BF Tire owner Abraham Garcia brought a gun along to convince the Joliet City Council – an air gun for tires.
Garcia wanted to demonstrate just how much noise he would make in changing semitractor cab tires as the council weighed opposition to his business plan.
Turning on the gun to demonstrate, Garcia said that “would be the most noise we would cause.”
Council members did not comment whether the demonstration convinced them, but they voted 6-2 to give BF Tire the special use permit and zoning variation needed to work on semitractor tires at the shop located at the corner of Broadway and Hutchins streets.
The council approval came after the Zoning Board of Appeals in January unanimously recommended against the BF Tire plan. City staff also advised against it.
The staff also put 17 conditions on the approval that Councilman Joe Clement said should be sufficient to ensure the business does not become a nuisance.
“I just think we should give him a chance,” Clement said, noting the conditions include possible revocation of the permit and variation.
The BF Tire plan appeared to get mixed reviews from the neighborhood.
One neighborhood advocate presented a petition to the council Monday saying most Broadway residents are against it. Another presented survey results on Tuesday, saying the large majority of residents in the surrounding Cunningham neighborhood were unopposed. Garcia said his own survey of immediate neighbors to the business showed no opposition.
The business already operated as a tire shop for decades and originally was a gas station.
Garcia bought it a year ago.
Councilman Larry Hug, who voted against the permit and variance, noted that Garcia knew work on semitractor tires was prohibited when he bought the business.
“Even if this does not pass, he’ll be able to continue to do the same business he knew he could do when he bought it,” Hug said before the vote.
Councilman Cesar Guerrero, who voted for the BF Tire plan, said Garcia has equipped the business for semitractor work.
“As owner and operator of this business, he has found a specialty,” Guerrero said.
Garcia already has a mobile operation serving semitractor tires off site.
Mayor Bob O’Dekirk joined Guerrero, Clement, Terry Morris, Pat Mudron and Sherri Reardon in voting for the plan. O’Dekirk typically does not vote but a sixth yes vote was needed because of the super-majority approval required after the zoning board recommended against the plan. Councilwoman Bettye Gavin was not at the meeting.
Jan Quillman joined Hug in voting against the plan.