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  • Writer's pictureRoger Sims, Journal Staff

Parker denies conditional-use permit for automotive shop

Updated: Jun 8, 2023

By Roger Sims, Journal staff

PARKER – It was a difficult decision for the Parker City Council to make. Taylor Chapman and Julie Hurlock – or their investors – have spent thousands of dollars to build a sizable shop behind their home with the intent of opening an automotive repair shop.

The problem was that the house and building are located in a neighborhood across from the Parker Senior Center zoned for mobile homes, not businesses.

Since December the couple has been working to get the city’s approval for the business, first applying for rezoning and then shifting the game plan to applying for a conditional-use permit. But in the hearing on the CUP application on Thursday, May 11, the council seemed unable to make a decision.

Mayor Ashley Balthazor started the hearing by trying to answer what is called the Golden Rules zoning parlance. Those include questions about whether the proposed use fits the neighborhood, whether granting the permit would affect public safety or welfare, and what the impact on city facilities would be.

Also of concern was the hours that work would be happening in the garage and whether it would be disturbing neighbors outside of normal business hours.

Hurlock tried to answer the questions. The normal business hours would be 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., she told the council.

Balthazor also told the couple that it appeared on social media as if they were already running a business on their property. She said it appeared they already were not following rules they said they would follow.

But Hurlock said that it was being advertised as a mobile business, and Chapman would travel to other locations to perform the repairs.

At least one owner of adjacent buildings voiced concern at the hearing about locating an automotive repair shop near their properties.

Christina Byerley, who owns adjacent rental property, said she was very much against the city issuing the permit. She noted that Chapman and Hurlock were not the property owners, and she also worried that her tenants might be endangered because there was no wall to protect them in case of an explosion.

Hurlock said the property owner, Marvin Yoder, was fully aware of what they were doing and they had his full support.

City Attorney Burton Harding pushed for the council to make a decision, telling the council they had kept Chapman and Hurlock waiting since last December to either permit or deny a zoning change or permit or deny a conditional-use permit.

The council has delayed the decision long enough, Harding said.

Saying that the business did not fit the character of the residential neighborhood, Councilman Jason Webber made a motion to deny the permit request. The motion was approved on a 3-1 vote with Councilman Jerry Summers voting against it.

In his report to the council, Police Chief Craig Haley told the council that several issues were being addressed by his department. That includes problems with loose dogs and people living in sheds or in trailers.

He admitted that the process for dealing with those issues had not been very fast, but he said that the enforcement of city laws and codes had been neglected for 20 years, and that he and Officer Cody Kiser had much to do to get caught up.

The mayor said she had received many complaints about all-terrain vehicles being driven recklessly.

“That’s difficult to get under control after years of neglect,” Haley said. He added that most of the offenders were juveniles, and with a new group of kids now having those vehicles, it has been hard to enforce.

“We’ve had some fruitful conversations,” Haley said, adding that his department is allowing a grace period but will soon begin talking to parents and issuing tickets.

He also reported that the Central Square police record system was now up for Parker, and he plans to start entering records into the system.

The council voted to accept a police vehicle donated to Parker by the city of Pleasanton and also voted to allow Haley to install a radio. Also approved was the purchase of two law enforcement rifles at $500 each to be installed in both police vehicles.

In other business, the council:

  • Voted to reinstate the city’s planning and zoning board. The board can have up to five members from inside city limits and up to two members outside city boundaries.

  • Discussed establishing truck routes in the city. However, a discussion about which roads can only be used by truck traffic that were not traveling through to another road put the decision about that on hold again.

  • Approved paying city maintenance worker Dever Scott $80 per hour for use of his tractor until the council decides to purchase a new one.

  • Learned that the First Baptist Church would celebrate its 50th anniversary at 10 a.m. on June 10.

  • Learned that June 3 will be the citywide garage sale and June 17 will be the citywide cleanup date. Sewell said anyone needing help with the cleanup should contact the city.

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