Soda Creek resident Larry Gomba has received a favorable recommendation from the Jeffco Planning Commission to rezone his property to permit an antique sales business.
During the Oct. 24 rezoning hearing, Gomba said he has not been able to legally sell antiques in his Amish-style barn because he lacked the necessary zoning.
Gomba’s 12 acres of land have Agricultural-2 zoning, which permitted his former landscaping business, but not antique sales. Gomba had been selling refurbished antiques until he received a complaint from the county.
Jeffco planner Alan Tiefenbach has been working with Gomba to rezone his property to planned development to permit the business. Gomba is also seeking a setback variance to let him keep a vintage buggy close to the road. He is planning to build a shelter for the buggy, which he uses to give people rides around the neighborhood.
Gomba’s next-door neighbor Tom Sweet voiced objections to the rezoning and setback variance at the hearing, saying it would set a precedent for future commercial sales in the area.
“”We’re already lost a potential sale on our home because of concerns with commercial property,” Sweet said.
Sweet also said it appeared that the buggy shelter construction appeared to be well in progress.
“He doesn’t wait until things are approved,” said Sweet.
Gomba replied he had only placed a frame around the buggy for a place to hang the harnesses for his horses. He also said that when Sweet moved into his home a few years ago, the landscaping business was in full operation.
“In this use, zoning is specific. It only allows antique restoration and sales,” said Tiefenbach. “It is specific to this particular case and will not open the door to other commercial zoning.”
When asked about the amount of traffic and customers that would come to his home, Gomba said that he anticipated three to four people a week.
Although the buggy rides that Gomba is offering to customers do not require approval, Tiefenbach said that because of the setback request, he brought the matter to the commission.
“We did it at his (Gomba’s) request,” said Tiefenbach.
Tiefenbach said he checked with the Jeffco Sheriff’s Office about the buggy rides but received no reply.
While discussing the signage that would be allowed for the antique business, Tiefenbach said there are more restrictions than currently at the property.
A 32-square-foot unlighted sign will be permitted along Interstate 70, and two smaller signs can be placed at the entrance of Gomba’s property and on his barn.
Jeffco commissioners will review the rezoning recommendation and vote on it at a future meeting.
Contact reporter Sandy Barnes at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 303-350-1042.