Monday, August 20, 2007

Amendment to Car Wash Bill Still Smacks of Cronyism

The advisors to the Metro Council note an amendment to the Car Wash Exemption Bill to be discussed on Tuesday:
There is a proposed amendment for this ordinance incorporating some additional conditions for car washes, such as a requirement that an attendant be on duty at all times and that the vehicular ingress and egress be gated and closed at night [that is, after 10:00 p.m.]. This would essentially prohibit any coin-operated car washes as a use permitted with conditions. Rather, coin-operated car washes would be required to be rezoned as a SP.
As arbitrary as it was to exempt car washes from the same original requirements on other businesses to meet with neighbors to get approval for their developments, so too does it seem arbitrary to exclude coin-operated car washes, unless the big car washes are trying to eliminate competition. And in the experience of some, SP zoning creates a whole new set of headaches for property owners around a development.

There continues to be one simple solution to the favoritism that seems to be shown to big car wash developers: they should submit themselves to discussing their plans with the neighborhoods, talking with the neighborhoods' council representative, and getting support from the neighborhood for their development plans. This should not be a one-size-fits-all-neighborhoods-solution. Otherwise, it continues to look like the Car Wash Exemption Bill is nothing but favoritism and cronyism that serves a select group of businesses and a select group of Council Members.

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