Planning Commission
PLANNING COMMISSION chairman Dan Spray and commissioners Zack Gangwer (second from left), Dirk Waite and Frank Arens have a discussion Tuesday morning.

The Norfolk Planning Commission did not give its blessing Tuesday to a plan for a new business near one of Norfolk’s busiest corridors.

Two requests came before the commission at its meeting Tuesday morning: a zoning change request and a request for a conditional-use permit to allow the sale of automobiles at 1229 West Pasewalk Avenue, just east of the Burger King restaurant located at the corner of 13th Street and Pasewalk Avenue.

Though the zoning change was approved, commissioners were skeptical about the plans for the used car business. The request for the conditional-use permit was made by Benjamin Escoto Ayon.

Several commissioners questioned the thoroughness of the plans and how changing the layout of that lot would affect traffic.

Commissioner Matt Gilmore summed up the commission’s concerns during the discussion.

“I think this plan should be more defined,” Gilmore said.

Troy Uhlir, a Madison County commissioner and owner of several adjacent properties, also voiced his concerns, saying the plans did not make it clear how it would affect his property.

Uhlir gave a brief history of the address in question, saying that a previous property owner allowed garbage to pile up in the area, and that he wanted whoever owned the property to use it responsibly.

Commissioners considered tabling the permit request, but a motion was made to send the request to a subcommittee for further study. After more discussion, the motion to send the item to committee was denied by a unanimous vote, and the commission moved on to the next agenda item.

Frank Arens said during an open discussion period later that he has no personal issues with used car businesses or the property owner, but felt that the lot could be utilized better.

“I just think we need to further consider what the best use for this lot is,” Arens said.

Commission chairman Dan Spray agreed with Arens, and said he was concerned about the repercussions to traffic coming and going from 13th Street.

In other business, the commission approved final plats for several developments, including an addition to Victory Village, an apartment complex in southeast Norfolk, and a new building for Midwest Bank.

In other news

A grand jury will be convened next week in Madison County to investigate the circumstances surrounding the June 9 death of Cory Dittman of Norfolk.

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