San Juan man cited for dumping tires on shoreline of westside preserve; penalties compound

Using a sheriff
Using a sheriff's boat to help clear the debris, Land Bank employees and the sheriff department 's work crew clean up and clear a mass of tires dumped in mid-March on the Land Bank's Westside Preserve.
— image credit: Contributed photo

Accused of dumping at least 60 automobile tires on the shoreline of the Land Bank's Westside Preserve, a San Juan Island man has about three more weeks to cover the cleanup costs and the expense of disposing of the discarded debris, some of which ended up in the water, or face additional fines or possible criminal prosecution.

Following a two-month investigation by local law enforcement officials, Richard Morgan Foley, 33, was served with two notices of land-use violations by the county Community Development and Planning Department in early June.

The first, for the alleged dumping of the tires in mid-March, calls for reimbursing San Juan County a total of $4,700 for the cleanup costs and paying a fine of $1,000 by July 20, or to have made arrangements to pay that bill by that date. He had 45 days to contest the alleged violation, which was issued June 2.

Should he fail to do so, local land-use rules allow the county to impose additional fines, beginning at $500 a day, and to pursue criminal charges for failure to comply with the "corrective actions" outlined in the violation notice.

In addition, Foley was served notice to cease and desist operating what local officials describe as a un-permitted wrecking and salvage yard at his Roche Harbor Road home, and to remove the many assorted broken down vehicles, scrap metal, appliances and cast-off mechanical parts scattered around the property, which, according to county records, is owned by his mother, a resident of Montana.

That notice is the second in the last two years in which Foley has been ordered to cease and desist, and to cleanup, the wrecking operation at the Roche Harbor Road property, according to county Code Enforcement Officer Christopher Laws.

As part of the recent investigation, local officials determined Foley falsely claimed to have discarded a mass of tires he had been ordered to dispose of at either of two recycling and scrap businesses on the mainland. Representatives of both businesses said they have no record showing Foley had been involved in such a transaction during the relevant dates, according to the notice of violation.

Laws also noted that photographs taken as part of earlier investigations at the Roche Harbor Road property, which show the make and tread types of various tires, matched those dumped at the Westside Preserves.

Foley reportedly admitted to also having loaded another 70-100 tires that he was ordered to dispose of on a flatbed truck, and then concealed it in dense brush on a property on Julie Way, near Trout Lake.

He is ordered to dispose of those as well.



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