Overlay in the works to limit the number of used car lots along Pendleton Pike

LAWRENCE, Ind. – The City of Lawrence is working to put a limit on the number of temporary used car lots on one busy road. This initiative will bring a new look to Pendleton Pike.

If you’ve driven on Pendleton Pike, it’s hard to miss the number of used car lots lined up along the street. Mayor Steve Collier says that could soon be a thing of the past.

Vale Autosales has been located on Pendleton Pike for more than a decade. Jorge Mejia is proud of his family business, but he can’t say the same about the building next door.

“That one has been empty probably for like five years or more,” said Mejia. “It used to be a car lot.”

It’s a car lot that has since come and gone within a short time, like many of the other used car lots along the stretch of Pendleton Pike.

“That building has been there for so long,” said Mejia when talking about the abandoned building next door.

That’s what Mayor Steve Collier is working to fix. He wants to put into place an overlay to limit the number of future used car lots. Although it’s not quickest system, it’s the fairest.

“I was surprised actually by the positive response,” said Mayor Collier.

Current used car lot owners would not be negatively impacted. The overlay would come into play if the used car lot owner would leave or goes to sell. Then, the business would not be allowed to open back up, making way for new development in its place.

“Keep in mind most of these car lots were built as gas stations or as stop-and-go’s whatever you may want to call them,” said Collier. “So, they weren’t built as the business they currently are.”

Collier says limiting the number of used car lots will make way for new business and higher paying jobs. Collier wants to find companies that can employ more than just a select few people.

“I couldn’t tell you how profitable used car lots are, apparently there is some profit because there’s a lot of them around, but I do know there’s certainly opportunity for higher economic development with more jobs,” said Collier.

People can expect to see development within the next four to five years. The overlay would go into effect in 2020. It’s important to note he is up for re-election in November. His Democratic challenger will be selected next month.

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