Buchanan Town Council made a text amendment to its zoning ordinance that allows an auto repair shop in the town’s Trade zoning district with a special use permit (SUP), then approved an SUP for Steven Newcomb so he could operated a repair shop in the former garage at the corner of Main Street and Parkway Drive (Rt. 43) at its December meeting.

Newcomb wanted to rent the part of the building that more recently had a yarn shop, but the allowed zoning for auto repair had lapsed because it had been more than two years since the building was used for that purpose.

Council and the town Planning Commission was sympathetic to the request because the building was originally built for Mountcastle Garage, and part of the building on the Parkway Drive side is already being used for auto repair.

Under the language used for the text amendment for auto repair shop, it’s made clear this use does not allow salvage vehicles to be held on the property.

The Planning Commission wanted to be sure there was no confusion about that when discussing the possible zoning ordinance text amendment, according to Town Manager Mary Zirkle’s report to council.

The text amendment also says all vehicles being repaired shall be kept in an enclosed building or behind the rear building line or behind an opaque fence screening in the side yard.

The SUP for Newcomb comes with four conditions. Salvage vehicles shall not be held on the property, all vehicles being repaired shall be kept in an enclosed building or behind the rear building line or behind an opaque fence screening in the side yard; used fluids and auto-related material shall be disposed of properly and may be held on site until proper disposal shall occur on a regular basis, and the parcel shall not be used for residential purposes.

Council also eliminated the 35-feet height restriction for a specific structures in the Public zoning district.

The town is building a new water storage tank on property off Bridge Street to replace a dated reservoir, but the water tank will be higher than the 35 feet allowed by the current ordinance.

Council agreed to a Planning Commission recommendation that a height exception would only apply for water tanks at this time. The ordinance change says, “Water tanks servicing the Town of Buchanan may exceed the height of the district,” but without specifying by how much.

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