West County Honda is aiming to add on to their Manchester location by acquiring additional lot space at Old State Road and Pierside Lane in Ellisville.
Lee Allen, owner of the land that would be used for the dealership expansion, has been purchasing property on Old State over the last six months. Allen requested the potential dealership's property at 445 and 437 Old State Road be changed from light industrial zoning to planned commercial zoning, allowing the dealership's function to operate on the land district.
Allen said the Honda expansion would not provide vehicle services, but serve as mainly a storage location for primarily used cars and some sales operations. Allen is also working to make boundary adjustments to provide space for the lot and an office building for sales staff.
West County Honda Owner Bill Caffarella said dealership functions would still be centralized at the main store on Manchester.
Nearby resident Greg Ruppel said he was concerned with the dealership's new location and was opposed to the petition.
"I don't think it's in keeping with the residential use of this area," Ruppel said, adding he was concerned about lights, noise and the traffic impact the expansion would generate. Allen said he is willing to work with residents to answer questions and solve problems.
"There are a lot of uses that would be a lot harsher than this," Allen said, vying for the zoning switch. "This purpose would be low impact."
City Planner Ada Hood said the connection and expansion of Pierside Lane, which currently runs perpendicular to Old State, would allow right-of-way access to Ellisville's Public Works Department, located behind where the dealership lot would be. Hood added extending Pierside has been in the city's comprehensive plan since before 1998 and would be planned with Allen's cooperation.
The boundary adjustment would create a front and back lot on the property, with the dealership planned for a 2-acre portion. Hood said it would not be considered a "full-fledged" car dealership, as others are about 4 acres in size.
Ellisville Planning and Zoning Commissioner James Poisso requested to amend the recommendation in order to restrict hours of operation to be 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. on weekdays and open until 7 p.m. on weekends.
The commission voted Sept. 12 for a negative recommendation to Ellisville City Council regarding the rezoning petition, boundary adjustment and site development plan. A public hearing will be held at the council meeting Sept. 19 at 7 p.m. at City Hall. The right-of-way plat legislation is also up for review and a council decision Wednesday.