The city’s Zoning Hearing Board on Wednesday granted a waiver to allow a couple to start an auto repair shop in a building on South Kettle Street that previously housed a similar business but had expired grandfather status.
Rodnee and Nanette Williams of Legacy Auto Worx had been under the impression from a real estate agent that there would be no zoning issues in opening their store in the neighborhood commercial area, according to Williams attorney Mike Adams.
They learned when they applied for a business license that there was a problem because more than a year had passed since the previous store went out of business, Adams said.
“Someone should have told me” said Rodnee Williams.
The Williams missed the deadline by a month, according to Rebecca Brown, director of the Department of Codes and Inspections.
The Williams paid $273,000 for the property, which sits at the corner of Hudson Avenue, and invested an additional $150,000 to get the store ready, Adams said.
The building is not really suitable for housing, according to Rodnee Williams.
There are other commercial properties nearby, including a vehicle repair shop across Kettle Street, so a little more marketing shouldn’t be a problem, Adams said.
Just across Hudson, the zoning changes and repair shops are allowed, someone observed.
And Kettle is a busy street with lots of trucks, Williams said.
Also there are “a pretty good need” for auto repair services in the area, Williams said.
There is enough off-street parking for the proposed six employees at the store and the likely load of customers, Williams said.
The council approved the waiver unanimously, although the store is not to exceed its proposed opening hours of 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday to Friday and 8 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.
The city would like real estate agents to inform their clients of zoning considerations when marketing properties, Brown said.
It’s possible the person working with the Williamses told them there was no zoning issue before Grandpa’s clearance expired, attorney Bill Stokan said.
The Mirror’s staff writer, William Kibler, is at 814-949-7038.