m113.jpg (7552 bytes)City waits on T.O.'s car-wash decision
Staff investigating possible regulation of mobile car-wash businesses
by Roberta Landman
Staff Writer

WESTLAKE VILLAGE - City staff wants to see how Thousand Oaks will regulate mobile car-wash businesses before drawing up any rules of its own.

The staff is presenting a progress report on its investigation of the mobile washers to the City Council on Wednesday, but it wants the council to defer any action on the issue  until after an April 21 study session.   The council meets at 7:30 p.m. in Council Chambers, 4373 Park Terrace Drive.

The businesses bring vehicle-washing services to clients at their homes and workplaces.

In late January, the city gave them 60 days to operate as usual while staff studied if or how the industry should be regulated.   Now, they'll likely have an extension on that.

Staff wants the additional time to review guidelines being drawn up in Thousand Oaks and to study wash water test results.

A staff report says the Thousand Oaks guidelines are being prepared under the auspices of the Conejo Valley Chamber of Commerce.

Westlake Village officials had attended a meeting of the mobile car-washers, chamber representatives and Thousand Oaks officials in February when the proposed guidelines were discussed.  Another meeting is set for Thursday.

Mobile car washers became an issue with the Westlake Village City Council after the owner of the sole fixed car wash in Westlake Village, Nader Moradian, filed a complaint.

He said mobiles have an unfair advantage in Westlake Village because they are not regulated by the city and are not subject to the same environmental restrictions as a fixed car wash.

The council on Jan. 27 asked staff to come back with an amendment to an existing city zoning law that would place restrictions on mobile car washers in commercial or business park zones' parking lots.

The current ordinance applies only to regulation of permanent car washes attached to service stations.

A staff report offers two alternatives for regulation: a conditional use permit or a temporary use permit.

The report notes that city staff, since Jan. 27, has contacted property management offfices of 10 commercial centers and office or business parks to ask if there have been complaints about mobile washers.

According to the report, one property management office reported complaints associated with overspray onto other parked vehicles.

Another office reported that while no complaints had been received, mobile car wash activities were viewed as a potential liability.

Reprinted from the News Chronicle, March 23, 1993.

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