Subdivision plat approved for O'Reilly store

Hannah Grover
The proposed site for an O'Reilly Auto Parts location is pictured Tuesday at the corner of Ash Street and West Aztec Boulevard in Aztec.

AZTEC — The City Commission unanimously approved a subdivision plat Tuesday night to allow Hutton LLC to divide a 6.33-acre lot into three parcels and develop an O’Reilly Auto Parts location on the center parcel.

The city initially entered into an agreement with Hutton LLC in January to help develop infrastructure for the property in hopes that the subdivided lot would provide locations for future developments.

However, there was confusion between the developer and the city about the term site in the agreement. City Development Director Bil Homka told commissioners the developer believed the term site meant the center lot where it plans on building an auto parts store. Meanwhile, the city believed the term site referred to the entire 6.33 acres.

The 6.33 acres on West Aztec Boulevard has been hard to develop because of an elevation difference between it and the highway.

"Our project was essentially dead because the lot was so low that we could never develop it," said Melani LaMar, a  development project manager at Hutton LLC.

She said the developer approached the city for help developing the lot in light of the expenses required to bring in fill dirt.

While city personnel believed the January agreement meant Hutton LLC would increase the elevation of the entire 6.33 acres, the developer thought it was only responsible for the center lot of the subdivision.

Because of the confusion, the city also entered into a business development project participation and incentive agreement with Hutton LLC. Once the O’Reilly Auto Parts building is complete, Hutton LLC will give the city $50,000.

In addition to approving the subdivision, city commissioners voted 4-1 in favor of granting a liquor license to Paschall Enterprises Inc. to locate a tap room portion of 550 Brewing inside the city-leased building that is being developed as a business incubator. The commissioners also approved a waiver to the state statute that requires at least 300 feet of distance between a pub and a church.

Commissioner Austin Randall voted against the liquor license, citing the city's role in developing the building and the possibility that students may use the building for studying.

"We are renovating the building," Randall said. "It is a city building."

Tricia Banry, whose property is separated from the building by a wood fence, said her family supports 550 Brewing, but does not approve of the location. She said the pub would be located "just outside of my child's bedroom" and expressed concern that noise could keep her children awake.

Mike Paschall, whose family owns 550 Brewing, said the pub may have last call at 10:45 p.m. and close at 11 p.m. on Saturdays, which is the latest it would stay open.

Commissioner Katee McClure lives three houses away from the location and said she can hear music from Rubio's, a restaurant located on Main Avenue adjacent to the business incubator. She said she supports the pub because the Paschall family is using the incubator to test the waters and see what the demand is for their business in Aztec. If response is favorable, the family would later move the business to another location. McClure said she doesn't think the additional noise will affect neighbors because there is already music being played at night.

"I don't see the Paschall Enterprises rocking out 'til midnight playing AC/DC," she said.

Hannah Grover covers Aztec and Bloomfield, as well as general news, for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652.