The Spring Lake Park City Council granted a special use permit March 3 for an all-terrain vehicle and motorcycle sales and repair shop to operate at 8455 Center Drive.
Gerald Spanier intends to open Rumble Industries, LLC in April, selling and repairing ATVs and motorcycles, as well as running a wholesale operation for parts and accessories.
The business’ name is a red flag for Timothy White, president and chief financial officer of Moving Forward, an outpatient chemical dependency treatment center and future neighbor of Rumble Industries.
“In combination with the already steady traffic that travels down Center Drive, the noise level would dramatically increase causing severe disturbances to our clientele that are in an educational learning environment,” White wrote in a letter to the Planning and Zoning Commission. Motorcycles are loud, he continued, and “whether inside of an enclosed building or outside of the building, this noise will most certainly cause an external disturbance. I believe that is why the name of the company making application is called ‘Rumble’ Industries LLC.”
White spoke at a public hearing Jan. 27, concerned about noise and environmental hazards.
The Planning and Zoning Commission tabled the permit request after the hearing to further investigate some of White’s concerns.
“While I am sensitive to the concerns of our neighbors and recognize the fear of the unknown, I assure you that Rumble Industries is not a ‘biker club,’” Spanier wrote in a letter to the commission after the public hearing. “The bias encountered and the stereotyping of the person who rides motorcycles is unfair. … The fear of the unknown should not be allowed to stand in the way of commerce and forward progress in an area where positive growth and revenue can be generated for all involved. I can assure you Rumble Industries will be a good neighbor.”
Spanier insisted that the business is prepared to handle all potential environmental and noise issues.
After examining the property, Spring Lake Park Police Chief Doug Ebeltoft and City Engineer Phil Gravel made several recommendations to the commission at its meeting Feb. 24. The commission included their recommendations as conditions of the special use permit. The commission recommended the applicant install an alarm system, illuminate entrances, submit documentation annually on its handling of chemicals, work with an engineer to ensure runoff does not flow onto neighboring properties and more.
The commission also reduced the hours of operation from 7 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday, as Spanier proposed, to 7 a.m. to 8 p.m.
The commission passed the permit request onto city council with 15 conditions.
Councilmember Bob Nelson took issue with the third condition, which required that the “doors to repair service bays shall be closed when providing repair services to ATVs/motorcycles/vehicles, except for conveyance into and out of service bays.”
Spanier stated that he thought it was a “good idea” to keep those doors closed with noise concerns.
“I work in a machine shop, and it gets ungodly hot,” Nelson said. “I want to make sure that your workers aren’t going to pass out.” Nelson asked that the condition be scratched, but did request of Spanier that his doors be closed during dyno testing, which is louder than most work.
City Administrator Dan Buchholtz told the council that the Planning and Zoning Commission included that particular condition with concerns from White, who was “very passionate” about the doors remaining closed. “This was one of those compromised conditions,” Buchholtz said.
“I sympathize with the guy, but why [his business is] in this particular area baffles me in some ways,” Nelson said. “Let these guys have some air.”
The property at 8455 and neighboring properties are industrial-zoned.
Mayor Cindy Hansen did express concern about the business leaving its doors open, “just because of the neighbors,” she said.
Nelson also requested that the hours of operation be extended so that Spanier and staff would be permitted to work as late as 9 p.m. as he believed another motorcycle shop in the area was open that late.
“We should try to be on a level playing field,” he said.
Commission members were open to council debate about the hours of operation, Buchholtz said, but they couldn’t recall approving hours of operation beyond 8 p.m. previously.
The Spring Lake Park City Council voted unanimously to grant the special use permit with Nelson’s two proposed changes – allowing Rumble Industries to keep its service bay doors open and to remain open until 9 p.m.
Olivia Koester is at