a fence or something. Taxpayers should not have to continue to pay for debris to be removed.”
    The county speculates the owners of the boats may have tried to turn them in for scrap at Owl Metals, were refused, and dumped the boats on the property across the street from Owl Metals.
    If the last registered owners do claim to have sold the boats, code enforcement will request a bill of sale and the address of the buyer and will pursue them to remove the boats.
    “Unless we get complete cooperation, there will be a hearing on this, and an administrative law judge will decide who will pay,” Van Dommelen said. “The taxpayers shouldn’t be responsible.”
    Code enforcement will also ask the Baltimore County Police to charge the boat owners with illegal dumping, Van Dommelen said.