ROSWELL, Ga. – A proposed used car lot on Ga. 9 was unanimously denied by council at their Oct. 8 meeting.
This denial was led by residents who live nearby the site.
The city has expressed in the past a desire to improve its frontage along Ga. 9, and part of that facelift is eventually removing the used car dealerships.
The problem comes that the site is already zoned for high commercial use, which includes car lots. There is even a used car lot across the street.
The applicant, Mohammed Shad, already owns several car dealerships – both used and new – in the metro Atlanta area, including Roswell Mitsubishi.
“We intend to utilize the property as-is, with no changes,” said Tom Forkner, representing Shad.
The site is at the intersection of Ga. 9 and Prospect Street, in the offices of a former Bank of North Georgia. The parking lot does not front the road, but instead sits behind the building, along Prospect Street.
This irked those who live on the street.
“We don’t want to be surrounded by used car lots,” said one resident who said her window looks out upon the site. “All night long, I can hear car alarms of people trying to break in [to the cars on the lot across the street].”
The city’s planning commission and city staff had already decided to deny the application, however council had the final say.
“It’s an inappropriate use in the current area,” said Community Development Director Brad Townsend, summing up the position of staff. The city’s future land use plans do not include dealerships on that lot. The city would normally have restrictions on a car dealership, but because the applicant did not want to change anything on the site, he could be grandfathered in from having to make any distance adjustments a typical building might have – such as distance requirements from residents. It would still need a conditional use that would have to be approved by council.
“The parking lot will still be across from a residential area,” a surprised Forkner said after several residents spoke in opposition to the proposal. “This meets all of the requirements of what the city wants.”
Council decided otherwise, and unanimously denied it.
“[City laws were] put in place to prohibit exactly what is being presented,” said Councilman Kent Ogleheart.