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Planning Board OKs Hobby Car Shop Turned Business

Public Hearing in May

By Jann Wiswall

The Village of Ellicottville’s Planning Board had only one item on its agenda for its March 8 meeting – a special use permit for a home based business. The application was complete per planning board requirements so a public hearing was scheduled for the May 10 meeting.

The owner of the business, Ed Imhoff, is using an existing free-standing garage on his Rockwell Dr. property to construct chassis for custom Corvette drag racing cars.

What started as a hobby is now becoming a more formal business for tax reasons. “A hobbyist can’t deduct expenses,” Imhoff explained. Getting a permit to operate a home based business is one step in a process that includes applying for a state tax ID and filing other paperwork, he added.

Imhoff, who is a groomer and mechanic at Holiday Valley during ski season, has been working on and building parts of cars for most of his life. He also raced enough to have been nationally ranked for several years. His interest in building cars came out of that.

In the fall, he sold a chassis with prefabricated body online to the producers of a Discovery Channel television series called Street Outlaws.

He expects to be able to build an average of one chassis per year.

The April meeting of the planning board has been cancelled. The next regular meeting will be held on Tuesday, May 10 at 5:30 p.m. in the village/town hall.

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