Oregon Planning Commission OKs outdoor sales for S&K

Kelly J. Kaczala

        The Oregon Planning Commission ion at a recent meeting approved a zoning change to allow outdoor retail sales at 730 S. Stadium Road and 5745 Navarre Avenue.
        P.J. Kapfhammer, of 730 S. Stadium Road, was the applicant requesting a Conditional Use in a C-2 General Commercial Zoned District. He is co-founder of the Maumee Bay Turf Center, 740 S, Stadium Road.
        James Gilmore, commissioner of building and zoning, said at the Sept. 17 planning commission meeting that the items to be displayed outdoors at the properties include sheds, snow plows, power equipment, outdoor furniture, playground equipment, and golf carts.
        The Project Review Committee had requested that the planning commission determine the impact it would have on the neighbors. Displaying outside equipment could also limit parking for retail customers.
        Kapfhammer said he had operated a business at the S. Stadium Road location for the last 11 years, providing outdoor retail sales. He was unaware the property was not zoned for outside sales. He said the building had been abandoned when the business started, and considerable investment went into the building and property. He received all of the permits required from the city at the time, he said. It was never brought to his attention that outside retail sales was not permitted.
        Kapfhammer said he was retiring and would be leasing the building to his brother, Shawn Kapfhammer, for his business, S&K Mowers & Snow Removal. The business was relocating from the old Kmart property on Navarre Avenue. He said he did not expect much to change with the transition.
        Oregon City Council last February had authorized a ground lease/purchase agreement with the owner of the former Kmart property at 2830 Navarre Ave. The city eventually entered into a 10 year lease agreement with an option at the end of the 10 years to buy the property for $3.7 million. The acquisition was part of the city’s downtown development project.
        Shawn at that time had been informed by the city that he would have to move his business, since all of the buildings at that location would be demolished as part of the acquisition deal. Kapfhammer leased the property for less than the going rate of commercial property at that site for the previous four years. Shawn had been displaying sheds in the front of his business at that location.  
        P.J. Kapfhammer told the planning commission that he would like to display sheds along the front of the building on S. Stadium Road. The sheds would not be on the grass but closer to the building. He would also like to display sheds by the storage building in the back as well.  Kapfhammer said he felt it fit well with the other businesses on the adjacent corners. Motorists would not have their view obstructed by the sheds, he added.
         Many other businesses on Navarre Avenue have outdoor retail sales, and S & K Mowers and Snow Removal was permitted to have outdoor retail sales when it was located on the Navarre Avenue property. Kapfhammer said he and Shawn had discussed what would be allowed to be displayed on the property, and that the equipment would be displayed tastefully.
Neighbors’ concerns
        Some living near the location expressed concerns to the planning commission about the outside displays.
        Dave Jaeger, of S. Stadium Rd, was worried about maintenance of the property, which had not been well kept when it was a vacant lot years ago, he said. The property was not well maintained in the past when it was vacant years ago.  He asked Gilmore if the city could enforce the upkeep of the property.
        Gilmore said the city would enforce the terms of the approval of the planning commission.
        Tom Garverick, of S. Stadium Road, said he was concerned that the corner would look like the old Kmart lot where S&K is located. He also asked about the space needed for the additional equipment and sheds. Workers and customers would be entering and exiting the site. In the past, snow plows and equipment trailers had been lined up along Stadium Road at the location,
        Kapfhammer said everything on the property affiliated with the turf side of his business at the Stadium Road location would be leaving.
        Garverick was also concerned that the playground equipment  currently displayed on the property was very close to the road. He was worried that children who play on the equipment could get hurt.
        Kapfhammer said he agreed with Garverick. He never realized how close the property lines and set backs were located.
        Sheds displayed in the back along the storage buildings on Navarre Avenue would be within the fence line of Kapfhammer’s property.
        Steve Bellegrin, S. Stadium, said his property was directly across the street. He did not want to see sheds displayed along Stadium Road by the football field. Kaphammer said there would be no sheds along the football field on Stadium Road.
        Planning Commission member Greg Vriezelaar asked Kapfhammer what items other than sheds would be displayed in the area at the end of the football field.
        Kapfhammer said there would be no items displayed at the end of the football field. There would be a display of outdoor furniture and maybe a swing set in the area to the south of the football field.
        Public Service Director Paul Roman said that the administration had concerns with parking and customers entering and exiting the property. Kapfhammer said there would be plenty of parking in the front and on the sides of the building. Sheds displayed in the front of the property would be placed on the sidewalk only.
        The five member planning commission voted unanimously to approve the Conditional Use request to allow outdoor retail sales on the S. Stadium and Navarre Avenue properties.          


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