Neighbors on new development: "it's a junk yard"

LOUISVILLE, KY (WAVE) - Controversy is building when it comes to what could soon fill nearly 60 acres of empty land in Southwest Louisville.

"We don't need it. We don't need it out here," said resident Wes Snawder.

Southwest Louisville residents are furious about what could soon fill nearly 60 acres of land around Dixie Highway and the Snyder off of Pond Station Road.

In a letter sent to area residents, California based Copart Incorporated says they want to use the land to "allow an auto storage and title processing facility that stores damaged vehicles to be sold over the internet on the existing vacant property."

That idea is raising some eyebrows.

"You kind of start looking between the lines and below the surface and it's saying well we're going to process salvage titles," resident Butch Chambers said.

Neighbors tell WAVE 3 they can define the development in two words.

"It's a junk yard. That's what it is," Chambers said.

And they're not happy about it.

"There are other places for it. Don't put it right in the middle of our neighborhoods," Chambers said.

"A junkyard just isn't the thing to put back there," Snawder said. "I don't like it because I think it'll downgrade property around here."

In addition to property values, they're also concerned about the environmental aspect and a flood plane in the area.

"If a car comes in here and it's full of oil and gas, where's that going to go," Chambers asked.

That's one of many questions WAVE 3 set out to ask Copart.

Despite the names and numbers on the release, everyone played a game of dodge ball, saying they wouldn't be the person to talk to comment on the proposed project.

"Local land planning and engineering firm representatives" listed as Kathy Linares and Steve Scott didn't comment.

Copart's local attorney, Bill Bardenwerper also said he couldn't comment.

As the quiet area of land is getting loud with controversy, neighbors say they've been fighting to rebuild this area of Dixie Highway, and are quick to say not in my backyard when it comes to the auto center.

"They can put some more warehouses back there and bring some more jobs back here, but don't bring all that junk back here. We don't need it," Snawder said.

"I don't want this type of thing to continue to degrade our end of the county. We don't want to be the dumping grounds of this area," Chambers said.

This isn't the first time that land has been at the center of controversy.

About 25 years ago, residents fought to block a landfill from coming in to the land. Snawder says the case even went as high as the Supreme Court.

A public meeting about the proposed auto center is scheduled for Thursday, May 10 at 7:00 pm at the Virginia Avenue United Methodist Church Fellowship Hall, located at 10015 Stonestreet Road.

Meanwhile, Metro Council Member David Yates told WAVE 3 he feels the timing of the meeting is questionable, since that's also when Metro Council meets.

Yates said he feels Metro Council has been kept in the dark about the project and has been pursuing Copart officials to get more information.

Copyright 2012 WAVE 3 News. All rights reserved.