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Neighbors near a defunct gas station showed up in force Tuesday to oppose a permit request to open a used car business at 501 Raleigh Road Parkway.
“All I can foresee is disruption to the neighborhood,” said Preston McClain. “I totally object to this.”
Tyrus Montrell Lowe of Benson rented the property about two months ago and has been working to turn his passion for selling cars into a business, and getting the permit is part of that plan.
“I am applying for this permit to open up a small, family-type used car business and minor repair shop,” said Lowe during the Tuesday Board of Adjustment meeting. “We feel like we can offer the community and the city of Wilson an affordable outlet than more expensive vehicle sales places and offer a better value for repairs on their vehicles.”
McClain and other neighbors opposed the plan, noting it would add more traffic to the residential area, hinder people’s ability to turn to and from Walnut Street as well as be an eyesore. The old gas station is across the road from the Recreation Park Center on Sunset
Lowe attempted to address their concerns, talking about a plan to build a fence between the driveways on Walnut Street and agreeing to have no more than 20 cars on the lot ever.
“There is on-foot traffic walking from the neighborhood to the right with folks walking through the property and leaving trash,” he said. “When the business opens, we’ll be there every day to be able to maintain it and make sure there is no trash on the property.”
Others were concerned with noise and lights at the business, but board member Phillip Cockrell noted those items are regulated in city code and ordinances.
“One thing neighbors should keep in mind is that the city has an ordinance in place that limits the level of any kind of noise, so that in itself should be enough to take care of that,” he said. “And if you hear noise that you feel is greater than it should be, you can pick up the phone and let the city go check it out.”
Also at the meeting, the board approved a permit to allow Terrific Cars of Wilson at 2426 U.S. 301 to add storage sheds and car shelters to the inventory as well as a permit for Kairos Church Ministries to operate a daycare at 1015 Lodge St.
“I’m the pastor of Kairos Church Ministries, and we’re trying to put in an education building on Lodge Street,” said Charles Lewis Sr. “... It is a modular building and the lot has already been set up for it to be placed there, so we’re just looking for the go ahead to move forward.”