Metal scraps blanket Yakima street; city investigates for codes violations

Metal scraps blanket Yakima street; city investigates for codes violations »Play Video
YAKIMA, Wash. -- Turn the corner too fast on Chestnut Avenue and you might end up clipping a car-sized pile of metal trash...or a dumpster.

The mess all sits outside of the Chicago Junkyard one block off Yakima Avenue.

“One block, and there they are,” Lou Hurst said.

Hurst said it's dangerous and might keep people away from Downtown.

"We're in the mood to clean up Yakima and get some visitors here so everybody has to take their share of the load,” Hurst said.

KIMA took Lou's concerns to Yakima's codes officers. After seeing our pictures, the city opened a case to investigate the situation.The city says it looks like rules are being broken.

"Because of the tanks that are sitting right out in the street, which would show indeed that it is in the public way,” said Yakima Codes Officer, Glen Denman.

Denman tells KIMA the junk could be dangerous.

"If they have a lot of steel out there that maybe has sharp edges,” Denman said.

Denman said police might also have to step in to help with the case because the metal could get in the way of traffic and parking.

KIMA stopped by the junkyard twice to speak with the owner. An employee told us he’s out of town. A reporter left his number, but we didn’t hear back.

Lou says the junkyard has crossed a line and needs to keep things under control.

"I'm not trying to ruin their business or get into too much of their income, because I know times are hard,” Denman said. “But, if they'll just clean up and take better care of it a little bit."

Clean up that might make this street not only look better, but safer for everyone.

City officials say Chicago Junk has no current code violations. They say it's possible a special permit might allow them to leave the metal in the street.