Andover board OKs auto repair shop to sell cars

The former B&B Service Station on Route 11 will be allowed to sell used cars as The Garage. Photo by Google Street View.

By Neil Thorley
©2018 Telegraph Publishing LLC

On Monday, June 25, the Andover Select Board voted to allow Charlie Abbott and Sean Johnson to sell used automobiles at their auto repair business, The Garage, which they plan to open at the former B&B Repair Services, at 3009 Simonsville Road (Route 11).

Abbott and Johnson had come before the board in mid-June seeking the right to reopen the repair business as well as sell used cars.

The shop had been operated by Butch and Beverly Jelley, who own Jelley’s in Londonderry. And Butch Jelley has said that his shop also sold used cars and therefore the new business should be grandfathered in.

Abbott and Johnson said they wished to continue the Jelley’s tradition of servicing and selling used cars at the station. Under normal circumstances, to do so in Andover would not be possible under the town’s zoning regulations, since automobile sales are not explicitly allowed as a conditional use. However, the Select Board decided to grant Abbott and Johnson an exception due to a longstanding tradition of use.

The service station existed and operated before the current zoning regulations were adopted in 1973, then under the ownership of Richard Baker. Baker sold automobiles on the property, so when the regulation was passed, his business was grandfathered into the current regulations.

When the Jelleys took over ownership of the station, that permit transferred to them, and they too serviced and sold used cars there.

Johnson stressed that they will not be operating a large-scale car dealership, which might attract opposition. “We not asking to do anything other than what the prior business did,” Johnson said.

Attempts to reach The Garage’s owners for further information were unsuccessful.

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