Tire shop approved in split vote

The Joliet City Council gave the green light for a tire shop to operate in town.

The facility, located at 701 Plainfield Rd., intends to offer tire change and rotation services by appointment only.

The petitioner, Marcelino Gutierrez, sought the approval of a special use permit to operate the shop and a variance to allow for a B-3 general business zoning district use in a B-1 neighborhood business-zoning district.

Years ago, the site was occupied by Aaron’s Cable and Wire, a communications business. Since then, the building has been vacant.

The plan, as presented, will put to use a one-story building with two garage-bay doors facing a parking area. The petitioner wants to have four parking spaces, including one handicap space, in front of the shop.

Members of the Joliet Zoning Board of Appeals expressed some concerns for the development at their April meeting and went on to recommend the denial of the petitioner’s plan. Around that time, residents shared those sentiments.

At the request of the applicant, the matter was tabled last month.

The petitioner has agreed to a set of conditions to mitigate the concerns at the request of the Zoning Board of Appeals and city staff.

A two-thirds majority vote was necessary to solidify an approval by the city council.

Gutierrez was at the meeting with attorney Mike Hansen to find out how officials would proceed.

Councilwoman Jan Quillman spoke against the development during the meeting, saying that the shop is “still only 45 feet from the next door home, and our ordinance requires 100 feet.”

Hansen tried to lessen the concern.

“It is a silent use, in the fact that, we are closing our garage doors,” he said. “All we’re doing is changing tires [and] rotating tires. It’s not a car repair shop; It’s not an auto body shop; It’s not some of those other uses that [came] from the council before.”

A motion was made by Quillman to deny the petitioner’s request and subsequently seconded by Councilman Don “Duck” Dickinson.

Council action to satisfy this aim failed in a 2-6 vote. Quillman and Dickinson voted against the petitioner’s requests.

A motion was subsequently made and seconded by members of the council to approve a special use permit and variation request for the tire shop. In a 6-2 vote, officials came to consensus approving the petitioner’s requests.

Council action is contingent on future staff review of engineering and site plans.