Developer’s proposal shot down by commission
Without significant changes to the proposal, there won’t be a car care center at the corner of Tom Short and Rea roads. County commissioners rejected a request for a text amendment in the land use ordinance during their Tuesday, Jan. 17 meeting.
Raley-Miller CEO David Miller filed a request earlier this year for a text amendment to the county’s land use ordinance, for the commercial property, located right in front of the Kohl’s at the intersection of Tom Short and Rea roads. Auto repair shops are allowed as part of a gas station within the B2 zoning district. However a car care center by itself, with no gas station pumps, is not. The text amendment would allow Miller to contract for a car care center, with a special use permit from the county.
At the Nov. 1 planning board hearing, Miller told board members his company was currently negotiating to fill that space. Raley Miller Properties owns both the northeast and southeast corner of the shopping center.
Residents who live nearby made it clear in past meetings they didn’t want the proposed center there and commissioners said they heard loud and clear.
“I don’t think I’ve received more emails on anything in my life,” County Commission Vice Chair Todd Johnson said. “A text amendment such as this should be considered during a total rewrite (of the land use plan).”
Before moving forward with any amendments or rewrites, Johnson said he wanted to see the county work with the different towns and Homeowners Associations to design something that works for everyone involved.
Johnson’s words were echoed by commissioner Kim Rogers, who said the county needed to do a better job of making sure commercial and residential development were in harmony.
“If you have a commercial property that comes into an already established residential area, it needs to be different,” Rogers said. I don’t care what part of the county it comes in. If the development’s been there for years, there needs to be a different kind of zoning (that protects residents).”
County commissioner Johnathan Thomas said if residents had been in favor of the project, then he would have considered voting in favor of it.
“We ran a pretty clear campaign on property rights,” Thomas said. “I would (have voted in favor) if the people had said we want this, we need this. That simply is not the case. They made it very clear they don’t want it.”
Additionally, Thomas questioned why the county should grant a text amendment for one group, when there are several things that need to be fixed in the land use plan, which is more than 20 years old.
Board members voted unanimously to reject the request.