Metro-East News

County Board to vote on zoning requests for car-related businesses

To help pay for his education at Southern Illinois University-Edwarsdsville, Tyler Pikul has bought and sold things on Craigslist since he was 16.

Pikul, 20, of Hecker, has made enough that he doesn’t need any student loans, he said.

Now the student, who still has two and a half years before completing his bachelor’s degree, is looking to open a used-car dealership in Lenzburg.

His proposed used car dealership at 602 First St. in Lenzberg was recommended for approval by St. Clair County’s Zoning Board of Appeals earlier this month. The building was previously used for car sales, said Anne Markezich, the director of the St. Clair County Building and Zoning Department.

Pikul said the proposed location is on a busy road.

“It’s a very good location,” Pikul said. “There’s a lot of traffic back and forth.”

He said if approved, he plans to open in January, and start with 25 to 40 vehicles. The lot can hold up to 130 vehicles.

He would be selling used cars such as Cobalts, Aveos and Chevy Cruisers, among other vehicles.

The St. Clair County Board is scheduled to vote on the zoning request, along with two other requests, at its meeting on Monday.

Also on the agenda is a proposed auto body shop in Smithton.

The applicant Michael Schmierbach, hopes to have an auto body shop, but also asked to be allowed to sell cars at the existing building at 4447 Knab Road in Smithton.

Schmierbach, who plans to open in January if approved, said his father had an auto body shop with a friend, and he wants to follow in their footsteps.

“My dream is to start another shop,” Schmierbach said.

The shop would perform collision repairs and restore old cars, Schmierbach said.

However, the zoning board recommended denying the request to be allowed to sell cars.

The board believed there would be a risk of Schmierbach repairing a car, then placing it along the side of the road, Markezich said.

Permission to sell cars would have allowed Schmierbach to get a dealership license, so he could buy cars at auction to repair, he said.

The proposed location is about three-quarters of a mile off the highway and he plans to promote his business through word of mouth, he said.

The County Board is also scheduled to vote on whether to allow a dog kennel along Illinois 163.

The zoning board recommended the County Board deny the petition, because its members were worried about noise, Markezich said.

“The owner wasn’t going to live at the property, and he was going to leave at night,” Markezich said.

The proposed location along the 8600 block of Illinis 163 is near a residential area.

Ryan Pfingstein proposed building a 30 foot by 50 foot building with 12 kennels to be used as a pet-boarding business.

Pfingstein did not comment on the recommended denial.

Markezich said the county usually wants these type of uses in commercial or agricultural areas, rather than residential.

To attend

  • What: St. Clair County Board
  • When: 7:30 p.m. Monday
  • Where: St. Clair County Courthouse, 10 Public Square, Room B-564 in Belleville