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Spring Street Motors zoning to get final decision
The city board is scheduled to decide on Tuesday night if this property on Spring Street will be zoned commercial. It was formerly a used car lot, but its lost its grandfather status in whats a residential area.

City officials will decide the zoning fate of the Spring Street Motors property on Tuesday night at 7 p.m.
The property’s current owner, Scottie Keel, requested of McMinnville Regional Planning Commission to consider changing the property’s zoning from primarily residential (R-2) to a mixed residential-commercial (R-5). Keel said he wants to continue the current commercial use of the property and renovate it into office spaces.
“Since it’s been a car lot for 50 years, I wasn’t wanting to take it to total commercial but to open the options a little bit to some professional offices,” said Keel.
What seems like an easy request is far from it. The property was used as a car lot for 50 years. However, its use was grandfathered in due to it being in place prior to the city establishing zones. Once the car lot closed, it lost that distinction after one year. The property’s zone is R-2 and it does not allow commercial uses such as a car lot or professional offices.
Planning and Zoning director Nolan Ming added one more hurdle is the property is surrounded by residential -- not commercial -- making the requested change “spot zoning” which is the placement of a small area of land in a different zone from that of neighboring property.
“My recommendation is to deny the request for rezoning,” said Ming. “My recommendation is based on two items: it’s a nonconforming use which lost its grandfather status after a year of not being used as a car dealership, and it’s considered spot zoning which defeats the purpose of zoning.”
Neighbor Kevin Duncan spoke against the zoning change.
“I’m totally against it,” said Duncan. “It’s one of the oldest streets in McMinnville. There are a lot of beautiful homes. We’re totally against commercial. As we understand it, Commercial-5 can be just about anything. I don’t doubt what Mr. Keel says but when he sells it, any of the other uses can be placed there. There’s very little parking. I’m just totally against this.”
Commission members voted 4-1 against changing the zone. Commission members Jim Brock, David Marttala, Jerry Williamson, and Steve Harvey voted to deny the request, while Amie Hodges voted to allow it.
The commission is advisory to the Board of Mayor and Aldermen, which will make the final decision.