The fixed site car wash owners are at it again.  When will people washes by the Car Wash Guys are more environmentally sound than the fixed site washes or even at home car washes!

m78.jpg (19942 bytes)Westlake Village City Council to be asked to ban mobile car washes
by Roberta Landman
Staff Writer

WESTLAKE VILLAGE - Following the lead of Thousand Oaks lawmakers, council members here are being asked to curtail or possibly ban mobile car-wash operations that clean cars in parking lots of office buildings and businesses.

The matter arose when the owner of Westlake Village Car Wash, Nader Moradian, complained to city officials that mobile car-wash units violate industrial waste laws by dumping pollutants on parking lots, which he said find their way into Westlake Lake.

He further complained that the mobile businesses are not bound by the same laws that regulate the car-washing industry in general.

The Westlake Village City Council will consider the issue in a study session at 7:30 p.m. Wesdesday in new council chambers at 4373 Park Terrace Drive.  Thousand Oaks council members will weigh a possible ban on the mobile washers at a meeting at 6:30 tonight.

But before the Westlake village council gets its chance to approach the subject, the car wash matter already is sudsing over with controversy.  The owner of two mobile auto and recreational vehicle-detailing businesses is saying a move to ban the mobile business is nothing more than a national effort by the "fixed" or regular car-wash industry to do away with competition.

"It's more of an economic and political issue than an environmental issue," said Greg Dumond.  He is owner of Newbury Park-based Coast and Valley Mobile Detail and also Polish Masters of America, a spin-off firm he founded to sell his mobile detailing franchises internationally.

Dumond said Monday he was in the midst of preparing packets of information to give to the two local cities in an effort to dispel what he calls "a lot of misinformation."

"This affects the entire state and the country, and we're poised to give our side of the story," Dumond said.

Westlake Village council members were being apprised of various sides of the car-wash mobile business issue in a city staff report.

The report said the city's municipal code, while it regulates car washes in conjunction with service stations, makes no mention of permits for mobile carwash services.

The staff report suggested the planning director can conclude that the mobile units are prohibited because they're not mentioned in city code; or that the City Council can determine these businesses are similar to other car washes and no more objectionable than other uses allowed in city code.

Two things are certain.  This city will be looking at what Thousand Oaks decides tonight; and Westlake Village council members will most certainly consider possible environmental concerns about mobile car washing.

As for environmental matters, the staff report said the city in 1982 adopted Los Angeles County's sanitary, sewer and industrial waste ordinance; a county official's interpretation of a section of the law would make mobile car washes illegal since they may discharge polluted water into the storm drain system, the report said.

That's if the council goes for this interpretation.

Meanwhile, the president of Westlake Lake Management, Dr. Ben Schulman, said Monday that his organization would "be opposed to anything that would bring non-biodegradable substances to the lake."

Lake management, as early as January 1991, wrote both the cities of Westlake Village and Thousand Oaks of a concern that detergent, nitrates and phosphates used by one mobile car-wash firm might enter the lake.

Entrepreneur Dumond said soaps his firm uses for washing are biodegradable and that other professional products used in mobile washing and detailing of vehicles are safe.

Reprinted from News Chronicle, January 26,1993.

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