Pasadena Is Pumping the Brakes on This Mechanic’s Dreams

TX Texas Mechanic Azael Sepulveda DF4A9215

Azael Sepulveda is a car guy. He’s loved cars his whole life—driving them, tinkering with them, admiring them. Naturally, he became an auto mechanic. But the city of Pasadena, Texas, is threatening to crush his thriving business. 

Sepulveda opened Oz Mechanics in 2012 at a space he leased in Pasadena. It’s a small shop—he’s the only worker and takes cars by appointment only, with just a few cars in the shop at a time—which is just the way he likes it. And he’s developed quite the reputation; he has 72 five-star reviews on Google and has a popular YouTube channel where he shares his work and love for cars.  

As Oz Mechanics became more successful and his family started to grow, Sepulveda wanted to expand his business by buying his own shop. He went all-in on his dream: He used all of his savings, plus a personal loan with his house as collateral, to buy a storefront on Shaver Street. The previous owner had used the property as an auto shop since 1990, and Sepulveda believed it would only need a few minor modifications to meet his needs.  

Unfortunately for Sepulveda, the city of Pasadena had other plans. It refused to allow Sepulveda to open his business unless he has 28 parking spaces. This would require Sepulveda to install a whole new parking lot at his property, which would cost $40,000—almost half of what he paid for the property. Sepulveda simply can’t afford this expense. Nor should he have to. Sepulveda already has enough parking at his shop—five outside plus another four inside the shop. This is all that Sepulveda’s business needs—he averages only two to three cars parked outside his current leased location per day. And the previous owner of his new property operated for 30 years with the current parking situation without any problem.

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