Plan Commission clears the way for purchase

By Jason Arndt


Chris Miller, of Miller Motors, cleared a hurdle to purchase and improve a highly visible property near Fox River Plaza on Tuesday when the City of Plan Commission approved a conditional use permit and site application for 1157 Milwaukee Ave.

Miller, whose business has grown, looks to repurpose the former Tractor Supply Company building currently owned by Jeffrey Way, of Motor Sports Auto Sales, into an automotive body shop, repair center, car rental office and for vehicle storage.

The Plan Commission approval, according to Miller, allows him to purchase the property and will give the City of Burlington a positive resolution to a long-standing issue the land has faced.

Since 2007, noncompliance issues have plagued property, notably excessive vehicles, and Way had his conditional use permit revoked in September 2017.

For city officials, including Mayor Jeannie Hefty, the purchase and conditional use approval paves the way to an improved look for motorists driving along Milwaukee Avenue.

“It is one of our gateways into the city,” Hefty said. “Miller Motors has a beautiful car lot on the other side. It should be attractive.”

Currently, the point of contention is vehicles still on the property, which has drawn criticism from Plan Commissioner John Ekes at past meetings.

Ekes, who questioned Miller, inquired whether he has reached out to Way about removing the vehicles.

“Did you work a deal on how long you give him to clear the cars off?” he asked.

Miller, in response, said removing the vehicles is an expectation of the sale.

To read the entire story see the April 11 edition of the Burlington Standard Press.