Controversial car lot proposal in Rock Hill

It’s a controversial proposal that has some car dealers in Rock Hill on the edge.

Rock Hill city officials want to place restrictions on whether used car dealerships can come into the city and also regulate current businesses.

Bill Meyer, the planning and development director, says the city is starting to look cluttered with used car dealerships taking up open spaces all over the city.

Right now, there are 49 car lots in rock hill, and Meyer believes that’s more than enough.

While the proposal is geared towards tightening up rules for new lots, businesses already operating are wondering what other changes would come.

Gary Dean… co-owner of drivewaycars.com says his business contributes to the city’s local economy.

“Forty percent of the cars we sell are outside of Rock Hill. We think we’re bringing a lot of income and revenue to rock hill,” Dean said.

Dean says there’s already enough restrictions in place that leaves car lots at a disadvantage. He says there’s limitations on “the amount of signage, any decorations, any balloons, any stickers that you put on a car to advertise that a car is better.”

Officials say any given week, two to three car dealers express wanting to bring their business to Rock Hill.

Because of that, Meyer believes  there has to be new guidelines in place.

“What we find troubling is when a closed gas station or closed branch bank or some site that wasn’t designed to be a used car lot is then being converted to that use,” Meyer said.

We looked through the documents and the proposal would restrict the amount of space given to new lots and establish zoning guidelines they would have to follow.

The city says there could also be changes that would affect car lots already in place.

But they want to hear from car dealers before reaching any final decision. City officials and planners met with concerned community members to start having those conversations. This took place at the Thursday night meeting at the Rock Hill City Hall.