Mechanic's fight against Pasadena to open new shop approaches 3 years

Pooja Lodhia Image
Tuesday, April 30, 2024
Mechanic's fight against Pasadena to open new shop approaches 3 years
Azael Sepulveda's three-year-long fight with Pasadena drags on. He wants to open a new mechanic shop, but he says the city is blocking him.

PASADENA, Texas (KTRK) -- A Pasadena business owner's fight with city regulations drags on.

ABC13 has told you for nearly three years about a car mechanic trying to open a new shop, but a battle over parking spots has held up the permitting process.

"Just let me open," mechanic Azael "Oz" Sepulveda pleaded. "We've been going at this back and forth. Just let me open."

Sepulveda bought a former machine shop in July 2021 and wants to open it as a mechanic shop, just like the two others he owns in Pasadena.

ORIGINAL STORY: Small business owner fights city's parking ordinance that could possibly shut his shop down

"I feel like right now, it's just a David and Goliath thing going on, so I really don't know," he said. "I just want to get my shop open. That's pretty much it."

At first, officials with the city of Pasadena's planning department refused to write him a permit to open his new business without 28 parking spots.

After two lawsuits and multiple court hearings, Pasadena officials agreed to allow fewer parking spots, but there are disagreements over how the spots will be paved and whether they will be safe.

In the years this has been hung up in court, Sepulveda's father has died.

"He's always wanted us to open up a shop, and it just kind of stinks that he didn't get to see that," Sepulveda said. "I'm trying to do it for him now."

Monday's court hearing ended with both sides unable to even agree to consult with engineers.

City attorneys, who are required to bring any court orders for city council approval before agreeing to them, declined to speak to Eyewitness News on camera.

Sepulveda's attorneys, taking on the case for free, were more than happy to speak to ABC13.

"It's deeply offensive when you think about what government should be doing," Diana Simpson with the Institute for Justice said. "They should be getting out of the way of hardworking entrepreneurs."

Both sides are due back in court in May. So, the fight continues, three years and counting.

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