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Warsaw Planning Commission forwards conditional use application for car wash to town council with concerns

Posted on Wednesday, August 13, 2014 at 8:00 am

The Warsaw Planning Commission forwarded to town council a conditional use permit for Hurst Harvey Oil, Inc. to operate a car wash at the Warsaw Village Shopping Center. Their recommendation, however, asked that the town council address concerns with the business such as onsite management, hours of operation and lighting.

Prior to the planning commission meeting, Town Manager John Slusser had sent a letter to Hurst Harvey Oil co-owner Melinda Lewis a letter detailing the town’s position.

Slusser referenced earlier discussions in noting how the town had previously endured a negative experience with at least one noted car wash.

Slusser pointed out how that car wash was not properly supervised and that “the resulting chaos and misconduct from the patrons was intolerable.”

“I feel quite certain that Council will want to take every reasonable measure to assure there is no reoccurrence,” Slusser said in the letter, adding later that the town found it disturbing that the following was said in Hurst Harvey Oil’s application: “Any loud noises, music etc. will be directed to town police loitering etc.”

“That seems to be a deferral of management responsibility to the police,” Slusser said, adding that the Town of Warsaw expects management to handle its own problems onsite.

“If there is a need for the town police, it should be because management has directed someone to leave the property and that individual refuses resulting in a trespass or there is an assault or crime that would necessitate their presence,” Slusser said. He added that video surveillance, which Hurst Harvey Oil is proposing to install and monitor from its Kilmarnock office, was not a substitute for onsite management.

But Slusser in his letter also expressed his support for the car wash.

“We would like very much to have your business in town,” Slusser said. “Our tax rate is among the lowest in the Commonwealth at ten cents per hundred dollars of assessed value.”

At the planning commission meeting, Lewis said she honestly did not foresee having an attendant at the car wash. She did note, however, that most standalone car washes—those which are not attached to a business such as a restaurant or convenience store—are unattended.

Lewis said they could potentially have someone onsite in the late afternoon during the projected peak time of operation.

In terms of signage, Lewis presented a visual to the commission which said “No Loitering, Soliciting, Trespassing, Site Under 24-Hour Surveillance.”

She pointed out that while the visual was not exactly how the signs would look, the information detailed in the visual would be present in signage.

In response to Warsaw’s concerns with…

See the full story in the August 13 edition of the Northern Neck News!