City gives ultimatum to businessman Spikes

Thousands of dollars are on the line if within two weeks Toby Spikes, owner of Action Motor Sports, doesn't comply with an agreement with conditions that he already is two weeks late in meeting.

That might be considered an improvement over the alternative -- the closure of his business.

Spikes signed a parking and landscaping agreement with the city in June, which was supposed to be completed by Oct. 10. Mayor Dave DeRose argued Tuesday night that the work should have been done by the business' July opening, and that the Council was being gracious in allowing him until October.

"By all reality, you should have had that done before you opened you doors," DeRose told Spikes.

The agreement called for 15 percent of the property to be landscaped.

In September, the Craig City Council revised its parking and landscaping requirements, which reduced the landscaping requirement in most cases to 4 percent.

Late last month, Spikes approached the council to ask whether he could submit a new parking and landscaping plan under the new ordinance.

He was told he'd have to take his plan to the Planning and Zoning Commission for review and a recommendation.

He submitted his plan, but failed to attend the Oct. 18 meeting and because of confusion on the commission's part, the request was tabled. Commission members were under the impression council members had already decided to approve the revisions and were concerned as to what their roles were.

"Planning and zoning felt they were put behind the eight ball, so to speak, and their input would be irrelevant," Building Inspector Dave Costa said.

Councilor Don Jones set out first to make it clear to the Planning and Zoning Commission that the Council wanted the committee to make a recommendation based on their positions and experience, not based on council members' feelings.

"Our intent was to send this back to planning and zoning and let them decide, not to overstep our bounds," he said.

The Planning and Zoning Commission favored requiring Spikes to adhere to the original agreement of landscaping 15 percent. They cited another business, Standard Plumbing, which went through the process at the same time Action Motor Sports did and completed the higher level of landscaping formerly required.

"We thought there needs to be some fairness, which gives us some credibility and you too," commission member Mike Tucci said.

With the ball back in its court, the Council voted to give Spikes two weeks to complete the paving portion of his project. If that occurs, they'll accept the 4 percent of landscaping he currently has installed. If not, they'll revoke his surety bond to pay to have the work done -- at the 15 percent requirement.

The original agreement requires the city to revoke the business' temporary certificate of occupancy before pulling the bond, but that, too, was modified after each council member said they weren't willing to put his business at risk.

"We made a deal and we'll stick by our side and take the (bond)," Councilor Joe Herod said. "Closing his business right now is out of the question."

The final vote was 4-1-1 -- with DeRose voting against the plan and Councilor Joe Herod abstaining.

Christina M. Currie can be reached at 824-7031, ext. 210, or ccurrie@craigdailypress.com.

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