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Washington Voices

Millwood auto body shop granted permit

Sat., March 1, 2014, midnight

Zoning restrictions removed in January pave the way for a new business to open in Millwood.

During Tuesday night’s special meeting, the Millwood City Council unanimously granted Randall Gillingham a conditional use permit for a planned auto body repair shop. The shop will open in the former Craftsman Construction building, 3106 N. Argonne Road.

“It’s going to be a clean operation,” said Gillingham, who is in the process of buying the property. “It should be a good addition to the city.”

The Planning Commission specified three conditions for approval: converting a fence on the property to a privacy fence, the north side of the building must not be used for storage and damaged vehicles can’t be stored outside the business for more than 48 hours.

Council approved an amendment in January allowing property owners in the Low Intensity Commercial/Mixed Use, or C-1, zone along Argonne to apply for a conditional use permit “for a use that is not listed as a permitted use, as long as the proposed use is not specifically prohibited in that zone.”

The catalyst for the amendment was a request from Craftsman Construction owner Jim Breidenbach. He wanted to sell the property and Gillingham’s offer was contingent on amending the zoning provisions.

The council sent a proposal to remove restrictions on businesses wanting to serve alcohol in the C-1 zone back to the Planning Commission.

Currently businesses are required to obtain a conditional use permit to serve alcohol in the zone, and are not allowed within 500 feet of churches, schools, public parks or playgrounds.

City Planner Tom Richardson, who introduced the amendment, said the restrictions date back to 1978.

“I think requiring a conditional use permit in the C-1 zone is unnecessary,” Richardson said. “We don’t do that in the C-2 (commercial) zone.”

West Valley School District Superintendent Gene Sementi expressed concern over the proposed change.

“I would be concerned if an establishment would front the school,” Sementi said.

Sementi also expressed misgivings over the reliability of the Washington State Liquor Control Board about notifying the school board of pending liquor applications so the board could object to licenses located within 500 feet of a school.In other action, the council approved an amendment allowing the city to consider minor amendments on development regulations at any time during the year. Currently all amendments are considered in January. Development regulations include issues of zoning, shoreline and environmental regulations and building.


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