GREENE — Town officials are pursuing legal action against a resident, charging him with operating an illegal junkyard and flea market on his property.

This is the third time since 2007 that George Stanley has been cited for violating the town junkyard ordinance and the second time officials have taken him to court.

Last August, for the third time, Stanley was cited by the town for violating the ordinance, according to Code Enforcement Officer Brent Armstrong. When a follow-up notice received no response, Armstrong got approval from the Board of Selectmen this year to take legal action.

George Stanley holds a hubcap and a stick in 2018, pretending to be a gladiator protecting his property on U.S. Route 202 in Greene after it was looted. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal file photo

Asked what part of Stanley’s property along U.S. Route 202 violated the ordinance on junkyards, Armstrong responded “the whole thing.”

A complaint from the town filed in Lewiston District Court states Stanley has more than three unregistered or uninspected vehicles, discarded household items, junk, debris and trash on his property. The vehicles have remained there for more than 180 days, it adds.

“It’s an embarrassment to the town,” Armstrong said, noting the property’s closeness to a “Welcome to Greene” sign at the Leeds town line.


Regarding the charge of operating an unlicensed flea market, Armstrong said, “He’s not bashful about that, he’s got signs all over the place.”

On Aug. 18, Stanley, who is in his 70s, appeared in Lewiston District Court for a pretrial hearing. The trial date has not yet been set.

If the court sides with the town, Stanley could be ordered to pay over $12,000 to cover the town’s legal fees and $100 every day the junkyard violation continues and $100 every day the flea market violation remains, according to Armstrong. It was not clear which day the fines would begin.

Reached by phone, Stanley declined to comment beyond denying both violations. He did not file a written response with the courts.

While many people might be quick to label the items on Stanley’s property as junk, he has previously compared his property to an ongoing work of art.

George Stanley’s yard on U.S. Route 202 in Greene is filled Aug. 24 with flea market items. Town officials have taken legal action, charging him with operating an unlicensed flea market and violating the junkyard ordinance. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

“It’s more than just the junk man on the side of the road in Greene, Maine,” Stanley told the Sun Journal in 2013. “It’s an unfinished project, like the Sistine Chapel that took seven years. Give me seven years and see where we are.”


And when a fake Craigslist ad prompted a frenzy of looting in 2018, Stanley was devastated by the losses.

“You might attach sentimental value to your wife and kids,” Stanley told the Sun Journal at the time, “to the SUV or to your career. I don’t have any of those things. This is my life.”


Stanley purchased the property at 1319 Route 202 in the mid-2000s, according to Armstrong.

Stanley first received notice for violating the town’s junkyard ordinance in 2007, and again in 2012.

The town took Stanley to court in 2012 over the violation and won, Armstrong said, however a technicality meant Stanley was able to evade the 2016 judgment: $12,000 in legal fees for the town and a $15,000 fine, which was suspended on the condition that he clean up his property.


Signs are posted at George Stanley’s property beside U.S. Route 202 in Greene. For the third time in 13 years, the town has cited him for violating its junkyard ordinance. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal

According to Armstrong, who was not an employee of the town at the time, the town received judgment against the wrong party. The complaint named Stanley but not his now-defunct company, Utopian Underdogs, allowing him to use corporate protection to evade the court’s ruling, he explained.

The current complaint filed by the town names both Stanley and his former business.

Stanley told the Sun Journal a decade ago that he began running a flea market on his Route 202 property in 2008.

He twice applied to the town for a flea market license — billing it as “Greene’s First and Only Legal Flea Market” — following passage of a new ordinance in 2011, but was denied both times. Former Town Manager Charles Noonan told the Sun Journal at the time that his application was only denied due to the number and size of the signs on his property.

In 2013, Stanley petitioned the town to remove the ordinance and filed a lawsuit. Residents overwhelmingly voted at the annual Town Meeting that year to keep the ordinance, and Stanley lost the suit in 2015. At the time, the court suspended a $5,000 fine against him on the condition that he cease operation of his flea market, according to the Sun Journal.

Two months after the ruling, he filed a second lawsuit arguing the town’s flea market ordinance was illegal, unconstitutional and created to put him out of business. His effort failed.

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