The rezoning of a new car dealership on Washington Road was passed on Tuesday despite opposition from many owners of the Montclair subdivision.
Mayor Hardie Davis broke a 5-5 tie for approval of new dealer Jim Hudson at the corner of Washington and Warren Roads.
âWe’ve gone from one motorized mile to one dealership that leaves after another,â said Davis. In the past, several concessionaires lined the Gordon Highway corridor while today there are only a few.
Darren Meadows, attorney for the concession, said they had had several meetings with the owners, including those whose properties would be contiguous to the rear of the concession, and made concessions such as increasing a 20 to 25 foot plant buffer and placement of the dealer fence behind this.
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The facility will not be the “little palace” that Hudson recently opened on the Richmond-Columbia County border, he said. The Lexus dealership on Washington Road is tall and brightly lit.
All test drives are chaperoned and will not use Montclair roads unless the buyer lives in the neighborhood and wants to, he said.
Meadows estimated that the concessionaire would contribute at least half a million a year to the city coffers in the form of ad valorem and 1% sales taxes. âThese numbers could be and we hope they will be higher,â he said.
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Only one owner of Montclair spoke out in favor of the project while dozens opposed it. More than 100 had signed a petition against her.
Owner Todd Lamb said the car dealership was “the lesser of all evils” and preferable to a cluster of restaurants or other high traffic establishments. Given the location, landlocked by commercial uses on Washington Road, “it’s only a matter of time,” he said.
Montclair owner Jim Daniel has spoken out against the project as damaging Montclair’s “$ 100 million tax digest”, destructive to its canopy and potentially dangerous to the school and community center on Warren Road in Montreal. proximity.
Owner Kathy Kennedy said car buyers would avoid Washington Road like many drivers do and use their neighborhood as a shortcut.
Commissioner John Clarke, who represents the region, brought forward a motion to deny the rezoning request. The vote was tied at 5-5 but Davis refused to break the tie.
Pro-Mayor Tem Bobby Williams’ motion for approval has been tied in a similar fashion, with Commissioners Dennis Williams, Catherine Smith McKnight, Ben Hasan, Francine Scott and himself in favor. Commissioners Jordan Johnson, Alvin Mason, Sean Frantom, Brandon Garrett and Clarke voted no.