OMAHA, Neb. — According to www.omaha.com, a carwash owner’s application for rezoning part of his lot has been denied.
Ten years ago, in a bid to expand the business, Steve Buchanan of Buchanan’s Service Center, purchased a residential lot neighboring his company and tore down the house that was there, the article continued.
He applied to have the residential lot rezoned for commercial use so that he could put in an extended driveway to the notoriously tricky entrance to the carwash, but at the time, the application was denied, the article stated.
This year, however, he had the driveway poured without a permit or rezoning approval, the article noted.
Someone complained to the Planning Department, which told Buchanan that he would have to remove the concrete, the article added.
In response, Buchanan filed another application for rezoning as well as a plan to put in a 6-foot privacy fence and better landscaping to help screen the business from the neighbors, the article added.
However, worried about setting a bad precedent by retroactively rezoning lots, the Planning Board voted 5-1 to deny Buchanan’s request and thus sided with the City Planning Department, the article continued.
Eric Englund, city planning manager, stated that the city appreciated Buchanan’s honesty and apology about building the driveway as well as his offer to restrict any further expansion of his corner business, the article noted.
However, Englund said, “We don’t view that as justification for expansion,” and he added that the way the driveway was created is “a blatant disregard of the master plan.”
“If you allow it here, we believe it sets a precedent for elsewhere,” Englund added.
Ryan Glenn, Buchanan’s attorney, said Buchanan would sign a development agreement that would prohibit him from ever expanding his station in order to address some of his neighbors’ concerns that he might build a large Bucky’s convenience store on the site, the article noted.
Glenn added that Buchanan planned to put a new façade on the business that would be modeled after a 1920s service station, given the historic status of the neighborhood, and said that the neighborhood would end up in a better position, the article added.
Peter Manhart, president of the Dundee-Memorial Park Neighborhood Association, said his board now supports Buchanan’s proposal, adding, “What we wanted as a board is just Steve to give us his word. He loves the neighborhood and will do the right thing. We’re confident of that.”
Read the original article here.