Mobile car washers, under attack by the owners of drive-through carwashes, on Thursday accepted a 10-point program designed to regulate their work without driving them out of business.
The Thousand Oaks City Council must still approve the regulations, which were drafted by a committee of mobile car washers, fixed-site carwash owners, city staff and leaders of the Conejo Valley Chamber of Commerce.
Hammered out during several contentious meetings, the regulations call for all nomadic car washers to obtain business licenses and solicitors' licenses from the city and to get waste discharge permits from the Los Angeles County Regional Quality Control Board.
Before unpacking their soap and water on private parking lots, the car washers must obtain written permission from the property owner. They can work in residential streets only if they are washing a trailer, boat or other oversized vehicle that does not fit in a standard driveway.
Although he approved of the regulations overall, roaming car washer Lance Winslow accused the fixed-site carwash owners of "trying to ramrod us out of business" by requiring written permission from property owners.
Some property owners have complained that car washing in their parking lots is noisy, sloppy and creates minor traffic problems. They are also concerned about liability for injuries that may occur if pedestrians slip on slick pavement.
The council will consider the proposal in mid-April.
Reprinted from the Los Angeles Times.