Two highly visible and long vacant properties on West Osage will soon be occupied by active businesses.

The board of aldermen gave preliminary approval at its March 5 meeting for conditional use permits (CUP) for vehicle sales lots to be operated on both properties.

Aldermen completed the first reading of an ordinance approving a CUP for Jeff Busam to move his Select Motors from 2993 Highway 100, Villa Ridge, to the former Pacific Bowling Lanes property at 4032 W. Osage.

Select Motors will renovate the 15,000-square-foot bowling alley building for use as office, warehouse and service area, pave the lot and build a screening fence at the east end of the building.

Located near the Interstate 44 eastbound exchange, the site is highly visible from both West Osage and I-44.

Planning commissioners recommended approval of the permit on condition that there would be no towing or vehicle storage at the site. All vehicle maintenance must be done inside, a new sight-proof fence erected to shield activities from West Osage and the parking lot must be overlaid with new asphalt.

In recommending approval of the CUP, Shawn Seymour, building department consultant, said although this is not the best use of the site due to high visibility, he believes the pros of a new business far outweigh the cons of the vacant bowling alley.

An auto sales lot, reminiscent of a former car lot on the historic Cave Station property at 302-304 W. Osage, also got the nod from commissioners. An ordinance for a CUP permitting a vehicle sales lot on that property was read for the first time at the meeting.

Kevin Huffmeier, who applied for the permit, supplied aldermen with a photo of the business when it was previously operated as a used vehicle sales lot. He said he plans to return the exterior of the business to the appearance and condition it was at that time.

As with the Select Motors CUP, Huffmeier can provide no towing except for his vehicles and no visible repairs on the property.

Although the business will cause an increase in traffic, because the site is located on an arterial route, Seymour recommended approval of the CUP, saying he believes any added traffic caused by this use is not likely to cause slow traffic along West Osage.