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Smithfield approves permits for car dealership, U-Haul center

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SMITHFIELD — The Smithfield Town Council approved three special-use permits at its May 7 meeting. Permits were granted for a U-Haul rental business, an automotive sales dealership and a single-family home.

Daniel Evans, owner of Evans Jewelers and a former Smithfield mayor, was granted a special-use permit to operate a U-Haul rental business at 839 S. Brightleaf Blvd. The property is owned by Kathy Parker.

“There’s a paved parking lot with no parking lot striping,” said Planning Director Stephen Wensman. “The condition of the paving is poor. There are no curbs or gutters. The paving extends to the property lines on the north and south sides with no landscape buffer yards.”

“How can you stripe a parking lot that’s in such poor condition?” said Mayor Pro-tem Travis Scott.

“You would have to continually do it,” said Wensman.

Wensman said code enforcement staff discovered the U-Haul business was already in operation without a special-use permit.

“The business has been in operation for quite some time with no apparent complaints or issues other than the use is in violation of the unified development ordinance, which requires a special-use permit for vehicle rental,” said Wensman.

The planning department recommended the rental be limited to five U-Haul trucks, including four of any size, and that they be parked in designated and striped parking lots.

Wensman said the entire parking lot needed to be striped for parking stalls and one-way traffic flow as shown on the approved site plan.

“The awning on the northeast side needs to be removed and curbstops need to be installed to keep parked vehicles from encroaching on adjacent property,” said Wensman.

Evans wasn’t present and no one spoke either for or against his request during the public hearing.

Xtra Miles Motors, located at 528-A W. Market St., is owned by Roy Willard Whitley and the applicant is Seamus Costello. The business requested and was granted a special-use permit for a lot to accommodate 10 vehicles.

In 2016. an application for this site was approved, but the car lot never opened because of Hurricane Matthew.

“I’ll take care of the landscaping,” said Costello. “We’ll never have no more than 10 vehicles on the lot and there will be no auto repair.”

Aside from Costello, no one spoke during the pubic hearing.

The planning department recommended no more than 10 cars for sale be on the lot at any one time and that they be parked within striped parking stalls. Also, dead or damaged plantings must be replaced and the landscaping must be maintained in accordance with town ordinances.

Hilce Sierra wants to use a property, located at 407 Seventh St., that’s in a general business zoning district for a home.

The building was formerly a beauty salon that Sierra operated and is located between a warehouse and office retail space. It’s the only property on that street that fronts on Seventh, the rest double-front Brightleaf Boulevard.

The planning department recommended that Sierra fence the side and rear of the property.

Other than Sierra, no one spoke either for or against her request during the public hearing.