Board tables car sales proposal

SIDNEY — Issues of property lines and ownership prompted the Sidney Zoning Board of Appeals Monday to table a request for a permit to open a car sales business.

The board followed the recommendation of the city staff to table a request by Keagan Donaldson for a conditional-use permit for motor vehicle sales at 301 N. Ohio Ave. The board also heard from a neighborhood resident who complained about loud noises and other problems on the property.

The property is in the B-5, courtsquare business district, in which motor vehicles sales are permitted as a conditional use. Barbara Dulworth, city community services director, said in her report to the board that Donaldson intends to use a small portion of the building for a business office and at least one bay for servicing of motor vehicles. In addition, display of vehicles for sale as well as customer parking is proposed on an asphalt parking area to the south of the building.

The site plan Donaldson provided indicates the south property line is approximately adjacent to the south side of the asphalted area, but Shelby County parcel records indicate that the actual property line is much farther north and actually touches the southeast corner of the building at 301 N. Ohio Ave., Dulworth said. The majority of the asphalted area appears to belong the CSX Railroad. Based on the Shelby County Recorder’s information, the property in question does not have direct access to the street right of way except at the front wall of the building. “As such, any approval of the requested conditional-use permit would imply permission to cross and use property owned by a third party, which the city does have authority to grant,” Dulworth said.

Because of these issues, Dulworth recommended that the matter be tabled until Donaldson provides a survey plat, stamped and signed by a licensed surveyor, verifying the location of the property lines and ownership in relation to the building and parking areas.

Although Donaldson submitted the conditional-use request for 301 N. Ohio, the property actually is owned by Thomas R. Moloney.

Donaldson’s uncle, Donnie Donaldson, spoke to the board on his nephew’s behalf. Donaldson said he would contact CSX and have a survey done to clear up the property-line issue. “I’m just now finding out about it,” he said. “Whatever it takes to do it, I will do.”

Donaldson said the building has been “sitting empty” for many years and the plans to use it would be an improvement for the area.

Ladonna Mullins, who lives on West Avenue behind the parking lot, said cars speed through the lot, and noise from the building also disturbs the neighborhood. “It’s very, very loud when people are working on vehicles,” she said. She said she wasn’t opposed to a car sales business locating there, as long as no mechanical work is done on the site. She also said she had complained to city officials about the problems, but had not been satisfied with their response.

Dave Fleming, board chairman, told Mullins that all mechanical work would have to be done indoors at specified hours. Legally, there’s not supposed to be a business there at this time, he added.

Fleming suggested that Mullins bring her concerns before City Council if the problems continue.

Donaldson addressed Mullins’ concerns saying he plans to fence the property off, once the ownership issue is resolved. He said he’s already been filling holes in the lot. He said his construction company has an office in the building. Fleming told Donaldson he must get an occupancy permit from the city in order to legally have the office there.

By Michael Seffrin

The writer may be contacted at 937-538-4823 and on Twitter @MikeSeffrinSDN.