SEBASTIAN – With a few tweaks to the site plan, Tire Kingdom has been cleared to move into Sebastian along US 1 near the Senior Center at Davis Street and could do so in a matter of four to eight months.
The automotive business will move into the vacant shell left behind by a former auto sales business. The plans call for expanding the building from its current 1,300 square feet to about 6,100 square feet.
The Sebastian Planning and Zoning Commission unanimously supported the plans for the site, with the caveat that more nautically inspired design elements be incorporated into the landscaping.
Located on US 1 near Davis Street, the site is within the Sebastian Riverfront Overlay District and is subject to more stringent design guidelines for aesthetics.
“It’s a beautiful looking building,” Commission Chair Larry Paul told the owner/developer Jack Mecca, but he expressed concern that it didn’t quite have the fishing village look the overlay district recommends.
Mecca, who has developed sites for Tire Kingdom in other cities, told the commission that the Sebastian site is unique.
“It’s one of its own,” he said, noting that the imposed design changes that he had already agreed to with the city’s Growth Management Department, would run him an extra $45,000 over the normal cost of building a corporate-prototype store.
“This is nowhere near our prototype,” Mecca said, adding that it is the “farthest cry from what Tire Kingdom” would have wanted.
Commissioners suggested shifting the landscaping around on the site and adding design elements to the property to give it the fishing village vibe.
One such element could include dock pilings. Another could be a faux boardwalk or plank.
Growth Management Director Rebecca Grohall reminded the Planning and Zoning Commission that the Florida Fishing Village theme is encouraged – not mandatory – under the city’s rules.
“We think it meets the Riverfront Overlay,” she said.
Site engineer Aaron Bowles, of MBV Engineering, told the commission that he did not foresee any issues with moving around the landscaping and adding the proposed design elements if it meant approval of the site plans.
“It’s a good compromise,” commission member Joel Roth said.
As part of the approval for the site plan changes, Mecca will be responsible for monitoring the condition of the retaining wall to the rear of the site, which separates his property from the Senior Center. If construction further degrades the stability of the wall, he is expected to fix it.