Residents work to keep dealership out of area
by Megan Thornton
mthornton@cherokeetribune.com
March 31, 2013 12:00 AM | 2858 views | 0 0 comments | 4 4 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Kingsridge neighborhood residents in Woodstock may soon get what they asked for more than two years ago and keep a nearby car dealership out of their neighborhood.

Valley Partners Real Estate LLC, representing Hennessy Honda of Woodstock, has applied to the city of Woodstock requesting a variance for Woodstock Car Wash, located at 8825 Highway 92, to build a car storage lot for 145 vehicles.

If approved, the variance request would allow for double-depth parking spaces, change tree requirements and reduce the landscape buffer from 40 feet to 25 feet.

The dealership held a public input meeting Thursday to notify residents in surrounding areas of the change. The request will now go to the city’s planning and zoning commission April 4 where the matter will be heard and put before council May 13

The car wash property, located within the city of Woodstock, was originally recommended by neighborhood residents as the location for the additional lot for the adjacent dealership, but the Woodstock City Council approved the dealership’s request for annexation of the three homes into the city and rezoned the lots general commercial a few years ago.

Members of the Kingsridge Neighborhood Association filed suit against Valley Partners, Hennessy and the city of Woodstock and are still awaiting a court date, resident Cindy Schuster said Friday.

Ana Anthuis, a Kingsridge resident, said she hopes Hennessy sticks to the plan of buying the car wash lot and abandons moving forward with a possible lot on the site of the three homes.

“Our hope is that that is the case,” she said, adding the neighborhood association hopes to then have the property rezoned for residential use and reannexed back into Cherokee County.

She said she is fine with the proposal, but said with the pending lawsuit and the variance request still needing to be heard by the Planning and Zoning Board and city council, everything is still up in the air.

“We’re heading in right direction,” Anthuis said. “And that’s what we had asked for three years ago because there are plenty of other viable options instead of encroaching onto the subdivision.”

Schuster said about 20 people attended the meeting and were “pleased” with the outcome. She said Hennessy representatives, upon approval, plan to start constructing the lot within about 45 days.

But the lawsuit is yet to be determined. Schuster said there was a March court date, but Hennessy requested a continuance pending the city’s decision on the carwash. With both parties agreeing, neither has seen a day in court, she said.

“Our neighborhood wants to be 100 percent residential,” Schuster said.

Schuster said she and other residents felt the car wash lot is adequate space for what Hennessy needs, but she still remains cautious in regard to the three neighboring properties.

“They could still be turned into parking lot. We’re going to do everything can to make sure we are 100 percent residential. We will not go away.”

Schuster said a parking lot on the property where the three homes were would be an infringement into the neighborhood, with residents driving through the dead-ends into Castlewood Drive into Tanglewood Trail in full view of the lot.

“The people that drive down there would be looking into a parking lot and seeing 190 cars,” Schuster said.

Representatives with Valley Partners and Hennessey Honda were unable to be reached by press time.

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