Oregon council last month voted unanimously against a zoning change for outdoor auto and auto part sales at 2604 Northvale Drive.
The owner/applicants, Dave and Barbara Bazzy, had requested a zoning change from R-2 Medium Residential to C-2 General Commercial District on property that was formerly the location of Pirolli Pool Supply.
Mayor Mike Seferian said the zoning change request was opposed 2-1 by the Oregon Plan Commission, with Seferian voting in favor of the request.
“I voted in favor…with the hope we could work with some conditions that would be suitable not only for the residential but the commercial area and be suitable to Mr. Bazzy and maybe to council,” said Seferian.
Jim Gilmore, the commissioner of the building and zoning inspection department, said a contractor most recently occupied that building. “We would view that as a place of business where he could do inside sales, inside services and storage inside. That would be without any further action, he could do that today. He’s allowed to do that. It’s a legal non-conforming status.”
The request was originally for outdoor sales and outdoor storage of automobile and automobile parts, said Gilmore. Bazzy’s property has two front yards making the parcel a corner lot. With C-2 General Commercial zoning, Bazzy would be allowed outside storage in 10 percent of the gross area but not in the two front yards without a variance.
One of the front yards is located on Wheeling Street and one is on Northvale Drive.
Bazzy, of Brown Road, said he had planned to install a six foot privacy fence around the perimeter of the property.
“I’m trying to make it look nice,” said Bazzy. “I’m just trying to do the best I can under the circumstances.”
He said all the neighbors in the area had signed a petition in favor of the zoning change.
Councilman Dennis Walendzak asked what type of restrictions the city would have on the property for future use if it is rezoned C-2. Seferian said that the property would hold whatever zoning conditions were placed on it by council. “If it was flat C-2 zoning, it would allow anything C-2 zoning would allow. But if there were conditions, the conditions would stay with that property if it were sold,” said Seferian.
Councilman Sandy Bihn asked Gilmore what other kinds of businesses could go onto the property in the future if zoning is changed to C-2.
Gilmore said that a C-2 General Commercial Zoning designation would allow bars, taverns, convenience stores and automobile sales and service.
“It’s probably our most liberal zoning, commercial-wise,” said Gilmore.
Bihn asked why the property isn’t zoned Neighborhood Commercial because of its location.
Gilmore said that neighborhood commercial was used as a buffer to residential zoning. “It would be more appropriate for doctor’s offices and that sort of thing,” he said.
Dan Steingraber, of Grand Bay, was opposed to the zoning change because he said it would be inconsistent with the city’s Master Plan, and that Northvale and Wheeling was not a good location for a used car lot.
Dorothy Damschroder, Beth Allen’s Florist, Starr Avenue, said she was concerned that the property would become a junk yard. She also wondered what would happen to the property once Bazzy was gone.
Councilman James Seaman said if Bazzy’s intention was to have a car lot, he should not have purchased property before he requested the zoning change.
Bazzy said he had initially bought the property for storage, and that it was suggested he get the property rezoned.