Marty Motors moving to Route 7? Family seeks zone change

Marty Motors, the used-car dealership, rental car business and service center at 92 Danbury Road, is reportedly considering a move to 626 Danbury Road — the current storefront of Trinity Crossfit.

Brian Keaveny, whose family has owned Marty Motors since 1981, told the Planning and Zoning Commission on July 17 that the move was being considered because he wanted to purchase a building to serve as a permanent location. Marty Motors’ current location, which it rents, was out of the owners’ price range to buy, Keaveny said.

He added that he would likely maintain the current parking lot at the location, and suggested he might drop the business’s rental car business.

But buying the Crossfit location — which had been a service station before, Keaveny noted — would require amending the commission’s regulations on the B-2 business zone, which includes the northern reaches of Route 7.

‘Gasoline alley’

Developers are restricted from opening new gas stations, motor-vehicle service stations, or car dealerships, under the regulations.

“No person can start a new business selling or servicing cars in the B2 zone,” said Richard Baldelli, the town’s Planning and Zoning director.

The restrictions were added in 2007, with the concern at the time that the commission did not want the area to become a “gasoline alley,” similar to Federal Road in Danbury, Baldelli said.  

To move into 626 Danbury Road, Keaveny’s family would need also need a special permit issued by the town.

Because Keaveny’s license to sell used motor vehicles also permits Marty Motors to service cars — any car, not just the ones they sell, Baldelli clarified — only the restriction on car dealerships would need to be loosened. That would leave the restrictions on new gas stations and standalone service stations (Baldelli used the example of a Jiffy Lube business) from opening up new locations in the area.

The commission appeared ready to support the change.

‘I’m going to support this, but because of what’s there now,” said commissioner John Katz. “If this were virgin land, I would not support this.”

Chairwoman Rebecca Mucchetti said she thought there was a “general consensus” to allow the change from the commission.

“‘I would say enter into negotiations, but maybe don’t buy anything just yet,” she said.

The matter will likely go to a public hearing in September or October, Muchetti said.

“It would be nice to keep you in town,” she said.

“Very nice, indeed,” Katz agreed.