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Opa-locka business owners say recycling facility is driving down property values

March 18,2017 02:35

OPA-LOCKA, Fla. - Business owners in Opa-locka are blaming a neighbor for driving down their property values and creating a traffic nightmare that they call downright dangerous. Business owners told Local 10 News reporter Michael Seiden that a nearby ...



OPA-LOCKA, Fla. - Business owners in Opa-locka are blaming a neighbor for driving down their property values and creating a traffic nightmare that they call downright dangerous.Business owners told Local 10 News reporter Michael Seiden that a nearby land recycling facility is a nuisance in their neighborhood."All of us are concerned and very frustrated, and we just don't know where else to turn," Marcos Gutierrez said."Right now, this is a real nightmare for me," another business owner, Jesus Gil, said.The business owners claim that the recycling facility, Metals USA, has no business being in their industrial park. "We don't know what to do about this recycling facility blocking traffic," Gutierrez said. "There's oil on the street contaminating the water -- a safety issue -- and it is really undermining the value of our property.""They've got containers right in front of my property, blocking up the view of my property completely, which is totally illegal," another business owner, Lazaro Yubero, said.Cellphone video taken by a driver shows the congestion in the area."Our trucks are in constant movement," Metals USA operations manager Julio Lorza said. "The reality is everyone likes to point fingers. It is this person. It is that person. Everyone points at us because we have the biggest trucks."Lorza welcomed Local 10 News into his facility, where he showed Seiden his permits and the average time it takes for a truck to get in and out of his yard, some of which take up to seven minutes."I guarantee you that no one could eat a sandwich in seven minutes," Lorza said.Still, he understands his neighbors' concerns and said he is willing to work with them to find a solution. Lorza said none of the business owners have approached him about their concerns. "We are willing to invest, but no one else is willing to do (so)," he said.Gutierrez said he and others have spent countless hours contacting the city, county and state, trying to fix the problem."I contacted the city a few times and they said they are going to get it cleared up, but that was three or four years ago, and I'm still waiting," Yubero said.Business owners claim that the facility opened without any notice, and now they want it kicked off their block."What we would like to see is for them to be relocated to the proper area, east of here on Opa-locka Boulevard, where it is zoned and there's proper conditions for that type of business," Gutierrez said.Seiden attempted to contact city officials about the issue, but his phone calls have not been returned.The county said an inspector visited the recycling facility last month, but did not find any evidence of contamination or pollution.

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