Board OKs auto shop restart

The Altoona Zoning Hearing Board on Wednesday granted permission for the former co-owner of Pleasant Valley Tire and Auto to restart the business at 22nd Street and Pleasant Valley Boulevard, provided there’s no resumption of neighborhood parking problems that occurred under the former partner.

The business has been closed for 1.5 years.

Kevin Horvath and the former partner took over the business around 2000 and ran it together until a falling out in 2007, after which Horvath departed, Horvath said Wednesday at a board hearing on whether to allow for continuation of a nonconforming business in a single-household residential zone.

The problems began because the partner collected cars and frequently parked them on nearby streets, moving them from the business in the mornings to make way for customers, then returning them in the evening, Horvath said.

The partner is not going to be part of the new business, which will be called Auto Doctor Plus II, so there won’t be parking issues, Horvath said.

The pair will still co-own the property — as has been the case since 2000 — but with Horvath paying the partner rent, in contrast to the partner paying Horvath rent, when the partner ran the business independently, Horvath said.

The board conditioned its approval on Horvath obtaining an OK on land development plans from the city’s Department of Community and Economic Development, to ensure against a recurrence of the parking problems — an approval that normally wouldn’t be necessary, because Horvath is not changing the use of the property or the nature of the building, said Nic Ardizzone, property and program coordinator for the city’s Department of Community and Economic Development.

There won’t be parking problems because Horvath won’t need to find space for a personal collection of cars, Horvath told the board.

Customer cars won’t be on his approximately 12-car lot for longer than a day, and he has other lots for vehicles that need to be stored, he said.

Horvath should avoid parking vehicles on the lot in a way that blocks the views of approaching boulevard traffic from the north for motorists pulling out from 22nd Street to turn right on red, officials said.

He also should avoid bringing vehicles in and out of the lot in a way that would interfere with traffic on the boulevard and 22nd Street, implied board member Horace McAnuff, who said the intersection gets “pretty crazy” at times.

The board also conditioned its approval on the business abiding by the hours that Horvath proposed: 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. Monday to Friday.

Mirror Staff Writer William Kibler is at 949-7038.


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