Petition V-136, 2007

Search Tags <Platinum Auto Spa, Robert Burrows, Johnson Ferry Road, Shetland Avenue, 1075 Johnson Ferry Road, front setback>
Platinum Auto Spa, 678-560-6060, represented by Robert E. Burrows, President, 678-560-6060, requests waiver of the front setback from the required 50 feet to 18 feet.
Property is located on the west side of Johnson Ferry Road, north of Shetland Avenue (1075 Johnson Ferry Road); 1st District, Land Lot 67, Parcel 4.
Size of tract is 0.793 acre.
Present zoning is CRC
Contiguous zoning is: North: CRC, RSL; East: RSL, O&I; South: R-20 (Johnson Ferry Baptist Church); West: R-20 (Johnson Ferry Baptist Church).
Land use category: Community Activity Center
Case manager is Trish Steiner
BZA board member is Christi Trombetti
Reason: This canopy is for the protection of the majority of the car wash employees. With the canopy the car wash is in compliance with Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidelines for protection from heat stress/stroke and skin cancer by providing shade from direct sunlight. (OSHA Pub. 3154 and Fact Sheet 9516). Please see the 4 page Letter of Intent attached to the Application (a constitutional challenge for approval of the variance by applicant’s attorneys G. Douglas Dillard and Lauren M. Hansford).
Staff Comments: 
Preliminary Variance Analysis is here
Final Variance Analysis for December is here
Final Variance Analysis for February is here
Final Variance Analysis for July is here
ECCA position (January):  Oppose.
Applicant has agreed to relocate the vacuum equipment regardless of the outcome of the variance decision.
The ECCA position is that the canopy which intrudes into the front setback is more operational in nature rather than safety related.  It has been sized (three lanes) to handle maximum volume.  And it has been sized and located so as to consolidate the vacuuming process (previously handled elsewhere on the property) with the finishing or detailing process.  We believe this may have been done for efficiency and so as to provide room for expansion into other services (reference the new oil change station).
Comments were made last month by the commissioners … “that this business would not be approved through zoning if it was a new application.  There’s just too much going on for this parcel.  We agree with this assessment.”
We oppose this variance and respectfully request the BZA to deny the application.  We also express our concern about what precedent approval of this variance might establish. 
The only hardship appears to be trying to do too much on too small a parcel of land.  This is a self inflicted wound and does not represent a matter requiring accommodation through the variance process.  In summary, operational considerations of the business do not override Cobb County’s zoning ordinance.  This is a problem for which the business owner must find a solution without violating regulations.
Maximum impervious surface % allowed: 70%
Maximum impervious surface % planned: ?? %
ECCA position (July):   OPPOSED  No change in previous ECCA position. However we noted that the equipment has been relocated by owner. This case was held during fall of 2007 and then continued June 2008. County is reviewing related enforcement cases in the area.   ECCA concerned with other property owners using this cases to disregard setback regulations. Owner of Platinum Auto Spa is Bob Burroughs.
BZA Action (November, unofficial)CONTINUED until the December 12, 2007 Board of Zoning Appeals Variance Hearing
BZA Action (December, unofficial)HOLDuntil the January 10 Board of Zoning Appeals Variance Hearing.
At the next hearing, applicant to provide a stipulation letter noting the hardship and stipulations to resolve the problem. Letter to provide the following:
  • Location where they will be moved to, where they cannot be seen from Johnson Ferry Road
  • How the vacuum pipes and other apparatus will be rendered “invisible”
  • Fence or other hardscape along the frontage to minimize the visual impact of the operations from cars on Johnson Ferry Road
Staff to provide status of other car washes along Johnson Ferry Road and whether they comply with county code.
BZA Action (January, unofficial)Hold until the June 11, 2007 Board of Zoning Appeals Variance Hearing. The operational conditions of the car washes along Johnson Ferry and Roswell Roads will be assessed prior to the hearing to see if action needs to be taken to remedy common problems.
BZA Action (June, unofficial)Hold until the July 9, 2008 Boardof Zoning Appeals Variance Hearing
BZA Action (July)Petition DENIED.  Applicant must come into compliance with the front setback requirement by September 9, 2009.