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Oregon City Council last Monday unanimously approved a Special Use Exception (SUE) in a C-2 Commercial District at 2200 Woodville Road for the storage of car dealership vehicles.

The Oregon Planning Commission on Oct. 18 recommended approval, with some specifications: vehicles must be functional by state law and 100 percent roadworthy; and an all landscaping buffer yard that pertains to parking lots would apply to the storage lot.

The SUE would allow storage, but not the sale, of vehicles on the lot, which is located between Oakdale, which is a one-way street, and Woodville Road. The Kentucky Fried Chicken restaurant is located next to the site.

The applicant/owner of the property, James Duran, of Brown Road, also owns the City Wide Auto Credit lot across the street from the site, and DC Motors in Northwood.

The lot, which will be paved asphalt, is small and limited for vehicle storage.

Duran has said that the lot, which he’s owned since 2004, would only be used for the overflow of vehicles for sale.

Councilman Sandy Bihn asked Jim Gilmore, the city’s commissioner of Building and Zoning, what type of fence would be installed on the property.

“It has to be a solid fence,” said Gilmore.

Bihn also asked what kind of landscaping would be put on the lot.

“It will incorporate trees and bushes,” he said.

Mayor Mike Seferian said after the meeting that the property had been an eyesore after a house burned down there several years ago.

“The city tore down the house 16 years ago, but it sat as a vacant piece of land grown wild. It was left a mess. It’s a piece of land that doesn’t have much value and it has been an eyesore. Duran’s cleaned it up already and he’ll put a fence around it with some landscaping,” he said.

“In driving down Oakdale and Woodville Road,” said Councilman Dennis Walendzak, “anything done to that property is going to be a visual improvement. Most of the time, it’s overgrown.”

Councilman Jerry Peach agreed.

“The changes that are being proposed under the terms of this Special Use Permit are very positive,” he said. “I agree with comments made by Mr. Walendzak and the mayor, that this will do nothing but improve an area that has had a somewhat spotted aesthetic record. I fully support this Special Use application.”

There was no opposition from adjoining property owners on the zoning change request at the Planning Commission or at the public hearing before council.

“I think people are just happy that something is going to be done about it,” said Seferian. “It’s an awkward piece of property for someone to put retail in. That’s why it’s sat vacant for so long. We determined at the Planning Commission that the storage lot is a good fit for that parcel, because not a lot seemed to be a good fit for it. So it was in the city’s best interests to approve it.”

Seferian said there was no opposition from officials at Kentucky Fried Chicken.

“With the conversation I had with them, they were pleased that something would be going in there, and that it was going to be maintained for once,” said Seferian, who also sits on the Planning Commission.

In other zoning matters, council agreed to hold a public hearing on Jan. 3 at 8 p.m. in council chambers at 5330 Seaman Road, to hear a request for a zoning change from R-2 Medium Density Residential to M-2 General Industrial to SUE for several parcels at 2017 through 2069 Vega Lane. The owner/applicant is Marion Fouty of Fouty & Company.

Seferian said the Planning Commission has recommended to council that the zoning change be approved.

The company, which makes hydraulic hoses and gaskets, is expanding, he said.

“They’re adding another building and expanding the use of the property so that in the future, they may be able to put up a second building,” said Seferian.

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