A company’s attempt to rezone the Cooper Energy Services site, 1401 Sheridan Ave., to establish a salvage yard was rejected by the City Planning Board on Monday night.
The board rejected Mosier Industrial Services’ application to rezone the area from general manufacturing to heavy manufacturing by an 8-0 vote.
The city commission can still approve the rezoning later, but it must come by super majority, according to Bryan Heck, planning and zoning administrator.
The application states the business, based in Crestline and currently the owner of the Crowell-Collier Building, believed the 16.5-acre location would be a successful one for a salvage yard.
The applicant did not attend the meeting, and no one spoke in support.
Nearby business owners — including Thomas Tapes president Dave Simonton, A&E Powder Coating and Valco Industries owner Ed Leventhal and Randy Kapp of Kapp Construction — spoke against the rezoning.
Simonton said in the 15 years he’s been in business at 1713 Sheridan Ave., he’s been vandalized four times. He feels that number would increase with a salvage yard nearby.
Simonton said his buildings are approximately 115 years old, and he may have to rebuild in the future. If a salvage yard is nearby, he might not stay.
“I don’t know if I want to be near that kind of an operation,” Simonton said.
Leventhal said his companies, at 1511 Sheridan Ave. and 625 Burt St., spent approximately $4.5 million in equipment upgrades, and the landlord has spent approximately $400,000 in improvements.
“It’s an ongoing battle to fight the graffiti,” Leventhal said, “but it’s an area that’s been greatly enhanced and improved. This is going to be a detriment to the neighborhood. It’s going to be a detriment to our businesses, and a detriment to the value of the property.”
The city recently sent Mosier Industrial Services a cease-and-desist letter asking the company to stop using the site as a salvage yard, which had crushed cars “clearly visible on the property,” without a license.
The letter states unlawful operation of a salvage yard is a third-degree misdemeanor. Mosier quickly came into compliance, removing the crushed cars from the property.
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City reporter Michael Cooper has written extensively about construction and zoning issues in Springfield, covering topics such as the Crowell-Collier Building, the downtown Ice Arena and the Oakwood Village expansion.