County Planning Commission denies recommendation of vehicle repair shop

Vehicle repair shop denied recommendation from panel

By Lucas Irizarry, Staff Reporter

The St. Louis County Planning Commission voted to recommend denial May 23 for a vehicle repair workshop on Lemay Ferry near Southcrest Way.

The proposal is on a .92 acre lot. It features four service bays, two of which are in a to-be-remodeled car wash, one sales bay and pavement and gravel resurfacing. Engineer Steve Rush, representing the petitioner, said there would be a maximum of 25 cars on site, and no car would remain for more than a week.

County staff recommended denial of the plan to the commission, citing issues with curb cuts, a lack of fencing, lack of lighting and no distinction between storage and parking. Staff also found that vehicle sales were not appropriate at the site.

“We don’t find that vehicle sales is appropriate at a small site,” Acting Director of Planning Jacob Trimble said. “There are no straight zoning districts … that permit vehicle sales on a site less than an acre in size. The commission and the department has been very concerned about the expansion of vehicle sales … because they can be really hard to enforce any sort of design criteria or any sort of regulations.”

Commissioners were concerned about the options going forward for the petitioner if they decide to pursue the project after a potential denial. Trimble said the petitioner contacted staff prior to the meeting to request a hold. 

If the County Council votes to deny the project, the petitioner would have to wait one year to resubmit a similar request, or they could drastically change the plan and resubmit sooner. Commissioner Bill Sneed asked if it would be better for the petitioner if the plan were held or approved/denied, but Trimble said the staff has major concerns about the project design overall.

The commission voted 6-0 to recommend denial.