The battle with the fixed site car wash operators goes on. The Car Wash Guys are still going strong in Thousand Oaks, but seven years ago, we had to fight city hall in order to stay.
Panel formed over carwash complaints
THOUSAND OAKS - The city has formed a committee to study complaints by owners of fixed carwashes that mobile competitors are violating city business and zoning laws and possibly state water regulations.
The City Council decided late Tuesday after two hours of testimony from owners of stationary and mobile carwashes to form a committee of city staff, carwash operators and Chamber of Commerce members to review the issue.
Council members also agreed to spend up to $1,000 to test the run-off of mobile carwashes for possible contaminants so results could be forwarded to the Regional Water Quality Control Board.
"It seems to me there ought to be some way for these two businesses to coexist in the city with the proper regulation," said Councilman Alex Fiore.
Issues the committee were asked to investigate include where the mobile businesses can operate and whether they need a solicitor's licenses. In addition, the committee will review possible penalties for violating city guidelines regulating the mobile carwashes.
A report is expected to be given to the city in April.
In 1991, the city established guidelines requiring mobile washes to work on an appointment-only basis and prohibiting "mass" carwashes.
Operators of fixed carwashes say the traveling businesses compete unfairly by ignoring the rules.
"The mobile car washers was cars now without rules and regulations," said Nasser Moradian, owner of Westlake Village Car Wash. "The mobile car washers wash cars on any location they choose. They are not high school kids washing cars on the weekend. Mobile car washing should be banned."
Mobile-carwash operators said they run legitimate businesses and are being targeted by the fixed-car wash owners because they don't like the competition.
"I don't think there's anything unfair about building a better mousetrap," said Steve Meukow, and employee of The Car Wash Guys.
Reprinted from The Conejo Valley Daily News, January 28,1993.