LAKEWOOD - The Lakewood Planning Board has given its stamp of approval to LUV Toyota's new service station.
The recommendation is the first step toward owner William McFadden's request for a special-use permit for the 3,090-square-foot building project.
According to Lakewood zoning law, the establishment of a vehicle service station within a B-2 highway business district requires a special-use permit. The planning board met to discuss whether it should send a recommendation of approval to the village board, as well as to ask Paul Potter, McFadden's engineer for the project, several questions about the proposal.
The planning board considered, before the meeting, how such a project could impact traffic safety, neighborhood character and the environment, as well as other factors.
During the meeting, which did not allow for any public questioning or comment, Potter was asked by members of the board about the aforementioned topics, as well as how factors such as rainwater runoff would be dealt with due to the increase in impermeable surface, as well as if he or McFadden had conducted a state environmental review.
One member of the board, Marion Gibbon, was concerned with the placement of the project, should it be undertaken, as Fairmount Avenue is already very cluttered with industrial buildings.
"While I understand from a business point that (McFadden) would like the building facing the road, from a local perspective, I'd like to see it (turned 90 degrees) because we already have so many car buildings on that road," Gibbon said. "Another such building would be visually unattractive, and if there is signage on the property anyway, I would think that the building could be turned and push the building back, which would allow for more green space in the front."
"The plan for the express service facility has been done in a number of facilities around the country," was McFadden's response. "The value proposition is that an individual can bring their vehicle in without an appointment, get their oil and filter changed in eight minutes ... and get a free 21-point inspection done within those eight minutes and get a coupon for a free car wash. There is nothing like this in this community, and for that reason, it will truly dominate this industry in this locale. It absolutely must be done with the business plan that is in place - literally the whole procedure and the success of the project is dependent on the business plan being followed, and part of that is the location of the building."
Ultimately, the board approved a recommendation of the 3,090 square foot station to the village board with a vote of 4 to 1, with Gibbon being the only vote of nay.
The Lakewood Village Board will convene on Monday, Sept. 24, and will likely set a public hearing regarding McFadden's proposal at that time, according to Jon Pearson, planning board member. Once a public hearing date has been set, that date will be announced by The Post-Journal.