A Hamburg man with a lengthy record of ignoring the town's junk laws has won another 90-day reprieve to clean up his yard on Old Lakeshore Road.
Town Justice Gerald P. Gorman bowed to the wishes of a town prosecutor and set Oct. 29 as the deadline for final cleanup of Clarence Denzel's home at 3683 Old Lakeview Road.
The property has generated complaints since 1972, mainly for violations of the town's junkyard ordinance. Denzel has been in Town Court 30 times over the years, and spent at least eight months in jail on junkyard charges.
In 1996, the town strengthened its ordinance allowing for the demolition of unsafe structures and the following year three buildings on Denzel's property, a dilapidated shed, barn and cottage, were the first to be demolished under the ordinance.
But junk continues to clutter the property.
"I restore cars and sell them for a living," Denzel said, "and it's hard to clear out 30 years of accumulation in three months."
In July, Dennis C. Gaughan, deputy town prosecutor, and two of Denzel's neighbors offered to chip in and come up with $3,000 to be paid Denzel if he cleaned up his property by Oct. 17.
Friday, Gaughan said he was willing to extend that offer for another month and a half, but if the job is not declared completed by the building inspector then, he'd recommend a six-month jail term.
"After all, Mr. Denzel is cleaning up the property and the town does not have to spend taxpayer money to do that, as in a similar case in East Aurora that cost that community $32,000 to remove junk," he said.
Denzel's attorney, John. B. Elliott, said his client has removed a truck body, three Corvettes, 10 engine blocks, 30 rear ends and three loads of tires and rims from the rear of the property.
"He also disposed of substantial amounts of lumber and reattached the front porch to the house," Elliott said.
"I drove by the place today and was dismayed that the front yard does not look much different," Gaughan said, "but I understand the rear of the property has been substantially cleaned up. Now he has to take care of the front."
Two vehicles, registered but uninspected, remain in front of the house as well, as do other car parts.
"Now is the time to get the rest of those items cleaned up," Gorman said, "Either remove them or have the cars properly inspected -- whatever it takes. But you have until Oct. 29 to do it."