News icon




Zone change allows limited sale of cars at Shore Road repair shop

Cape Elizabeth Service Center will be allowed to sell vehicles in addition at their Shore Road repair shop, thanks to an amendment to town ordinances approved by the Town Council June 11, 2018.

The council unanimously approved an amendment to the Shore Road business district that will allow auto repair shops to sell up to three vehicles on site. The move, said Town Manager Matthew Sturgis, "is trying to make, in some ways, an ongoing use actually legal by our land-use ordinances."

In February, when the council first considered the amendment, Sturgis said the shop had historically sold a limited number of repaired vehicles at its shop at 560 Shore Road, but because selling cars is not an allowed use in the town's Business A district, the practice is illegal there.

Ray Clark, owner of the Cape Elizabeth Service Center, appeared at a public hearing to "quell" some fears he said he's heard about the proposal. "I don't want a used car lot," he said. He does, however, want to extend his business to serve customers who are looking to purchase a used vehicle. The zone change, he said, will allow him to obtain used-car plates from the state. "There's not going to be a big floppy guy out front selling cars," Clark said.

The Planning Board unanimously recommended the amendment to the Town Council after their own public hearing. Sturgis said the board heard few if any concerns, pointing especially to the amendment's link to the repair-garage use. "If there is a concern or a fear than anyone could walk forward and open up a car dealership on Shore Road without this link, then that's not going to happen," Sturgis said.

The amendment limits the number of cars to three, and no change in sign regulation is included. "What ever signs he (Clark) could do yesterday he's going to be able to do a month from now," when the ordinance change takes effect, said Councilor Caitlin Jordan.