DAVIDSON – After much tinkering, the Davidson Town Board gave the approval that will allow Woodies Automotive to build it's newest vehicle repair and maintenance facility off Davidson Gateway Drive.

The major obstacle for Woodies was getting around the town planning ordinances that requires two functioning stories for new commercial spaces.

“We recognize this is an exception, just as we did when we approved the Harris Teeter building, which has about a 10 percent active second floor and the RushCo building,” Said Mayor John Woods. “Those were done for very valid reasons. There are times when the decisions are not black and white and we have to discern that here.”

Brad Woody, owner of Woodies Automotive, said the second floor would be useless for his operation and the space is needed for lifting cars and providing more natural light for technicians.

The amendment was discussed at the February 25 Planning Board meeting where they voted to send a negative recommendation to the board.

A public hearing was held on March 12 where opinions were mixed.

“Everything I have heard about the management of Woodies is good and there is no doubt in my mind that this would be a service that would be useful to our citizens,” said commissioner Jim Fuller. “I think it’s also worth consideration that town staff recommended against, the planning board overwhelming recommended against and the neighborhood recommends against. It's a matter of balancing a lot of factors.”

Feelings towards the amendment remained mixed when the board voted 3-2 in favor of the amendment change on April 9.

Fuller and Commissioner Rodney Graham voted against.

Jenest and Commissioners Laurie Venzon and Connie Wesner voted in favor of the proposal.

“I can't help but think, based off the planning that we have in place, the needs for the kind of jobs, and the economic development goals that we have set for this town, that this is a really good thing for us,” said Jenest. “And I am very excited about it frankly.”