Car Wash Approved, But Hung Out To Dry

April 10, 1991|By Paul Shread | Paul Shread,Staff writer

At a new car wash on West Street in Annapolis, a wash is all you'll get -- and you won't even be able to get that at lunch or dinner-time.

By a 6-3 vote, the City Council Monday night approved a new car wash at 1918 West St., near Admiral Drive and Chinquapin Round Road. Unable to defeat the project, opponents placed restrictions on when and how the car wash may operate.

Under amendments proposed by Alderman Samuel Gilmer, D-Ward 3, the car wash must close on weekdays between noon and 1 p.m. and 4 p.m. and 6 p.m. Also, no one can wipe down or vacuum their cars after theycome through the wash.

As part of a conditional approval, which the car wash received Monday night, the council may set restrictions on a project.

Gilmer proposed the amendments because of concern thecar wash would add to traffic problems along congested West Street. Aldermen John R. Hammond, R-Ward 1, and Carl O. Snowden, D-Ward 5, also opposed the project.

"You don't have to be a rocket scientist to figure out this is the wrong place at the wrong time," Hammond said.

Alderman Dean Johnson, I-Ward 2, and other proponents said traffic at the car wash would be similar to other automotive service establishments and fast-food restaurants the council had approved in the area.

Robert DiAiso, a partner in the WestTech Venture Limited Partnership, said he was pleased with the council's approval, but added: "It's a little bit of a problem with the lunch restrictions."

DiAiso said a traffic study done by an independent consultant had concluded the car wash would not create traffic problems. The cityplanning and zoning commission had recommended approving the project.

DiAiso said he hopes the car wash will be completed by fall.

* In otheraction Monday night, the council waived a $4,200 building permit feefor renovations to the historic Mount Zion United Methodist Church in Eastport.

The renovation will cost about $1 million to complete.Most of the money raised to date has been donated by church members.

Hammond, the finance committee's chairman, had opposed the request because he thought it would set a bad precedent. But Mayor Alfred A. Hopkins said the city has waived building permit fees in the past for the Historic Annapolis Foundation.

Alderman Ellen O. Moyer, D-Ward 8, plans to submit legislation reducing building permit fees for churches and other institutions. Anne Arundel County already grants such breaks.

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