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West Valley City Journal

Council denies auto center next to neighborhood

Jun 15, 2020 01:46PM ● By Travis Barton

The area in question where a business owner wished to have a city ordinance changed to allow an auto emissions center be built within the designated area. (Google maps)

By Travis Barton | [email protected]

The West Valley City Council voted 6-1 to deny a request that would have seen an auto emission center built along 4700 South near 3600 West. Councilmembers cited no compelling reason to change the ordinance for one particular business, nor did they feel it was an appropriate location.

The request, filed by Erik Hoffman, was to amend the city ordinance to allow auto emission centers in residential business zones. Auto services are currently not allowed in the residential business zone. 

Hoffman requested “automobile emissions center” be removed from the auto service definition, since the business would only serve as a place for emissions, inspections and registration renewals. All of which would be done inside the building. 

Hoffman also argued his business would be quieter with less impact on the area than other businesses currently allowed in the zone such as the Granger Medical on 4100 South or the credit union just west of the property. 

Councilman Steve Buhler said it would be a slippery slope if this was allowed. He felt Hoffman should find an appropriate place for his business rather than change the ordinance. 

Councilwoman Karen Lang was the lone dissenting vote, but only if certain design standards were applied such as requiring the entrance to face other commercial property (to the west) and that it not look like an auto center. She agreed that a credit union or medical office would have more traffic. 

The Planning Commission, which recommended denial, noted during its meetings that this decision would affect the whole city. Jody Knapp, planning and zoning administrator, said there was potentially 12 other properties in the city that would have been affected. Most of which were already developed and a couple that are currently vacant, she said. 

Under the residential business zone currently in place, only commercial uses like banks, medical or dental offices and veterinary clinics would be allowed there.