(Advocate file photo)

Red Deer County backs new Spruce View auto repair business

Some neighbours concerned about auto repair business in residential area

A Spruce View resident proposing to open an automotive repair business got the green light from Red Deer County despite some neighbourhood doubts.

The county’s municipal planning commission voted in favour on Tuesday of an application to open the repair business on 0.6-acre residential property in the hamlet, about 25 km west of Innisfail, despite a couple of letters of concern. There were also two letters of support for the business.

Among the concerns expressed was the potential for noise, odour, mess, increased traffic, and possible environmental hazards. A better location would be in a nearby gas station bay, suggested one letter writer.

County Mayor Jim Wood, who sits on the planning commission along with the rest of council, said while he likes to see these kinds of businesses open in business parks rather than residential areas having an automotive repair shop would benefit Spruce View.

Home-based businesses of this sort serve as incubators allowing new businesses to get off the ground.

“I believe that we have an opportunity here to help this person operate this business and enhance the community,” said Wood.

Allowing businesses to get a start is an important for creating jobs in the county, he added.

Coun. Philip Massier said the business is being approved under a number of conditions.

“If this business starts to grow and starts to become a used car lot we have the power to shut it down,” he said.

Coun. Connie Huelsman also saw the benefit of allowing the business.

“Spruce View does need something like this,” said Huelsman, adding it could become a “stepping stone” to a bigger business some day.

“It will be an incubator. Let’s hope he can do really well with it.”

The business was given a five-year approval with a long list of conditions, including that it cannot create any nuisance outside the property or affect the privacy and enjoyment of nearby residents.

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