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Trying to salvage a better Moffat
Property owner says he hopes to clean up long-time mess
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Trucks, cars, tires, trailers and an array of just plain junk is scattered about the yard and buildings that represent the once operational 99 Salvage Yard on Moffat Boulevard. The potential property owner said once the city lets him know what use is acceptable for that location, he will develop the property. Manteca code enforcement officer Greg Baird is seen inspecting one of the trucks behind an overflowing bin of discards, trash and garbage. - photo by GLENN KAHL
Syed Khader says he is finally seeing the light at the end of the tunnel  in his plan to clean up the old 99 Salvage Yard on Moffat Boulevard along with the former gas station next door in the 300 block of Moffat Boulevard.

The Modesto man said it has been three years in the making, and he is hopeful that the city will soon determine acceptable uses for the property.

City code enforcement officer Greg Baird said Khader has been very compliant in wanting to clean up the property of countless old tires, disabled trucks and cars along with an endless scattering of junk that litters the estimated one acre property.

Tires were trucked out over the past weekend, and squatters who were using the buildings for a residence have been ousted.

The boarded up gas station was burglarized recently, and a variety of tools, and battery chargers  were stolen.  Baird said the thieves did not choose to break the boarded up windows, and enter through the front of the building.  They instead bored a hole through the cinder block wall on the east side of the lube rack area.

Baird said the salvage yard was originally approved as a wrecking yard, but transitioned over time into recycling – never having been approved for that use.  The operation has been literally abandoned for a number of years.

The owner claimed that he had repeatedly  asked the city what he could do to improve the property over the last three years.  He said his pleas seemed to fall on deaf ears, only being told he would have to work from the ground up.

Khader said the city Planning Department has recently become easier to work with in his desire to develop the property.  He said during that time vandals have damaged the entire property breaking the burglar alarm and the security camera system.

“Tell me what I can do to keep this place up,” he said he asked city officials.  “Anything, tell me what is the legal use and landscaping.  What can I do to use the property, then I can develop it.”

A call to the city Planning Department asking for comment on future possible use of the property was not returned on Tuesday.

Code enforcement officer Greg Baird had started working on the Moffat clean-up issue in early January, saying he was able to make contact with the daughter of the owner of the old dismantling/recycling center.  The property owner actually lives in Coarsegold, he said.

The woman reportedly told Baird that she had been to the site in November,  and realized the level of deterioration saying she was going to begin the process of cleaning it up in the near future for her mother who owns the property, but who is now infirm.  It was this week that the cleaning operation actually got under way at the site.

After the death of her dad, the family reportedly closed the business and sold the property to someone who was going to give the operation a rebirth.   The sale fell through and the family got the property back through foreclosure.

This has reportedly left the family with no money to clean up the site and the couple is attempting to do the work themselves.