PALM SPRINGS – Off Lease Only will face a vehicle storage crisis if the Village of Palm Springs refuses to allow the reputable dealer to renew its use of a vacant lot for parking overflow cars.
As a result, Off Lease Only owner Mark Fischer is requesting employees and customers rally at Palm Springs Village Hall at 6:30 p.m. on Tuesday, February 10th, in a show of support. The overflow lot is located at 3475 Second Ave. North.
“We need to show the impact and that we can’t afford to build a new dealership while cutting our business in half,” said Fischer, whose Lake Worth dealership is located nearby at 3531 Lake Worth Road.
Off Lease Only is appealing its case to the Village’s Land Development Board. The Board’s director last September denied Off Lease Only’s request to continue using the overflow lot. Off Lease Only has used the lot since 2010. In 2012, Village officials granted Off Lease Only a 2-year temporary land use permit. That land use permit expired in November 2014.
Fischer said he has tried to be a good neighbor and isn’t asking for anything new.
“I worked hard to clean up this blighted property, which was previously used by homeless people, drug addicts and prostitutes,” Fischer said. “It helped us expand our business and that meant hiring more people onto our team. We have had no violations from the city either. Our only need is to continue using this lot until our new facility is completed.”
Off Lease Only needs the continued use of the vacant lot because plans for its huge new dealership at 1200 S. Congress Ave. are progressing more slowly than expected.
The used car dealership sells about 1,000 cars a month in Lake Worth, employs more than 400 people and generates more than $500 million in annual sales. With stores also in Miami and Orlando, Off Lease Only pumps an estimated $30 million in tax revenue into the local economy.
Without the overflow lot, Fischer can’t sell as many cars because he can’t store as many cars. The trickle-down effect could affect employees, which is something Fischer doesn’t want to happen.
Off Lease Only attorney Christina Bilenki believes a Florida law, passed last year, gives Off Lease Only the right to continue its usage.
The law, known as the “Legislative Extension,” allows for an automatic extension in cases of development or permitting. The Palm Springs official who denied the extension said the “Legislative Extension” did not apply because Off Lease Only’s temporary use permit did not include development of the land.
Off Lease Only claims that it made numerous property improvements that could be classified as development.
In order to qualify for the temporary use permit in 2012, Off Lease Only was issued permits for clearing land, spreading shell rock, installing a chain link fence, removing sheds and installing an irrigation system. Off Lease Only also submitted a site plan for landscaping and subsequently planted numerous trees, Bilenki noted.
The Village’s municipal code defines “development order” as any man-made change to improved or unimproved real estate. The “Legislative Extension” applies to any government-issued development order or building permit that expires between Jan. 1, 2014 and Jan.1, 2016. As such, the Legislative Extension should apply, Bilenki stated.
“Off Lease Only made numerous improvements to the lot,” she said.
Please join the Off Lease Only team to show your support at the following address:
|What||Land Development Board Meeting|
|Where||Palm Springs Village Hall, 226 Cypress Lane|
|When||6:30 p.m., February 10th|
Stop in to one of Off Lease Only four locations and drive home your next beautiful used car today!