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AURORA -- An attempt to hide vehicles being repaired and equipment setting on a Page Road property from neighboring residents' view gained planning commission approval at its June 21 meeting.
However, City Council must pass judgment before a conditional zoning certificate is issued for a 60-by-200-foot outdoor storage space on 2.1 acres at 1340 Page Road.
The Concrete Guys and M.O. Haulers, two firms which lease space in the Louis Telerico-owned building, applied for the CZC. Gateway Towing also leases space there, but has its own impound lot and will not utilize the new storage space.
M.O. Hauling repairs heavy-duty trucks, including diesel engines. The firm uses its towing equipment to go to a customer's site and bring back the vehicles.
The Concrete Guys is a concrete construction business which uses equipment such as excavators, bulldozers, skid-steers and concrete machines.
At last week's meeting and one held earlier in June, a handful of residents on Page and Bartlett roads voiced concerns about the unsightliness of the property, noise and large trucks which enter and exit the property and sometimes are parked there.
At least one resident explained the trucks have caused damage to her property. The building has existed since 1994, and since 2009 has been the subject of several written violation notices from the city.
Gateway Towing's owner Chris Moser admitted there have been problems at the site for many years and the property owner has done nothing to rectify the situation.
He said he has been talking with city officials for several months in an attempt to reach a solution that would be acceptable to the other tenants and the nearby residents.
Planners attached several conditions to the CZC. "If the tenants do not comply with them, the CZC could be revoked," explained Planning-Zoning-Building Director Denise Januska.
The conditions include building an 8-foot high mound on the north and south sides of the storage space, planting 6-foot tall pine trees to screen the vehicles and equipment from the residential area, widening a back entrance and complying with city noise ordinances.
The mound and trees must be in place within 60 days of approval by City Council, Januska noted, adding if storage is expanded outside of the approved area, the CZC could be revoked.
"We plan to do all that's in our power to hold the tenants and property owner responsible for keeping the site in decent shape," said City Law Director Dean DePiero.
Amy Varney, who spoke at both of the recent planning panel meetings, said the use of the property has gone beyond what residents thought was allowed when the building was proposed.
She said the property looks like a junkyard and is an eyesore, noting she has complained to city officials numerous times. She asked officials to enforce the zoning code.
She also said conditions would be much better if an access road could be built, linking the west side of the property to Danner Drive in the industrial park. That way, large trucks wouldn't need to use Page Road for access.
Jane Kras, speaking at a public hearing during the planners' June 7 session, said the nearby residents were promised buffers and screening at the site many years ago, but that has not been done.
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