Monday, January 22, 2007

Car Wash Exemption Bill Continues to Lack Planning Department's Revisions, Despite Co-sponsors' Claims

After the Public Hearing on Metro Council's Car Wash Exemption Bill, co-sponsor Charlie Tygard claimed responsibility in his remarks in chambers for not communicating to neighborhood residents all of the design conditions that new car washes would have to meet. Many of those residents oppose this bill. He also litanized some of what he called "upscale" conditions: monument-type brick signs, short knee-walls, and landscaping.

However, many of those "upscale" conditions--as recommended by the Planning Department--are not in the bill which is slated for third and final reading February 6. Compare the current Council resolution to the Planning Department's version (after the jump scroll to Item #13 on p. 76). Notice that Planning's recommendations are in bold in their document and notice that they are totally invisible in the Council version. As such, if it had not been for co-sponsor Diane Neighbors's medical procedure delaying its third and final reading on January 16, the bill that Council passed would have lacked a number of the very conditions Mr. Tygard cited to try and soften the blow to neighborhoods of exempting car washes from getting their consent.

As long as Mr. Tygard is taking responsibility, he needs to be accountable for misleading his audience into believing that the exemption bill says more than it actually does. If this bill passes in February without the Planning conditions, then bill co-sponsors' misrepresentation of the conditions will be codified and imposed upon the affected neighborhoods. That will merely be adding insult to injury.

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