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Wednesday, 27 February 2019 22:58

Planning Commission Turns Down Effort to Reopen Former Magnolia, AR, Auto Shop

Written by Mike McNeill, MagnoliaReporter.com
The Magnolia Planning Commission voted down a request to allow this former auto repair shop on North Dudney to be reopened as a body shop. The Magnolia Planning Commission voted down a request to allow this former auto repair shop on North Dudney to be reopened as a body shop.

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On Feb. 18, the Magnolia, AR, Planning Commission turned down two men who wanted to reopen the former Hampton Auto Shop.

 

The commission voted 4-2 against granting Russell Warren a variance to operate an auto body and repair shop at 605 N. Dudney.

 

The property is zoned as Residential 3. This means an auto repair shop cannot be operated on the property, although the late Troyce Hampton ran his repair shop at the Dudney-Smith corner for many years.

 

Warren and co-owner Billy Penick said they bought the building in hopes of moving Warren’s auto repair business from North Vine Street to North Dudney. They learned later that the building’s current R-3 zoning prevents the location from being used for such a purpose, leading to the variance request.

 

Warren told commissioners he planned to make extensive repairs to the building, including new metal, windows, awnings and doors.

 

Warren went through a list of problems the commission might have with granting the variance and how he planned to address them.

 

The loudest piece of equipment---an air compressor---would be placed inside the building. Warren said he planned to park all cars inside the building at night. He also had hopes of buying property across Dudney Street and behind the Hampton shop for his business.

 

Penick said any “overflow” of customer vehicles would be parked at another location until they could be repaired.

 

Warren said he hoped his business would grow to the point of having to relocate again in a few years. He said he would then want to tear down the shop and build apartments at the site.

 

Warren is the only employee of his business but said the relocation would allow him to hire three more people.

 

Commissioners noted that the location is better suited for apartments than for an auto body shop. Commissioner Les Kent wished aloud that Warren would reverse his plans---build apartments on Dudney and build the body shop elsewhere.

 

Warren said he’d like to own property on Main Street but can’t afford it.


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