• Roger Sims, Journal Staff

La Cygne council approves permit for tow service


LA CYGNE – The La Cygne City Council last week unanimously approved a conditional-use permit for a tow service to operate out of a building on Market Street. The vote, however, came despite cautions by the city attorney who suggested additional conditions.


The council approved an ordinance that would allow Miami Tow & Recovery LLC to store vehicles in a building at 205 E. Market St. The conditions described in the ordinance included setting a limit of six vehicles stored inside the building and no vehicles parked or stored outside the building.


The La Cygne Planning and Zoning Commission voted to recommend that the council approve the conditional-use at it’s meeting in July. The council had the options of approving the ordinance, rejecting the ordinance with a reason for the rejection or sending it back to the planning and zoning commission with suggested changes.


City Clerk Jodi Wade said that the owners, Scott Lee and Krista Schmid-Lee, had walked the planning and zoning commission through their plans for the building and commission members were satisfied that it was a suitable use for the building, which is in a C2 commercial zone.

City Attorney Burton Harding told the council that he was familiar with the operation of tow companies and that he was concerned about liability issues and leaking fluids.


Speaking for the company, Scott Lee told the council that his company routinely used plastic pans to contain any leaks. He also said the building had a concrete floor, which would prevent any fluids from seeping into the ground.


Lee also told the council that his company had certification with the Kansas Department of Transportation on handling hazardous materials.

Harding suggested that the council add use of plastic pans to catch liquids as a condition. He also said he was concerned that the vehicles left in the building could be the target of criminal activity.


While Lee indicated that there were no plans to install security cameras yet, he said that once a vehicle was towed to the building, it would be routinely moved to the company’s Fontana storage lot within 15 days.


One of the conditions of the ordinance is that no vehicles be parked outside the building, and while Lee said that would be true of wrecked vehicles stored there, at times his company’s wrecker would be parked by the building.


Councilman Keith Stoker noted that the auto repair shop in the same building already had several vehicles parked around the building. He said that business would have the same issue with security cameras.

Councilman Thomas Capp added that the repair business handled gallons of oil on a regular basis without restriction.

After the council noted that the conditional-use permit was only for one year, which would give the city enough time to note any problems, Councilman Jerome Mitzner made the motion to approve the ordinance with the addition of a requirement that security cameras be installed.

The ordinance received unanimous approval.

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