The mobile car
wash issue is still alive in WLV
Westlake Village city officials may have thought the issue of mobile car wash operators had ended last June when an ordinance legalizing them to ply their trade was defeated by the city council on a split vote, 3-2. That was then, this is now.
The issue that had been debated - often heatedly - in numerous public hearings before Westlake City Councilmembers, once again surfaced July 30 with the arrest of one of the operators, Leslie Winslow, at The Landing on Lindero Canyon Road in Westlake Village. She allegedly had just finished washing a car in the center's parking lot.
Leslie is the wife of Lance Winslow, owner of The Car Wash Guys, one of the area's largest operators. He has been the most vocal of the mobile operators in arguing their case at city council sessions.
According to Winslow, just prior to her arrest, his wife was asked by an L.A. County Sheriff's deputy if she was aware she was violating a city ordinance. She answered in the affirmative, Winslow said, and told the officer the law was no good.
That is now the crux of the matter. The city believes that its existing zoning ordinance covers the issue, according to City Manager Ray Taylor, but Winslow's attorneys, Cohen, England and Whitfield of Oxnard disagree.
A hearing on the matter postponed from last week is scheduled for today, Wed., Sept 8 in Malibu Municipal Court.
"We believe the charges that were brought by the city attorney (for Westlake Village) were something they were grasping for," said William Webb, Winslow's attorney. Winslow's wife was charged with five violations, according to Webb - four under Ordinance 46 - the city's zoning ordinance, and one under a plumbing code, he said. Westlake Village's city attorney was unavailable for comment prior to press deadline.
Taylor said the city attorney was confident that the city's ordinance was valid in prohibiting mobile car wash operations. "The city attorney feels we'll prevail," Taylor said, adding that the issue will be discussed in closed session at tonight's city council meeting, to update councilmembers on the action and to consider future options, he said.
"I think I'm gonna win," Lance Winslow said.
Reprinted from The Acorn, September 8, 1993.