The Shop is back in business.
David Allen’s request for a conditional use permit was granted Tuesday night at the February meeting of the Franklin County Planning and Zoning Commission. His auto repair business, The Shop, can now re-open after twice having its permit revoked.
The Shop is located on Old Gray Summit Road east of the Highway 100 overpass over Interstate 44.
Tuesday’s approval gives Allen his third CUP in 10 years. His first permit was obtained in 2004, but revoked in 2006. He got a second permit in 2008, but that too was revoked in 2010. Allen is hoping permit No. 3 sticks.
The two permits were revoked because of a failure to comply with the conditions of the CUP. Allen said one of the reasons was because a 6-foot-high site-proof fence he was required to build was never installed.
In January, Allen told the commission the fence was up and he was following all the instructions of the previous permits.
The fence is along the back of Allen’s property and not the front. Planning Director Scottie Eagan told the commission previous CUPs had requested a front fence as well.
“It appears from the minutes in the original design that they submitted it was, in fact, supposed to go in front which faces I-44,” Eagan said.
Commission member Tim Reinhold said it would be hard to fence the front of the property because that would basically require Allen to fence in everything.
Commissioner Kevin Kriete said as long as material was stored out of sight, it shouldn’t matter where the fence was placed.
“I think you hem yourself in when you say ‘Put a fence on the back property line,’ ” he said. “Well what if he puts his stuff up front? As long as the stuff is behind a fence . . . I’m not so stuck on where the fence goes.”
The commission agreed with Kriete and Reinhold and amended the CUP to say Allen was required to store all material behind a fence.
The original CUP also said all cars had to be stored behind the fence, but the commission decided that wouldn’t work for the auto repair business.
With cars coming and going and the parking lot in front of the building, Reinhold said it would be unfair to force Allen to keep all cars behind a fence.
The commission altered the wording and said Allen must keep all unlicensed cars behind a fence, but licensed cars could remain in the front parking lot.
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. In January Allen said he currently has close to 30 cars on the lot.
Scottie Eagan told Allen if he had more than 24 cars, he’d be back in front of the commission and would once again lose his permit.
Eagan reported Tuesday night that a recent site check showed only 22 cars on the property.
Tuesday’s approval was unanimous and followed a 3-0 vote to approve from the review committee.