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Used car lot owner wants free ride on landscaping
Central Valley Motors failed to get a use permit as well as landscape to city standards when they expanded into the former Valero gas station at North Main and Alameda streets. - photo by HIME ROMERO

Central Valley Motors’ owner believes he should be exempt from the city’s landscaping rules for his used car lot on the southeast corner of North Main and Alameda streets.

The Manteca Planning Commission has already decided unanimously not to let Central Valley off the hook for the landscaping after they approved a conditional use permit that made the previously illegal use of a former Valero gas station — where they expanded into from their existing lot — legal.

City rules allowing car lots under use permits in commercial zones require landscaping along the 10 feet nearest the back of the sidewalk along both North Main as well as Alameda and to provide 10 percent landscaping for the entire site. It also includes 12 percent landscaping on the working area that ultimately will shade 50 percent of the parking lot pavement.

They are similar to landscaping requirements for all commercial developments in Manteca.

Central Valley put up steel posts and chain to separate the sidewalk from the car lot. The used cars are parked right up to the sidewalk.

Since the rules were put in place, two other car dealers had to comply with the landscaping rules — Cabral Motors and Sexton Chevrolet. A third — Manteca Dodge — when they did their remodeling was exempted from the rules as Caltrans has jurisdiction and didn’t want trees or other landscaping along the state highway right-of-way.

Owner Imran Ziadeh is appealing the Planning Commission’s rejection of his variance request for landscaping to the Manteca City Council at their Tuesday meeting. The council meets at 7 p.m. at the Civic Center, 1001 W. Center St.

Community Development Director Mark Nelson in a report issued to the council noted that if the variance were granted, it would set a negative precedent for all future commercial development. It also allows for any future use on the site of the former Valero gas station to be exempt from the landscaping requirements because the variance runs with the land, not the use.