Commissioner Neil Black (second from the left) asks questions of City Planner Shannon Wernecke about the proposed expansion and upgrade of the Hoehn Buick Cadillac dealership. Photo by Rachel Stine

Car dealership to expand, update

CARLSBAD — The Carlsbad Planning Commission voted unanimously to approve the expansion and upgrade of the Hoehn Buick Cadillac dealership at its Sept. 4 meeting.

[amt_override]“It hasn’t been touched since 1975,” said the project’s architect, Gary Whitfield, of the dealership.

The project will demolish the existing service buildings and replace it with one service and parking structure over twice as large as well as expand the dealership’s showroom.

The changes will not only allow the dealership, which is located in Car Country Carlsbad off of Paseo Del Norte, to handle more service business and reduce noise, but also allow it to meet General Motors corporate standards, said Whitfield.

While city staff supported the project, they rejected the architect’s initial design for new signage.

The design is “too contemporary and does not compliment the features of the Car Country,” said city planner Shannon Wernecke.

Whitfield said there would be no problem adjusting the sign to meet the city’s design preferences.

Commissioners agreed that the dealership was in need of a “refresh”, and supported the variance necessary for the project to move forward.

“I’m not a fan of variances but in this particular case I can see the need,” said Commission Chair Kerry Siekmann.