Ric’s Body & Paint SUP recommended for approval

By Linda Bentley | November 26, 2008

‘It’s a commercial activity going into a commercial building in the commercial core’
CAVE CREEK – Senior Planner Larry Sahr introduced the first agenda item for Thursday night’s planning commission meeting, a special use permit (SUP) for Ric’s Body & Paint, an automotive body and paint shop to be located inside Spur Cross Station. The building, on Spur Cross Road just north of Cave Creek Road, has been vacant for a year and a half.

He said the application is for a commercial use in a commercial zoning district that allows that use with a SUP.

Sahr said he received one letter in opposition earlier that day, which he had already distributed to the commission.

Ric SlaughterApplicant Ric Slaughter, a 20-year Cave Creek resident, said he’s been in the business for 32 years, owns two other shops and does about $1 million a year in work for customers in this zip code.

Slaughter told the commission he was not going to change any part of the outside structure, all work would be performed indoors and said they would be using new, eco-friendly, waterborne paint technology that is only being used by two other body shops in Phoenix.

Although some neighbors raised concerns about fumes, Slaughter said the new waterborne paint technology emits far less fumes than the old solvent-based applications and there would be air filtering/ venting equipment installed.

When asked what kind of hours they would have, Slaughter said it would be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday through Friday.

On rare occasion, in order to get a car out, he said they might need to stay a half hour late.
Slaughter said two of his sons work for him and because it’s a family-owned business, he likes his employees to be able to go home to their families as well.

He estimated they would start out with probably 10 employees who would be able to turn out ten to 15 cars per week.

The venting equipment is computer-monitored and if there is a problem, the computer shuts the system down.

Slaughter likened the noise the exhaust system makes to a cooler.

When Commissioner Steve LaMar asked if the people at the Knolls subdivision would be able to smell his operation, Slaughter said, “They’re not going to be able to smell it.”

Roger Kohrs mentioned the coffee roasting fumes from the Cave Creek Coffee Company in the past.

Valerie Sheehan introduced herself as the owner of Spur Cross Station and said, “This is not Cave Creek Coffee Company. What goes on inside will not affect them. We’d like to see someone come in that building.”

LaMar said, “Among the choices of what kind of business … It’s not going to be an eyesore and it’s not going to have any impact. A restaurant or bar can be open until 1:30 and could have bands. This closes at five, has no traffic and won’t be open by the time most people come home from work.”

Bruce said, “When SUPs come up, I really think they have to meet every one of the criteria. I don’t think this meets the criteria and I can’t support it.”

Williams said, “It’s a commercial activity going into a commercial building in the commercial core,” stating it appeared to meet the criteria. “And, the applicant goes the extra mile to be green.”

Bryda said he, like Bruce, disliked SUPs but stated, “All we have to go on is health, safety and welfare.”

Baxley’s motion to recommend approval carried by a vote of 6-1 with Bruce dissenting.

Photo: Ric Slaughter explained to the planning commission he would be using a new waterborne paint technology at this shop, which emits far less fumes than older technology and without the hazardous waste.
Photo by Linda Bentley