Alton man says all 10 cars in his yard belong to his family and they are all properly registered

ALTON — The Church Street man who has been accused of operating a junkyard and a car repair operation from his residential-zoned property said yesterday that charges against him are all a lie.

Mark Hanson said either he or his wife owns every car on his property and that all of them are registered to one of them.

"I have cars. Six are for my wife and four are for me," Hanson said yesterday.

He said when he first spoke to Building Inspector John Dever, he was told that he could have two unregistered vehicles on his property. He said he had two at the time but after he got a voice message from Dever saying the limit was one car, he went and registered one of the two that were unregistered.

As fo rDever's claim that he was operating a car repair facility, Hanson said he does some work on the cars that he owns and takes his old cars to the junkyard.

"I'm not the junkyard," he said.

He said when he got the first notice to stop operating a junkyard and a repair shop he was "flabbergasted."

When asked about an an alleged sale on Craig's List (an online exchange and sales website) he said he tried to sell one motor. "Everyone sells stuff on Craig's list," he said.

Hanson said at one point he had a few old oil tanks on his property that he was making into a pig-roaster for his stepson and during the process, the building inspector asked him questions about them, telling him the tanks had to be inspected.

He also said that at one point he had a couple of rear axles for one of his cars and believed they could be viewed from the nearby First Congregational Church, where he thinks the complaints originated.

"Now I'm told I'm a repair shop," he said.

"He (the building inspector) complained about oil spots on my driveway," Hanson said.

When asked why he didn't put up a fence between his property and the church, he said he is working on it.

"I have put all my stuff in one place and put it under a tarp," he said, calling himself a nice guy who doesn't want to bother anybody.

He said he was being forced to fight the town in court and has had to borrow money to hire a lawyer.

"I'm just working on my stuff," he said. "It's my stuff in my yard."