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Debate Over Harbeson Garage

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Williams' Property Williams' Property

HARBESON, Del. - Neighbors off Martins Farm Road in Harbeson are debating the use of a structure on a property. The owner calls it a man cave. Neighbors say it's an auto shop and against code.

Charles Williams works on cars in the 2500 square foot space on his property, but only for fun he says. Neighbors say Williams is conducting business in the garage, making it a commercial property that is not allowed in the area due to Sussex County code.

"Evidence shows this auto repair shop is being used by approximately 40 "non- residents" to repair and service approximately 150 vehicles on a regular basis," the neighbors said in a statement provided to WBOC. The statement also makes note of the the size of Williams' structure. According to the statement, "the Legislature clearly defines the 'capacity' of a four car garage as 900 sq. feet."

Williams refutes these claims, saying it's not a business because he's not making any money. He says it's a hobby.

"It's a private shop, it's a pole barn, it's mine," he said. "I share it with my friends. I teach my kids that you always share your best stuff." 

Williams' neighbors Robert Walker Jr, John Kane, Carol Kane and Margaret Foulke filed a lawsuit against Williams earlier this year. 

"No one should have to pay to go to the courts to have codes enforced," the neighbors said in the statement provided to WBOC. "We all pay taxes for salaries for code enforcement and have the right to same."

A judge is set to make a decision in the next few months on the case. Regardless of the outcome, Williams says he is open to reconciliation, but not optimistic.

"It takes two parties for forgiveness to take place. If they came over and apologized to me at this point, of course, I would offer them forgiveness," he said. "But I'd have to see that."
 

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