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City to limit used car lots in Lawrence

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Posted at 6:00 PM, Apr 17, 2019
and last updated 2019-04-17 20:24:49-04

LAWRENCE — Part of a new tactic to spark economic growth in Lawrence, the city is revamping and limiting the number of used car lots along Pendleton Pike.

There are 30 used car lots along Pendleton Pike, between I-465 and Sunnyside Drive, according to Lawrence Mayor Steve Collier.

Businesses and neighbors alike feel there are too many used car lots in the area.

Kimberly Kise and her family live right off of Pendleton Pike and say the area is known as 'car lot alley.'

"There's really nothing to do on this side of town except look at car lots as you drive down the road," Kise said. "There's like tons. And there's no reason for that many to be over here."

Jordan Cork's family owns American Imports, one of the used car businesses in the area. Cork says the lot has been in his family more than 25 years and that theirs is the kind of company that won't be impacted by the overlay.

"It's going to be great for us," Cork said. "A little less competition and less people coming up and down the road trying to do business and go to a place where they may not get as good of service."

According to Mayor Collier, currently used car businesses won't be forced to leave. But starting January 1 of next year, if they close or sell to a new owner, it cannot return as a used car lot.

"We got too many of them quite frankly," Mayor Collier said. "And because it doesn't really generate the kind of economic development that is best for a city's growth."

Mayor Collier says he got the idea from the city of Fishers, where Mayor Scott Fadness created a zoning ordinance stopping any more churches along 116th Street but allowing businesses like IKEA and Top Golf.

The goal in both cases is to add more storefronts and businesses that employ more people.

"There are several up and up in the road that are nice and established," Cork said. "Then you got the ones that pop up here and there that are just on a trailer, and they're gone the next year."

If lots become vacant, the city says they'll buy and maintain them. They may seek to buy a few lots next to each other to make it enticing for businesses to come in and develop on Pendleton Pike.

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