Tripp’s Auto Body Shop had just purchased a new location on Freeman Lane in Grass Valley, CA, with plans to expand when disaster struck in the form of a giant sinkhole in January 2017.
The 100-foot-deep sinkhole off Freeman Lane, which was caused by the failure of a culvert under Highway 49, caused a more than two-year delay in the business’ plan to add an automobile repair component to its business. But Tripp’s now is moving forward, getting an OK for a development review permit and use permit amendment for a 4,700-square-foot addition from Grass Valley’s planning commission on Tuesday, June 18.
The building being proposed will house an auto repair shop with a canopy that connects to the existing building, said project head Rob Wood of Millennium Planning & Engineering.
Grass Valley City Planner Lance Lowe said Tripp’s has provided 67 parking places, 14 more than required. The site plan currently does not meet landscaping requirements that include perimeter landscaping and one tree per every five parking spaces, Lowe added. But because the city purchased a little more than a half-acre of the property to access the Wolf Creek Trail, Tripp’s has offered to provide additional landscaping along the southern property line, Lowe said.
The project does not need an Environmental Impact Report because it’s an extension of an existing business and will have no significant environmental impacts, Lowe said. The parcel was a used car lot with a mechanic component before Tripp’s bought it, but was legally non-conforming, city staff said.
Wood told the planning commissioners the new building was needed because Tripp’s has outgrown its current space.
“He moved out there with the intent to expand,” Wood said. “He has been waiting for this for a long time.”
In response to a question about traffic impacts, Wood said they would be “very, very minimal … I don’t think an increase would be noticeable.”
Meanwhile, the city and Tripp’s are still in a legal dispute regarding some aspects of the sinkhole parcel. Grass Valley took on the responsibility for the repairs, making the decision to sculpt the hole into a stable shape rather than filling it up, and then rented the property.