WATERVILLE — The former A.L. Weeks & Sons auto body shop and adjacent home on Kennedy Memorial Drive were razed last week, and the property owner says he has no plans for the spot.

Jerald Hurdle had previously asked the City Council to rezone the property at 145 Kennedy Memorial Drive to allow a car and dog wash, but a 4-3 vote of the council Aug. 17 to rezone did not represent a majority vote, so his bid failed.

Hurdle, a dermatologist, proctologist and colon and rectal surgeon, was busy with patients Monday but said through a spokeswoman that the buildings on the spot were uninhabitable and that is why he had them torn down. He said he has no plans at this time for the land.

The property had been in the Weeks family for decades before it was sold 17 years ago.

Arnold Weeks, who died in 1999 at age 99, had built the former A.L. Weeks & Sons starting in 1931. His sons, Maynard and Harland Weeks who later owned the business, Arnold’s grandson Chris and great-grandson Christopher all worked in the shop, which at one time sold 20 to 25 cars a month and painted four or five cars a week. The business failed in the years after the family sold it, and the property was auctioned off in April.

Harland Weeks, 84, lives on Carver Street just behind the property and said he felt sad while watching the buildings being torn down, because his father built the house and he and his brother grew up there and built the most recent shop building next to it.

Harland Weeks said he thought the shop building was in good shape and could have been converted into a redemption center, office or other business.

He and other neighbors of the land objected to Hurdle’s plan to put a car and dog wash there because it was scheduled to be open 24 hours. They believed it would have increased traffic and created a dangerous situation, because traffic would have had to exit the property via Kennedy Memorial Drive and water from the car wash would have turned to ice in the winter.

Harland Weeks said he is not against having a business put there, and one that would fit into the neighborhood would be good.

“It’s a nice location,” he said.

The property has been zoned Contract Zoned District/Commercial-A since 1997. A contract zone specifies what is allowed in a particular zone and limits some uses.

The zone allows for uses that include business and professional offices, retail stores, eating establishments and service establishments, according to City Planner Ann Beverage, and prohibits bus stations and bus terminals, gas stations, warehousing and manufacturing.

“It allows pretty much everything you see downtown,” she said.

Planning Board Chairman David Geller voted against recommending to the council that the land be rezoned to allow for the car wash. He said it would constitute spot zoning, or rezoning property to meet the owner’s request in the absence of any public necessity or need.

Geller said Monday that with the absence of the buildings, the large lot looks good.

“It surely is much cleaner looking now with the dilapidated buildings removed,” he said. “Now it’s a blank canvas that somebody can do something really nice with. It would make a great office building.”

Amy Calder — 861-9247

[email protected]

Twitter: @AmyCalder17

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