The Washington Planning and Zoning Commission approved a special use permit Monday for an auto repair business to expand an East Fifth Street facility.

Mark Trebacz, owner of Carriage Care, requested the permit in order to add a vehicle lift and parking in the rear of the building located at 1919 E. Fifth Street at Alberta Drive.

The planning commission approved the request with a 7-0 vote. The Washington City Council must give final approval.

According to Community and Economic Development Director Sal Maniaci, Trebacz recently purchased the building that had previously been used as an auto repair shop. The building was an auto repair shop before zoning codes were adopted so there never was a special use permit granted.

In order to become fully compliant with codes the special use permit is necessary.

“There is a mix of uses in the area and most of the driveways on this part of Fifth Street are commercial,” Maniaci said.

City staff recommended approval of the special use permit, noting the business would not be a detriment to the surrounding property.

Conditions placed on approval of the permit included a sight-proof fence on the east side of the building along Alberta Street, and a portion of the north side property line. The fence must be installed within 30 days of the date the permit is granted. And cars stored on the lot must be behind the fence.

Another condition of the permit is hours of operation be between 8 a.m. and 5:30 p.m.  Monday through Friday.

Commission member Mark Kluesner, who owns the property to the north of the Carriage Care building, stated the fence would block the sight of the stored vehicles from Alberta Street.

Prior to approval of the permit, Mark Schulte, a St. Louis attorney who has family living on Alberta, stated Trebacz’s permit request was incomplete.

He said there were no hours of operation submitted to the city, and there is no safeguard against noises emitted from the property.

The lift Trebacz is installing at the facility can be used for large trucks, RVs and buses.

“A lift in the backyard of the property with impact air hammer is going to disrupt the neighborhood,” Schulte said. “I don’t know all of the things he plans to do because he has not really told us.”

Trebacz said he has been operating an auto care business for more than 35 years. He described the business as general auto repair.

“I am not going to line the streets with RVs and trucks like you have been hearing,” Trebacz said.

Trebacz also requested the city vacate a portion of right of way along Alberta Street where he initially was to install the lift.

Maniaci explained Trebacz began to build the lift but than was informed he needed a permit, and the location was in city right of way.