SLP amends permit, allows business expansion

The Spring Lake Park City Council amended a special use permit for Citywide Service Corp property at 1224 County Road 10 Oct. 7.

The amendment removes a clause prohibiting police towing; expands operating hours from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday, to 8 a.m. to 8 p.m. those same days; and allows cars to be stored on-site for 45 days instead of 14.

“Working within the current use parameters that we inherited when we purchased the oppressed property nearly four years ago, we are finding it increasingly difficult to stay competitive,” wrote Brett and Anne Letourneau, who own and operate Citywide Service Corp, towing and recovery specialists, in a letter to the city.

The opportunity to contract with police departments would bring in new customers and extended hours would better serve current customers, offering convenient after-work service, said City Administrator Dan Buchholtz at the Planning and Zoning Commission meeting Sept. 23, summarizing what he heard from Brett Letourneau.

State law requires impounded vehicles to be held for 45 days, so before the amendment, after cars sat at the Spring Lake Park business for 14 days, he would have to transport them to his larger Brooklyn Park site for the remaining 30 days, Letourneau said.

The commission recommended approval of the amendment.

Councilmembers’ chief concern was residents’ reactions. Citywide Service Corp is surrounded by residential property and council members expressed worry at the Oct. 7 meeting about potential increased traffic, noise and lights.

Residents living within 350 feet of Citywide Service Corp were notified of the public hearing Sept. 23 and no one came, Buchholtz said.

According to Letourneau, many residents are his customers and came in to sign a document in favor of the revisions, finding the expanded hours more convenient.

“We would be respectful of our neighbors,” Letourneau said.

The special use permit was initially approved in July 1985 when Rescue Tow bought the property. It was amended twice before Citywide Service Corp moved to the address in 2009. Since that time, there have been no complaints and the “condition of the property has improved dramatically,” Buchholtz said.

The amendment passed unanimously.

Olivia Koester is at [email protected]