A petition by a local mechanic in Erie’s Federal Hill District of the city wanting to rezone his building for state inspections ignites a firestorm of concern from nearby business owners and residents.
Scott Freeman owns several businesses along Peach Street. He says Rhoads Auto Shop has been a longtime issue in the area. He claims the issues include harassment and sabotage.
Repair Shop Owner Jim Bush says that he is helping grow the business and Freeman is the issue.
A handful of local citizens lining the Zoning Board Meeting after a petition to rezone the Rhoads Auto Service into an inspection shop.
Freeman says, “I want what is best for me, I want what is best for my employees, and I want what is best for my city. That garage is not what is best for my city. “
Scott Freeman is just one of the concerned residents making his voice heard at the meeting. Claims ranging from name calling, taking parking spots, and even allowing fumes to drift into the shared building.
However, Jim Bush says that is not possible for the gases to fill the garage.
“They’re saying the fumes from my shop go into the front, which I don’t see that happening. I don’t run cars in the shop, just pull them in and I stop.”
Bush, who employs four employees, says the feud has only been going on over the last six months out of the two years he has been here.
Freeman claims when he tried to speak with Bush, it was impossible.
“He has threatened and intimidated my employees. He has left notes on people’s cars telling them to not park in front of his shop.”
Bush telling us Freeman’s claims are not true.
The Zoning Committee denied the request to rezone the building.
Bush says without rezoning, he will not be able to work, ultimately needing to relocate his business.