Commission Puts Brakes On Car Lot

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Fred Lashley, who owns a used-car lot in Strawberry and wants to open one in south Payson, hit a roadblock Monday at the Payson Planning and Zoning Commission's regular meeting.

Citing aesthetic concerns, the commission denied Lashley's request for a conditional-use permit to establish a used car lot on South Beeline, an area that has been labeled the gateway to Payson.

"There are no hard and fast standards, but the guidelines we were given call for a higher standard in the gateway area," commissioner Bob Flibotte said. "Absent any stringent guidelines, it was a very subjective decision, and I think it will be appealed to the town council. Basically, I guess you could say beauty is in the eye of the beholder."

Lashley told the commission he would strive to make the car lot, which he wants to develop on two vacant lots at 1103 S. Beeline Highway near Macky's Grill, an asset to the community.

I intend to do no mechanical work on the property," he said. "I will work very hard to earn respect and friendship from you as a city and also your citizens."

Nevertheless, the commission voted 5-1 to deny the request.

In other business, the commission approved a telecommunications tower at a town water tank site off Airport Road. The commission endorsed the project with four stipulations.

The company that wants to build the tower, Crown Castle International of Scottsdale, must obtain FAA approval before the town issues any construction permits.

Once the tower is built, the antenna on the site, which is currently used for fire and police communications, must be removed within six months. The new tower will handle the town's emergency fire and police communications.

The tower, which will bring wireless digital communication to the Rim country, will be 60 feet high, the same height as the town's water tank. The tower's construction, will be part of a contract between the town and Crown Castle International of Scottsdale.

Jason Allen, a spokesperson for Crown Castle, said the company is still looking for a second tower site. An earlier attempt to place a 100-foot tower near a town water tank in the Indian Hill neighborhood was dropped when residents protested.

Under the terms of the agreement with Crown Castle, the town will receive $10,000 a year for each tower in addition to 25 percent of all rent paid by wireless carriers that use the facility.

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