A request to rezone the site of a vehicle repair garage in Ottawa was withdrawn when the petitioners were assured the garage could continue operations under new ownership without any change.
The request before the plan commission Monday was to rezone the lot at the northwest corner of Madison and Sanger streets from residential to commercial.
Although the location — adjacent to Lincoln School — has long been the site of a vehicle repair garage, it is zoned as residential.
The site’s zoning once was designated as “non-conforming,” but several years back the city zoned all non-conforming sites as residential.
Today, the metal five-bay shop operates as B&R Automotive.
The presentation for Lanis Simpson, the property owner since 1981, was by his daughter, Ginger Govero.
Her concern, and the concern of buyer Brett Miller, was after the property sale, automotive repairs no longer would be allowed — only residential use.
However, officials assured Govero the automotive shop could continue to operate as a non-conforming use. But they noted that use would end if the shop either discontinued operation for more than a year, or if it was destroyed. Further uses of the property would have to be as residential.
Adding to the petitioners’ decision to withdraw their rezoning request was a motion by Plan Commissioner Debbie Burns to recommend to the City Council the request be denied.
The requested rezoning was to “C-3 special business district,” which allows automobile repair shops.
But Burns said the rezoning also would allow uses she did not think were right for that location.
Among many permitted uses for C-3 zoning are liquor stores, taverns, kennels and recycling centers.
Plan Commission Chairman Brent Barron said complaints had been received about vehicle parking at the business, which Miller disputed.
Govero said she had personally delivered the rezoning hearing notices to nearby residents and none objected to the repair garage.
Tom Vandervort, a neighbor to the property for nearly 50 years, said the site had been through a lot of uses and he did not object to the garage.