By Richard Smith
A small used car lot could be coming to the eastern edge of Surprise if the City Council approves a conditional use permit at a future meeting
During its May 4 meeting, the Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously recommended approval the permit for the Right Auto & Truck vehicles sales facility on the southwest corner of Bell Road and 115th Avenue.
The Boyle Family Agency Farmers Insurance, National Property Solutions, JK Realty and Shaughnessy Contracting have office space on the site. Right Auto would add to the building and use the majority of the building’s parking space to sell cars.
“The facility is standing today and this is just going to be the use added to the property,” Surprise Planner Hobart Wingard said during the meeting.
John Hollas applied for Right Auto and Truck — as Hollas and Hollas LLC — and his request involves a proposed vehicle sales facility for used automobiles and trucks to be operated on the site currently utilized for office use. The 1,969-square-foot facility will continue to provide office space while operating the vehicle sales facility.
If approved, Right Auto will have only two employees, including the owner, with an average day having only one employee on site at a time. Hours of operation would be 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday through Saturday.
According to the applicant narrative provided to the planning commission, generally a used car location such as this will have no more than three customers a day, and on average sell about eight to 12 cars or trucks per month. Plans are for about 15 used vehicles for sale on the site.
The parcel laid dormant for years after a Union 76 gas station left in the early 2000s. Before Boyle Family Insurance arrived in 2014, Surprise changed the parcel’s zoning designation to C3, which allows for sale of used cars.
The half-acre site for insurance office is just west of the boundary with Maricopa County/Sun City, at least south of Bell Road.
The car lot would be 245 feet from Rose Garden to south and 160 feet from Coyote Lakes property to the north, though that area of Coyote Lakes is devoted to drainage, not homes. Both measurements fall within accepted city guidelines.
During the May 4 meeting, commissioner Eric Cultum said he liked the proposal, particularly given the history of the property and sales tax revenue potential. But he had one concern after making a site visit.
“When I was there I saw a lot of parked vehicles. It looks like there are 23 parking spaces including the disabled parking spaces in front of the facility. When I was in the area, there wasn’t available parking. I was generally concerned that this project will not have adequate parking,”
In response, John Hollas said the cars sitting there are his and several will leave upon approval of the project.
Per Surprise stipulations, no vehicle repairs will take place onsite and no vehicles will be parked on the landscaping.
“A couple of the other tenants that had been there might go out of business at this time with the property rent to accomaodate what we want today. So there is going to be a transition period where there might be a few extra cars there,” Mr. Hollas said.