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Meals Without Wheels: “Museum” Owner Flexes Muscles On NonProfits over Affordable Housing project

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American Muscle Car museum owner Mark Pieloch reportedly retaliated in protest of the city of Melbourne agreeing to build affordable housing near his property.

Overhead look of the American Muscle Car Museum during an event

The “museum,” which is closed to the public is located on Sarno Road across the street from the city dump and adjacent to a poker room, Club 52. In the past, he has allowed local nonprofits to use the facilities for charitable fundraisers. He also uses it to host fundraisers for his political allies like Congressman Bill Posey. He and his wife often give the maximum donations allowed to Republican candidates running for office in Brevard.

Pieloch and wife Tatiana

In an attempt to stop the development, he offered to purchase the land and stated Melbourne was in more need for a dog park over affordable housing. Pieloch was visibly upset and made disparaging comments about Daily Bread, the homeless population and others during his public comment at the last city council meeting. Only one council member voted in support of his proposal.

Watch his comments here.

Pieloch was the beneficiary of a large tax abatement from the county to locate his business of pet pharmaceuticals here. Prior to moving to Florida, he was arrested in Nebraska for felony tax evasion for allegedly dodging sales tax in his massive car collection. The charges were later dropped when he paid the taxes.

Melbourne Mayor Paul Alfrey released the following statement:

American Muscle Car Museum to end local non-profit fundraising over recent affordable housing decision –

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This morning I received a disappointing email from Mr. Mark Pieloch relating to no longer supporting non-profits in Brevard County due to an affordable housing decision made by our Melbourne City Council.

It is factual that I met Mr. Pieloch twice and assured him no homeless shelter would be built, nor Daily Bread would be moved to Sarno Road. The City of Melbourne Is only donating unused land for affordable housing under the State of Florida “Live Local Act”, an act signed by our Governor to help address the affordable housing crisis in Florida.

The restrictions placed on the donated land are as follows to ensure only affordable housing is built there –

Restrictions – the following uses shall be prohibited at the Project Property on Sarno:

Amusement center, bar, brewpub, building/contractor storage yard, car wash establishment, clubs and lodges, convenience store with gas pumps, day shelter, domestic violence shelter, group home facilities, house of worship, landfill, manufacturing heavy, marinas, medical marijuana treatment center dispensing facilities, micro-brewery, micro-distillery, mini-storage facility, nursing home, outdoor display, recovery home-halfway house, recreation outdoor, recreational RV park, recycling facility or service, soup kitchen, temporary labor agency, transitional homeless shelter, vehicle impound or sales/rental. There are no walk up services of any kind to non-residents.

Although I greatly appreciate what Mr. Pieloch has done for local non-profits in Brevard, I do not agree with him punishing many Brevard non-profits over misinformation by a few because they do not want affordable housing in our community. The council rejected Mr. Pieloch’s offer of $250,000 to purchase the property for another dog park and instead designated affordable housing as a community critical need over his proposed dog park at the site.

It is my job as Mayor to solve critical issues including the affordable housing crisis and homelessness in Melbourne, even when it is unpopular with some who are misinformed or do not want affordable housing near them.

I want to commend my City Council and City staff for making tough decisions and no longer “kicking the can down the road”!

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