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Defunct Car Lot in Arnold Given More Time to Clean Up

Arnold City Council gave the owners of former Checkered Flag Motors more time to close down their lot and also debated if businesses really need buildings at the last council meeting.

Mary Simpson, co-owner of , asked the city for another extension on an order to clean up the now defunct car lot after the city had received complaints about the unsightly property.  

Police Chief Robert Shockey, who also is working as interim city administrator, said the Simpsons had been issued a junk vehicle notice in July and were given 14 days to remove 18 vehicles from the lot. After meeting with city officials in July to gain more time, the 14-day notice was extended to 30 days.

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Simpson returned to the city council during last Thursday's meeting to ask for another extension.

“It’s not like moving boxes,” Simpson said. She told the city council they had given away some of the cars and sent several more to a salvage yard, costing them $40,000 in potential revenue. They still have six vehicles on the lot, all of which need work.

She said that Checkered Flag went out of business three years ago and they had not had any luck selling the property at the intersection of Jeffco Boulevard and Church Road.

Checkered Flag lost its business license after city officials discovered the closed down car lot did not have running water.

The city council granted the Simpsons a final 30-day extension to remove the remaining cars.

Do Businesses Need a Building?

The council also decided that businesses in Arnold are not required under zoning codes to have a building. City staffers had discovered a zoning ordinance that did not clearly state that a business needed a structure, and recommended that it be changed so that all zoning uses in Arnold would require a structure.

The council debated the code and determined that there could be some businesses, like a Christmas tree lot or a parking lot, that would not need a building. Members also decided it was unnecessary for the zoning code to require by law a structure when it was obviously implied that businesses that need a building would have a building to house their wares.

“In theory, someone could try to come in and open up a bakery without a building, but the health department would stop them. Our zoning code does not specifically state that they have to operate in a structure,” said Mary Holden, community development director of Arnold.

“Businesses that need a building—they’re smart enough to know they need a building,” said Ward 2 Councilwoman Michelle Hohmeier. “The more I thought about this, the more it just seems redundant.”

The council voted to not amend the ordinance.

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