Tow yards on agenda

The Louisa County Planning Commission met on July 8 to address whether to amend the zoning code to allow towing yards.  

Louisa County currently allows impound lots, according to Robert Gardner, Louisa County community development director. Impound lots are defined as “a holding place for cars until they are placed back in the control of the owner, recycled for their metal, stripped of their parts at a wrecking yard or auctioned off for the benefit of the impounding agency.”  

Some residents have approached the county about opening towing yards, and having them be readily available to Louisa and surrounding counties. The original idea was brought up by Jeep Newman. He owns property in an industrial park in Zion Crossroads and has a tenant who would like to use part of it to store vehicles that have either been impounded or are disabled. 

The proposed towing yards are defined as “the temporary outdoor storage of vehicles for not more than 90 days which are either towed, carried, hauled, or pushed from public or private property for impoundment.” Newman went to Gardner with this idea and first met with the planning commission in May. 

A few commission members were unsure about a 90-day hold, as they felt it may lead to vehicles sitting in a lot for a longer period of time than needed. Examples of towing yards in Richmond were brought up in discussion. These towing yards are said to hold up to at least 300 vehicles at a time, which can lead to overcrowding.

Commissioner Ellis Quarles (Patrick Henry District) argued that there was no need to add the definition of a towing yard as he feels it is too similar to that of an impound lot. After much back and forth discussion, the planning commission reached no conclusion and Chairman Holly Reynolds (Green Springs District) told Gardner to revise his proposal for an upcoming meeting. 

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