A proposed autobody and repair shop in Stratford has been turned down by the town's council.
The application was discussed during council's monthly meeting at the Stratford Town Hall on July 8. Susan Behi and Mehdi Shahsavari had applied to convert an existing commercial building – the Wash A Way car wash on St. John Avenue – into an autobody shop.
Coun. Jill Burridge said the application does not bear the recommendation of the town's planning committee, which she chairs.
"I strongly feel that this is not the place for an autobody shop," she said.
The proposed shop would be visible from the Trans-Canada Highway, so Burridge wasn't the only councillor who felt it would look bad to those passing through Stratford.
"It's going to be an eyesore," Coun. Steve Gallant said.
Because the proposed development would require a special permitted use, council would have had to call a public meeting for residents to provide input. But it ultimately voted five to one against calling the meeting and furthering the application, namely due to the location.
Coun. Derek Smith was the only one who voted in favour of a public meeting to see what residents might have to say about it.
"It's in my DNA not to turn away a business from Stratford," he said.
He questioned whether alternative locations were suggested, believing that the town could benefit from another autobody shop. Burridge informed him that alternatives were discussed, but it's not the planning board's role to provide alternatives to applicants.
Daniel Brown is a local journalism initiative reporter, a position funded by the federal government. Twitter.com/dnlbrown95