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Government - Local

Site for Route 30 auto repair shop questioned

New shop would be next door to existing Merlin auto repair

The Montgomery Village Board voted 5-0 Monday evening to accept a favorable recommendation from the village plan commission for the granting of a special use permit to allow for the construction of a 10-bay Christian Brothers auto repair shop along the south side of Route 30, immediately north of the Walmart store.

But before voting to accept the recommendation, the board heard from the owner of the Merlin 200,000-mile auto repair shop at 1947 Route 30, next door to the proposed Christian Brothers site.

Steve Golz, owner of the Merlin shop, voiced objection to the Christian Brothers shop plans.

“We are a full service automotive shop, the same thing that Christian Brothers does,” Golz told the board, adding, “I just don’t see common sense building another full-service automotive shop right next door to another one.”

Golz said “there has to be other land” on which Christian Brothers could build their shop.

“Competition is great, it’s what makes the world go round, but for me I don’t want it right next door in my back yard,” he said.

Like the Merlin shop, the Christian Brothers shop would be developed on an outlot originally platted and approved by the village as part of the Walmart-anchored Orchard Crossing shopping center. Christian Brothers is now seeking board approval of an exception to the original development agreement for the shopping center that would allow the construction of a second auto shop in the center.

Board member Steve Jungermann said he believes if the board eventually gives its final approval to the Christian Brothers shop, some village residents will question why the village would allow two automotive repair shops to locate next to each other.

But Richard Young, the village’s community development director, noted that it is common for competing retail businesses and restaurants to locate in close proximity to each other.

“It’s just like in many [shopping] centers where you have a Burger King and a McDonalds or a Popeye’s Chicken and a Brown’s Chicken. It’s no different if you had a Walgreens right across the street from a CVS. It’s the same type of situation,” Young said.

Steve Andersson, village attorney, advised the board that in evaluating the Christian Brothers proposal they have to consider whether it meets the village’s standards for granting a special use.

“One of those standards is not whether you like it or if it fosters competition. It is based on land use criteria and that is what the plan commission took into account [in approving their favorable recommendation] and, quite frankly, that is what you all should take into account,” Andersson said.

Village President Matt Brolley said the board will consider the special use permit at the Feb. 12 meeting. The meeting will begin at 7 p.m. at Village Hall, 200 N. River St.

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