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Permit For Penske May be a Problem in Manchester

Manchester's planning and zoning and director of development do not support Penske moving into a location off Manchester road.

Issuing a special use permit for a Manchester business to operate a Penske truck hub was discussed at length at the last Manchester Board of Aldermen meeting. Tuesday night, the permit is on the agenda and could be voted on or deferred until the next meeting. However, there isn't much support from the City of Manchester or aldermen to issue the permit.

(Read Related Article: Manchester Aldermen Vote on Lawsuit Settlement, Penske and City Pool)

Christopher Quail owns and operates Ridgway Insurance Group LLC. located at 14575 Manchester Road. Quail is also seeking a special use permit to operate a Penske truck hub at that location.

A public hearing was held on the issue at the last board of aldermen meeting on Feb. 6, where Quail and Damon Bonds, a Penske employee, presented their case to aldermen. 

The special permit request comes after Quail was cited by the city for not having a special use permit or business license for the Penske business that he was already running from the Ridgeway Insurance location. The business was cited for operating the truck hub without the required permit and then continued to operate after being cited.

"The first choice was to shut down immeditately and the second choice was to be cited by the city and work throught the planning and zoning process," Quail explained to aldermen at the Feb. 6 meeting.

Quail wants to operate as an agent for Penske from that location, but there is concern from Manchester's Director of Planning, Zoning and Economic Development Franz Kraintz about a number of issues, including traffic and noise.

Manchester City Attorney Patrick Gunn asked numerous questions of Kraintz at the Feb. 6 meeting. Gunn asked Kraintz if he believed the business would adversely affect the city of Manchester and traffic on Manchester Road and Kraintz said he thought it would.

"I think with the size of the trucks and the heavy volume of Manchester Road this would be a hazard," Kraintz said.

Kraintz also said he thought the noise from the trucks would also be an issue for residents who live to the north of the business.

"I want to point out that in 2003 and 2004 that Penske did have a location here in Manchester," Bonds explained to the board of aldermen in response to the concerns. "Different property but same opportunity."

Bonds also said he and Quail did not think noise would be a concern to residents living around the business.

"We got comments from the neighbors behind the building that it would be OK to have the trucks. Due to new technology, our engines aren't loud at all. As far as warming up, that would only be in the winter months," Bonds  said. "There's no traffic after close of business except maybe a customer dropping off a truck."

Kraintz also said there are concerns with the lot that the the trucks would sit on while on the property.

"We offered to improve the area with a six inch gravel in the space that's behind the building and to increase the parking space and maneuver ability and to keep the visibility of the trucks behind the building as much as possible," Quail said to aldermen at the public hearing.

However, Kraintz said six inches of gravel is not acceptable for the lot, "We need to see asphalt or pavement."

"Planning and Zoning did recommend that we not approve this special use permit," Alderman Michael Clement, who sits on the planning and zoning committee, also told the board at that meeting.

The request for the special use permit to operate the business could be voted on or deferred Tuesday night. Check back to Town and Country - Manchester Patch Wednesday for any updates.

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