- By Michael Cooper Staff Writer
Springfield neighbors and nearby businesses have pushed back on a proposed used car lot on East High Street.
The car lot doesn’t fit with the neighborhood and could cause traffic problems, neighbors have said. The property owner says the business will have less than 10 vehicles for sale and won’t have much traffic coming in and out of the property.
Springfield city commissioners held a public hearing to discuss the rezoning of the proposed half-acre car lot at 2440 E. High Street at its Feb. 27 meeting. They will vote on the rezoning at 7 p.m. Tuesday.
The Springfield City Planning Board recommended in January denying the request.
If the rezoning from office to a commercial community district is approved, the developer must also receive a conditional use permit from the Board of Zoning appeals, Springfield Planning, Zoning and Code Administrator Stephen Thompson said.
South Vienna resident Ryan Gould purchased the property for $50,000 in November. It previously served as an office for a local outpatient drug and alcohol treatment center.
Gould wants to start his first business and is in the process of getting a car dealer license, he said. In order to pursue his license, Gould said the zoning must be the changed first.
The property also will need to be cleaned up, Gould said. The business could be open by early summer, he said.
Gould was aware the property wasn’t zoned properly for a car lot when he purchased it, he said.
Neighbor Melba Fetty told commissioners the proposed lot isn’t a good idea because it’s a dangerous area for drivers along the bend near Buxton Avenue.
“We’ve had cars up in our yard constantly, hitting our yard and tearing up the grass,” Fetty said. “We’ve had some major accidents in that area. (Drivers) come around that curve really fast. We don’t need any more automobiles pulling-in-and-out like a used auto business.”
Fred Fetty has lived in the neighborhood since 1968 and said a used car lot doesn’t suit East High Street.
“It shouldn’t be there,” he said. “It just doesn’t fit.”
The property is the best place to pull out from business-wise in that area, Gould said.
“You have full view all the way to the east and west because the driveway is right into the turn,” he said.
Local insurance agent Anna Husted’s office is located next door to the property at 2444 E. High St. She also owns a rental home on the other side of the property.
The parking lot isn’t big enough for a used car lot, Husted said. She also has concerns about vehicles blocking her sign and the car dealership’s customers parking in her lot, she said.
“We already have some businesses on the other side who park in my lot,” she said.
She’s also concerned about property values dropping and crime rates increasing in the area, Husted said.
“Who wants to buy a home next to a used car lot?” she asked commissioners.
The parking lot is about 9,700-square-feet, Gould said. He also plans to have about 3,000 square-feet for customer parking, he said.
“It will be able to accommodate about six to eight vehicles,” Gould said. “If it becomes an issue, I can set aside more to customer parking. I don’t see it being an issue.”
The doctor’s office will likely have a greater volume of traffic coming in-and-out with patients compared to the used car lot, he said.
“I don’t see an issue with there being a whole handful of customers every day,” Gould said.
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