Pasco City Council votes against used car lot near Road 68

By Geoff Folsom, Tri-City HeraldJuly 29, 2013 

A split Pasco City Council voted Monday night to deny an application to put a used car lot near Road 68.

The council voted 4-3 to uphold the city planning commission's recommended denial of a special permit to allow the business to go in the 6300 block of Burden Boulevard. Councilman Mike Garrison missed a July 15 vote on the topic, when council deadlocked 3-3.

Garrison spent most of the weekend reviewing the planning commission's decision, and agreed with its findings that the special permit wasn't appropriate for the area, he said Monday.

Mayor Pro Tem Rebecca Francik said the city intended for special permits for car lots to go to businesses that are taking over old service stations in the center part of the city. The business met neither of those criteria.

But Councilman Al Yenney wanted to send the item back to the planning commission, with the hope that it would allow applicant Dave Warner to try again for the permit -- with conditions like selling cars that are no more than a few years old and requiring the business to have an on-site sales office, which wasn't in the initial plans.

Councilmen Tom Larsen and Bob Hoffmann joined Yenney in opposition.

After denying the permit, council then voted 7-0 to ask the planning commission to review its rules on car lots in certain commercial areas. The rules haven't been updated since the early 1980s.

"It's not what I like, but it's better than nothing," Yenney said of the votes.

Also Monday, the council:

-- Approved allowing a temporary left-turn lane off Road 68 into the Sandifur Plaza Retail Center when improvements are made on Road 68. The turn lane, located just south of the intersection with Sandifur Parkway, was not part of the original $1.2 million project plan. It was added after a business owner said it could impact customer access to his store. Public works Director Ahmad Qayoumi has said the turn lane will add between $5,000 and $10,000 to the project's cost. The city will also have to pay about the same amount to take it out once traffic picks up enough in the area to make the lane no longer feasible.

-- Approved the mayor's appointment of Carl Leth to a three-year term on the Trade, Recreation and Agricultural Center advisory board.

-- Approved a preliminary plat to allow homes to be built on 15 lots east of Road 68, south of the Chapel Hill subdivision.

-- Appointed Roger Bettencourt, Mark MacFarlan and E. Frank Votaw to the "pro" committee, and Michael Miller, Jan Tidrick and Mayor Matt Watkins to the "con" committee for the Nov. 5 vote on changing Pasco's form of government. They also appointed MacFarlan, Carol Bettencourt and Jan Tomlinson to the "pro" committee, and Len Harms, Jeff Hendler and Curt Rabideau to the "con" committee on reducing the city limits by canceling two recent annexations. The committees write information to appear in voter guides leading up to the election.

-- Approved a proposed capital improvement plan for 2014-19, with a preliminary budget of $151.3 million.

-- Approved paying two contracts for the West Pasco Water Treatment Plant. The plant has been running since 2011, but payment was hampered by legal issues. The city is paying Apollo Inc. $9.67 million and Pall Corp. $2.19 million.

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