Horn Lake considers changes for used cars dealers

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News,Business

HORN LAKE, Miss. (AP) — Horn Lake's current zoning ordinances "strongly discourage" used car dealerships, officials said, by only allowing them in conjunction with a new car dealership.

Some existing used car lots were grandfathered in before current regulations.

Over the past few months, The Commercial Appeal (http://bit.ly/1a3mcRU) reports Mayor Allen Latimer has said the city has received numerous inquiries about such used car dealerships. Latimer suggests to the board of aldermen that as part of the city's push to attract new business, it consider changes to strict regulations governing used car dealerships.

City Planner Austin Cardosi will look at ordinances in surrounding cities and possibly offer something to the city's planning commission to consider before it comes back to aldermen.

The subject is a delicate matter for city leaders, some of whom have been burned by past experiences with used car dealerships that they said offered only a few older cars before going out of business without contributing anything to the city's image or tax base.

"The reason (the current) ordinance is written the way it is," said Alderman Tim Smith, "is because we didn't want to go through some of the things we've gone through before."

Alderman Charlie Roberts said the city should be ready in case larger used car dealers, carrying late model vehicles, come calling.

"We have some major car dealerships looking, and we need to be prepared for when that comes," Roberts said.

Smith said he wants the city to be careful.

"I'm not trying to inhibit growth," he said. "I just don't want to take up prime real estate" with businesses that won't help as much.

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Information from: The Commercial Appeal, http://www.commercialappeal.com

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