The resolution is the result of complaints lodged last year from neighbors of an auto body paint shop in the east end of town. Several neighbors approached commissioners then expressing concerns over paint fumes, over-spray and chemicals from the process being released into the atmosphere.
In March, the JPC first held a public hearing on whether or not to change the ordinance via a text amendment regarding auto body repair shops in areas classified as R-4 or residential zones. The panel followed with a meeting the same day, during which members voted to deny the text amendment which would have made auto body repair a conditional use.
The resolution states, “The public health and welfare would likely be harmed by permitting this type of work to be performed in R-4 zones due to potential health and environmental concerns as evidenced by complaints from neighbors."
The JPC forwarded that recommendation to the city commission.
Planning and Zoning Administrator George Larger was on hand to explain the JPC decision and how the city should proceed either by passing a resolution to uphold the JPC recommendation or an ordinance if commissioners and Mayor Charles Cotterill agreed to reject the recommendation. If the recommendation was rejected, an ordinance would have allowed auto body repair shops if a conditional permit was sought and approved, officials said.
Cotterill said he was in favor of conditional use rather than simply banning those types of businesses.
“I don’t think that’s reasonable,” he said.
Commissioner Victor McKay said he is “pro-business,” but expressed concerns about the nature of the business.
Commissioner Kelly Ashley agreed.
“I don’t think it belongs that close to that many residents,” Ashley said. “It’s a problem to local residents.”
While current businesses that have been in operation for 10 years or more would be grandfathered in, there was some question about the business that was the target of complaints.
City Attorney Sue Brammer said there is some argument that the nature of the business has changed in the past few years, which could affect that status.
After much discussion, commissioners McKay, Ashley and Andrew Wood voted in favor of the resolution, while Cotterill and Commissioner Jeff Brammer voted against the issue.