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Auto detailer hopes for rezoning amendment

Christ Meints wants to keep operating at 10 Street location
Chris Meints of Xtreme Reflections Auto Detailing is looking forward to a Feb. 6 public hearing so supporters can add their voices to his request to have his business location rezoned so that it becomes legal there. (Laura Blackwell photo/Houston Today)

Chris Meints may get his wish granted to legalize his Xtreme Reflections Auto Detailing business on 10th Street but only after meeting a series of conditions to be laid down by the District of Houston council.

A car wash is not allowed under the property’s current zoning but Meints has been operating there under a three-year temporary use permit.

That permit ran out last September whereupon Meints applied for a rezoning to amend the overall zoning bylaw banning car washes where his business is now located.

Councillor Troy Reitsma began the council discussion when it met Jan. 9 to consider moving ahead with the amending bylaw process.

“I’d be OK ….. if and only if the property was brought up to code or building permits,” said Reitsma.

“[Meints] has had three years on his temporary use permit and he’s waited until the last moment to bring it up. All of this could have been dealt with over the last three years,” he said.

“The building permit could have been done before the addition that was put in so unless that’s going to be done, I would be against [the amending bylaw].”

Councillor Rebecca Hougen did wonder why someone would invest in a property without knowing if they could continue to operate there but in the end was in favour of allowing a car wash there.

“Let the man do business is my opinion,” she said.

Councillor Jonathan van Barneveld also did not have an objection, but sought assurances the operation met environmental standards when it came to the disposal of waste water.

Councillors Tom Euverman, Tom Stringfellow and Lisa Mueller agreed with moving the amending bylaw to first and second reading.

That meant all of councillor agreed to hold first and second reading of the proposed amending bylaw and also a public hearing on Feb. 6.

The building had operated as a carwash some years when the zoning there allowed it. But a series of zoning changes applying to 10th ultimately prohibited car washes as a permitted business in the area.

The original car wash business subsequently closed and the building not utilized prior to Meints opening his own business there. As such, it already had the essential infrastructure required.

District of Houston planner Amy Wainwright reassured council, that after first and second reading and the public hearing it will then be able to add conditions to be met as a condition of officially approving the requested bylaw amendment.

Meints took advantage of the public input opportunity at council’s Jan. 9 meeting to state why his bylaw amendment request should be granted.

“I’d really like to keep on going,” he said.

Meints noted that he at one time operated his business from his home but that the District put a stop to that.

He also presented a 291-name petition supporting his rezoning bid.

Speaking the day after the council meeting, Meints said he has asked several supporters to come to the Feb. 6 public meeting to express their own opinions that the property should be rezoned.

So far he said that the stipulations the District is expected to give him don’t seem onerous.

“We’ll take it day by day but yes, it seems fairly positive as this point so we’ll see what happens in the near future,” he said.

About the Author: Rod Link

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