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Posted on Fri, Dec 7, 2012 : 5:57 a.m.

Complete Auto Service Center in Ypsilanti seeks to add used auto sales

By Katrease Stafford

A conditional zoning request was granted to the Ypsilanti Complete Auto Service Center, allowing the auto repair business to add used auto sales to its services.

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The owner of the Complete Auto Service Center wants to add auto sales to his business.

Courtesy City of Ypsilanti

Ayad Jacksi, the owner of Complete Auto Service Center at 311 S. Grove St., contacted city staff in September to inquire how he could sell used automobiles on his current site.

Council voted 6-1 to allow the rezoning, with Council Member Brian Robb being the lone no vote. The rezoning request will come back to council for a second reading and then a site plan would have to be approved by the planning commission. After that, Jacksi would be able to move forward with the project.

Jacksi purchased the property in 2002 from Elizabeth and Rodney Caldwell for $70,000, according to city records. The assessed value of the property is $35,800.

The city provided several recommendations and Jacksi decided to pursue a rezoning request from B2 community business to B4 general business. The Planning Commission reviewed his application at its Oct. 24 meeting and decided to table the decision.

The commission reviewed the conditional zoning request again at its Nov.14 meeting and decided the conditional rezoning would allow B4 permitted and special uses held in common with B2 zoning.The Commission discussed that this was an improved option and voted to recommend the approval of the conditional rezoning, 4-1.

In approving it, the commission also approved additional conditions such as the addition of trees and ornamental grass on South Grove from the property line adjacent to Spring Street to the driveway on South Grove. The commission also suggested the addition of a wooden or rod iron fence adjacent to Spring Street and the planting of shrubs adjacent to the fence near Spring Street.

Robb and other council members expressed concern over the fact that the conditional rezoning would remain with the land even after the business closes -- unless the area is rezoned for some reason.

Ypsilanti will soon undergo a master plan update, which could affect the zoning of this particular business.

"The full area could be rezoned after the master plan and could be considered an illegal non-conforming use," said City Planner Teresa Gillotti.

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The Complete Auto Service center is at 311 S. Grove St.

Courtesy City of Ypsilanti

Gillotti said the city would then work to bring the business into compliance with zoning requirements.

Council Member Pete Murdock proposed an amendment, implementing a time frame to get the work done by December 2013. The motion carried unanimously.

Before he can move forward with the project, Jacksi said he needs to obtain a dealer license from the state.

Robb thought an amendment should have been added to say if the state denies Jacksi's request for a dealer license, that the conditional rezoning would cease.

"As great a guy he is, this is ultimately a land use issue," Robb said. "It's not a personality or integrity issue. ...This would set the precedent for how we do it."

Several community members packed the room to show support and spoke during the public hearing for what they said is a needed, affordable local business.

St. John Missionary Baptist Church pastor James Hendricks has been a member of the Ypsilanti community for many years and said Jacksi's business is the only place he refers people to in the area.

I’ve sent many of my church members there to get their cars repaired," Hendricks said. "He would repair their cars even when they didn’t have the money. I’ve seen a lot of businesses close and now it's time to start bringing businesses back to Ypsilanti."

Katrease Stafford covers Ypsilanti for AnnArbor.com.Reach her at katreasestafford@annarbor.com or 734-623-2548 and follow her on twitter.