BY LINDA BENTLEY | OCTOBER 10, 2012
Motorcycle repair shop gets nod for SUP next to Cave Creek Welding
‘I’ve been waiting 15 years for this!’
CAVE CREEK – During the Oct. 4 planning commission meeting, Planning Director Ian Cordwell presented a brief history of the property located next door to Cave Creek Welding on the west side of Cave Creek Road just north of Blue Ridge Drive, for which applicant Cameron Smith (r) was applying for a special use permit (SUP) for a motorcycle repair shop.
Cordwell said the automotive repair shop that once operated at that location was long gone and it has been a cabinet shop ever since.
Commissioner Ted Bryda asked Cordwell if the planning department wrote the narrative and referred to number three.
In response, Cordwell stated, “Yes, it’s right out of the ordinance.”
Bryda said, “Using words like ‘adequate’ is subjective” and asked if the SUP goes with the land since it was a rental property.
Cordwell said it would go with the land if the use were continuous but stated if the use were vacated for a year or more, it would require a new application.
He also said the commission wanted to review the zoning ordinance once a year and that section could be brought back for review and make changes if the commission so desired.
When Commission Chair Dan Baxley noted Smith had recently received commercial rezoning for his property on Cave Creek Road, he questioned why Smith was seeking the SUP.
Smith explained, “The opportunity wasn’t available in town until now.”
He said the shop was about 3,000 square feet and would allow his entire operation to be enclosed without being cramped.
Asked what his hours would be, Smith said he would be open Tuesday through Friday from 9 a.m. to 5 p.m., Saturday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and closed on Sunday and Monday.
Commissioner Rae Iverson asked how he would mitigate noise.
Smith said for the kind of work they do, they like to operate in a closed environment. He also stated, “We don’t need to have an engine running at 800 RPMs to know if it’s running or not.”
He said most of the exhaust systems were in the 40-60 dB range, under the noise ordinance requirements.
Bryda asked how flammable materials were going to be stored.
Smith replied all he keeps is about 10 gallons of gas, which would be stored as required.
Commissioner Ray Fontaine asked about the alley behind the property and asked if there was alley access.
Cordwell said there was.
Fontaine asked Smith if he would be using the alley for testing. Smith said he would not.
“We wouldn’t want to use the alley, most everything – 95 percent – would come in the front door,” said Smith, who noted the alley was mostly dirt and not a Harley’s best friend.
Baxley asked if Smith planned to sell any motorcycles from the shop. Smith said he might if the opportunity were to arise.
Baxley then pointed out the SUP was for a repair shop only and precluded him from selling motorcycles.
Smith responded, “Not a problem.”
Baxley asked Cordwell if Smith could continue to use the commercial property he was granted rezoning for a year ago if the SUP were to be approved.
Cordwell replied, “Yes,” since the property was now commercial.
Baxley, addressing Smith, said, “I have concerns. This commission went through extra efforts to accommodate you at the other location. We were told you wanted rezoning so you could put up a sign.”
Cordwell reminded Baxley Smith’s property was not on the agenda.
Iverson moved to recommend approval of the SUP and said, “As long as we’re in a position to place some stipulations on this SUP” and suggested the alley not be used for testing or for ingress and egress, in light of an e-mail received expressing concerns by the owner of an apartment complex behind the shop across the alley.
She also said she would like to be able to revisit the SUP regarding noise and fumes if there is a complaint.
Cordwell noted the town has a complaint driven system, whereas any complaint would be followed up on by the town marshal.
Fontaine, who seconded the motion, asked Smith about his lease.
Smith said he had a one-year agreement with Jay Stenson of Cave Creek Welding, who owns the building.
Baxley asked if the SUP could be brought back in a year.
Commissioner Reg Monachino stated, “I’m not going to be in favor of this with any restrictions.
We’re a complaint-driven system. I don’t see putting restrictions on someone bringing revenue to the town.”
Monachino brought up past applications that were declined, including those for a body shop and a custom motorcycle shop, which he said sent those businesses packing.
He reiterated, “I am opposed to placing any restrictions on this. I’d like to see business come to the town without a pile of restrictions.”
When Baxley said he was concerned about the use of the alleyway, Smith restated, “We don’t want to be in the alley or anywhere near dirt,” which Cordwell confirmed was pretty much the makeup of the alley along with broken asphalt and other materials.
With commissioners John Ford and Peter Omundson absent, the commission voted unanimously to recommend approval without any amendments or stipulations.
However, Iverson expressed concerns about the conditions discussed and wanted to make sure council would know what those concerns were.
Cordwell said the minutes from the meeting will be included with the agenda item when it goes to council, while Bryda stated she always has the option of taking up to three minutes during public comments.
After the meeting, Smith said, “I’ve been waiting 15 years for this!” and stated there has not been an opportunity for a shop in town for the entire time he’s lived here.