My wife and I bought our house in 1989. Behind our house is a 16 foot alley. Behind us on the other side of the alley are two 3 bay cinder block garages in an L shape, one basically parallel to ours. The business is concrete cutting and tool repair. When we moved there, thier was 1 guy who used to go out, in a business van from the garage behind us, and another guy who used to work in the other garage off and on during the day. He was not there all day. Noise was never an issue. Our deed and the deeds around us, originating in 1900, have VC zoning listed. I was told our house was a small general store back in the 1940's. In the last 17 years, this business behind us has gone from the one van to 4 large box trucks, 1 utility truck, 3 or 4 vans and a pick up truck. They now have about 12 people or so working from back there, including at least 3 that work back thier all day. They are there at 6:00 am, and thier are people there working many nights until 7:30, 8:00 at night. I assumed when we moved here that his business was legal because the buildings were there, they were built in 1980, and people were working from there, and because of the VC zoning. The noise has been getting unbearable, many hours of disc sanding, grinding, pressure washing, compressors running. I looked into some definitions of VC zoning and the types of commercial business that is allowed. This business did not seem to fit the bill.
We looked up his parcel behind us on the local county website property search. It is a 3 acre parcel. The owner built a 4000 square foot home on the property in 1999. On the county records for his property, it says the land classification is single family residential, and the land use code is residential. It has the 2 garages that the guys work out of listed as out buildings on the property, just as my garage is listed on my property search. I stopped at our township hall a week ago to ask about the VC zoning definition and found out that my whole area here is now rezoned residential. I explained the situation to some of the township employees. They metioned him possibly being grandfatherd. All other businesses in the area that I looked up in the property records, including two other buildings owned by the same family that owns the buidings behind us, say the land classification is commercial.
If this this is correct, and he never had the land approved for commercial use, could he still be grandfatherd in because of the old VC zoning issue. I'm thinking he can't if it never was approved for commercial use. If they say it is because of the old VC zoning, do I have a case in saying this business does not fit the intentions, or belong in VC zoning area? They took my name and number and said they would look into it and give me a call. I have heard nothing yet. Having this business behind us as it is today, could cost us a lot of money if we sell our house, if 75% of potential buyers are scared off by this business right be hind us. We were concerned when we purchased but were assured by a neighbor - you don't even know there is anybody back there, which was the truth, for about the first 5 years we lived here. If we can't get any help from the township supervisors, or zoning board, would we have a decent legal case to pursue?
Any suggestions would be appreciated.