David Allen is hoping the third time is the charm for his auto repair business.
Allen, owner of The Shop, located at 190 Spencer Court in Gray Summit, was in front of the Franklin County Planning and Zoning Commission Tuesday night for the third time since 2004 requesting a conditional use permit.
The previous two times, Allen received the permit, only to later have it revoked.
Allen’s request will go to the review committee and should be voted on in February.
H5 first appeared before the commission in 2004 requesting a CUP to run his auto-repair shop. The permit was granted, but later revoked in 2006.
In 2008, Allen was given another permit, but it was later revoked in 2010.
Scottie Eagen, planning director, said both permits ultimately were revoked because the instructions in the permit were not being followed, including not having a site-proof fence on the property.
One of the conditions of the permit requires a 6-foot-high site-proof fence to obstruct views of cars on the property. Allen said he has installed a fence.
“We do have the fence constructed and it has been up for about two years,” Allen said. “That part has been done . . . I believe that we’re in compliance now with what was needed for the permit approval last time.”
Commission Chairman Bill Evans said he checked out the property and saw a fence, but it didn’t go around the property. Allen said he was told it only needed to cover a certain area.
“That’s the way it was explained to me,” he said. “A fence around the front of the property defeats the purpose — the property has a visual view of Interstate 44 and Osage Drive.”
Allen said none of his neighbors, including the closest one that runs a similar business, are required to have a fully fenced property.
Commissioner Dan Haire said he was on the board when Allen got his last CUP and thought the permit only called for a backyard fence.
Before Allen is in complete compliance with the request, he will have to remove some vehicles from his property.
Allen has a variance from the Board of Zoning Adjustment that allows him to have no more than 10 unlicensed cars on his property and no more than 24 vehicles on the property at any time. Allen said he currently has close to 30 cars on the lot.
“If they do approve the permit and you still have more than 24 cars, we’ll be right back here again,” Eagen said.
Allen said he would have no problem getting below 24.
“That’s fine,” he said. “I’d actually welcome it.”
Allen was warned that if he keeps more than 24 vehicles on the property the permit will be revoked for the third time.
Allen responded that he has taken steps to ensure he’s not left hanging by owners who don’t pick up their cars.
“We’ve really gotten away from people who drop cars off, and boom, they’re gone,” he said. “There’s a sign out at the front desk that says any vehicle without prior arrangement for storage will be towed to Steffen’s. They’re there pretty regularly.”
After Allen’s presentation, there were no comments from the public either for or against the permit. The commission unanimously voted to send the request to the review committee.
“Given this record, I think it should probably go to the review committee,” Evans said.
The review committee will make its recommendation and the permit request should be moved to old business for the Feb. 18 meeting.