Scott Ramm moved his auto service station business from Barracks Road to Ivy Road in 2012. He now plans an expansion to accommodate increased demand for his shop’s services. “Since 2012 we’ve improved the shop and updated the [auto] lifts, and with Crozet growing as much as it has, we’ve added quite a few more customers,” said Ramm, a 1983 WAHS graduate. The plan is to add four more auto service bays (to the existing three) in a 3,200-square-foot expansion that will be built onto the rear of the current station. Scott’s Ivy Exxon, which sits in the Ivy Depot area across from the former Toddsbury of Ivy, has been the site of a gas station for the past fifty years.
“We’d like to be able to serve more customers and also to add flexibility for our technicians so they can use more than one bay to work on a car,” said Ramm. “If we take an engine apart and the problem is a part that we have to wait for, then we may have to reassemble it and pull the car outside until we get the parts or the authorization, so the extra space to minimize that wasted time would be helpful. The other thing is that we’d like to be able bring in equipment to do wheel alignments on site, where in the past we’ve had to have those done off site.”
The new bays will be taller than those in the existing building, which will allow the technicians to work on different types of vehicles such as newer, freightliner-style vans. “We’ll get a truck lift and be able to get those vehicles higher off the ground, whereas now we can raise them up only a few feet,” said Ramm. A fan-shaped parking area out back will be used to stage cars as they await repairs, reducing the number of cars parked near Ivy Road to only those ready for pickup. The expansion is expected to increase the average number of vehicles served per day from 8 to 13, while the number of employees will remain the same.
Though Ramm would have liked to move forward swiftly with the project, zoning issues with the county had to be addressed first. The property is zoned as C-1 Commercial, and its existing use may continue by right. To expand the operation, however, requires a Special Use Permit from the county. The Scott’s Ivy Exxon request made its way through the Planning Commission in June, followed by a Board of Supervisors hearing on August 19.
No site plan existed for the site and several regulations had changed over the last few decades, so Ramm had to either bring the business and property into compliance or receive an exception. The station is currently on a well water system and not connected to public water and sewer. Though a well system would not be allowed under current regulations for new construction, a waiver was granted to allow the station to continue its use as the new bays would require only 50 additional gallons per day.
A few neighbors raised concerns in an earlier county-led community meeting about potential petroleum contamination and water runoff into Little Ivy Creek from the station. Scott’s Ivy Exxon will be required to submit a Virginia Stormwater Management Program plan, and to install plantings within the stream buffer (to the east) for mitigation purposes. The Virginia Department of Transportation will also require landscaping of the Ivy Road property frontage to better control traffic in and out of the station.
After unanimous approval by the Board of Supervisors, Ramm is optimistic about the planned expansion. “I think we’re past the main hurdles with the county,” he said, “and I hope we can have the expansion done within a year.