Montgomery Service Inc. – an auto repair shop and towing company – received a special permit under the zoning C-2 for automotive use at its new location at 141 North America Drive. The business is located on the site of the old Union Concrete, between Center Road and Seneca Street.
The business received the special permit from the Town Board Monday night with the condition that there are no automotive sales at the site and proper screening is provided for the neighbors. Initially, the planning board also recommended a condition that banned collision work as well. Town Code Enforcement Officer Jeff Baksa explained to the board why a condition like this might be wise even if collision work is generally allowed under automotive use.
“Along with that goes painting and fumes and dust and a lot of things that could affect the neighbors,” Baksa said. “Those are things we try to regulate in a special use permit. If they were going to be part of the use on the property, then there would be other things we would have to look at as distances and requirements on the property.”
However, business owner Al Montgomery asked for the collision condition not to be added. He didn’t think fumes or dust would be a problem, as the EPA already doesn’t allow that.
“We’re asking for the collision restriction to be removed,” Montgomery said. “The theory of dust and fumes and stuff like that would be in violation of the EPA to have that. That shouldn’t even be a question nowadays. You’d be in trouble with the EPA if that stuff is going on.”
Baksa noted that allowing collision work would mean inquiring about how many vehicles would be on the site at any given time. Board members stated their opposition to having a lot of dismantled vehicles visible on the site or becoming a junkyard.
Montgomery promised this would not be the case.
“We do try to process them in a timely manner,” Montgomery sad. “I didn’t buy this property to fill it up with junk cars and stuff. There would be about 15 to 20 vehicles.”
Meanwhile, Chief of Police Daniel Denz stated Monday that the town police department has used the business for towing work in the past and never has had a problem.
“Just so the Town Board knows, we’ve had a longstanding relationship with Mr. Montgomery in the police department,” Denz said. “He has assisted the town in many recoveries. There were instances where we needed him and he’s always been highly professional and runs a top-notch business.”
Councilman Bill Hanley asked Montgomery if he would be agreeable to the board putting the collision restriction on and then revisiting the issue in three months, which Montgomery said he would agree to. However, Town Councilman Jeff Piekarec broached the idea of not including the condition and then revisiting in three months.
“We say we want to make it easier for businesses to operate,” Piekarec said. “Rather than have them come back through the ringer and through all the boards again, I say we approve it and allow the collision work for now. If there are issues, then we revoke that access.”
The board agreed and approved the decision.