Saturday, November 11, 2006

Would You Accept a Car Wash in Your Neighborhood?

Months ago the Metro Council passed an ordinance making placement of car washes and other troublesome developments in neighborhoods subject to neighborhood review and approval. A resolution that would exempt car washes from last year's restriction was introduced in last Thursday's council meeting for public hearing. That bill was sponsored by Diane Neighbors, Charlie Tygard, and others.

According to the Nashville Neighborhood Alliance e-mails, Council Member Neighbors and others had promised not to bring the bill to the Public Hearing and to defer it indefinitely before it came up for Council consideration. In those e-mails, Diane Neighbors told the Alliance that she understood that the bill would come up for public hearing and then be deferred. The bill came up on Thursday and it was deferred until January 2, 2007; it was not deferred indefinitely.

The NNA e-mails indicate that the controversy over the car wash resolution results from the White Bridge Neighborhood Association's rejection of a car wash proposal at a property on White Bridge Pike in July. According to a WBNA spokesperson:

The car wash proposal projected 200 to 300 cars would use it daily. These cars would dump into our neighborhood streets because the car wash will not have an exit on White Bridge . I spoke with three different people at Traffic. The board felt this was not best for the neighborhood. We surveyed the surrounding homes and businesses also to get their reactions.
That leader is under the impression that the proposed car wash owner is using the Neighbors-Tygard exemption to place a car wash on White Bridge in spite of the expressed wishes of the residents in the White Bridge neighborhood.

Lest you think that this is someone else's problem, keep in mind that if the Neighbors-Tygard Car Wash Resolution passes in January and then again afterwards, then car washes will be able to locate in any Nashville neighborhood, including here in the North End. Do you want the congestion, filth, and sub-woofer-boosted music associated with car washes near your block? I don't. I am contacting Diane Neighbors and every other council member and I am asking them to reject this exemption in January.

It is bad for neighborhoods. It may be bad for Neighbors, who is said to be running for Vice Mayor; she may find it in her best interest to drop her sponsorship of this flawed resolution if she gets a flood of negative feedback from neighborhoods.

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