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How to rid a city of used car lots?


I am interested to hear if any other small cities have a problem with used car lots. The city is a bedroom community, fairly dense and has no room for expansion, yet desperately needs to increase sales tax revenues. Recently the city has rezoned strips of the major corridors to Commercial General. The busiest street in town (main street)is covered with used car lots, which takes away from the aesthetic value of the area and does not generate a true city revenues. Any suggestions on a strategy to rid the city of these weeds? Like a gas powered weed eater?


Dear Leader
Staff member
You might want to take a look at the "Redneck Row" thread at http://cyburbia.ap.buffalo.edu/cafe/messages/3/621.html?990810664 . We don't offer any real solutions, but the problem is discussed.

Used car lots tend to congregate where rents are low, and design regulations are few. Often these areas tend to have little or no access control, and it's made worse by the small parcel size. Smaller parcels = more parcels = more visual clutter.

Some random thoughts ...

* A used car row won't go away on its own. The strip is there because the market conditions, zoning regulations and land use pattern make such agglomerations ideal in certain locations.

* Change the zoning code to increase the minimum lot size in a commercial zoning district, excluding pads in a large development, to prevent the further subdivision of lots along the row.

* Toughen up signage, landscaping, parking, access and architectural requirements.

* Create a corridor district, with overlay regulations that exclude used vehicle sales as a permitted use.

* Don't forget other uses that tend to agglomerate in such areas. To be politically correct, I call 'em "Mechanical Commercial" -- auto repair, body shops, welding shops, tire and auto parts stores, mobule home and RV sales, portable building sales, and so on.

* There's a market for used cars. If such businesses were not permitted along the strip, where else would they go? Used car sales is a legitimate land use; however, in large concentrations it will have a detrimental effect on the built environment.