City denies plan for car wash near Rural King because of layout concerns

Councilman suggests Take 5 located to another area on Hamilton’s West Side.

Take 5 was twice denied by the Hamilton Planning Commission for its Express Car Wash on Main Street, but city officials want to find a home for the national company.

City Council concurred earlier this month with the recommendation, so the proposal is formally rejected. Take 5 was seeking a conditional use permit to locate a car wash in front of the Rural King on Main Street. The planning commission said the company did not meet four of the nine conditional use criteria required.

“They were largely about being detrimental or not being harmonious to adjacent uses, and just general concern about the layout of the Rural King parking lot and how this would play into that existing condition,” said Hamilton Planning Director Liz Hayden.

But City Council member Eric Pohlman didn’t want to lose out on bringing a Take 5 Express Car Wash, as well as its oil change business. An early plan called for both a Take 5-branded car wash and oil change location, but it was too much for that location.

Hayden said the company had not been approached about a different location, but Pohlman said that “there’s a whole lot of room” on North Brookwood Avenue.

Putting a car wash in front of Rural King (the company agreed with Take 5′s proposal) would be “so clustered” and understands the appeal of being on Main Street, the councilman said.

“I drive by (North) Brookwood all the time,” Pohlman said. “I just wish something was there. It’s just so empty-looking over there.”

Hayden said there hadn’t been any conversations yet about other sites, but further conversations will be sought. She added that the planning commission in the past approved the concept of a car wash on North Brookwood Avenue, “so that would be worth exploring with them.”

The discussion also spawned a request from City Council member Carla Fiehrer about that business district of Main Street on the city’s west side.

“That whole area is a hot mess,” she said. “We need to do something to organize that chaos a little bit.”

Hayden said the hope was to address some of those issues if the project was able to happen, “but it just didn’t happen that way.”

Fiehrer suggested a plan should be developed for that area of town, and Hayden agreed.

“I feel like Hamiltonians know that area very well and spend a lot of time in it,” she said. “It’s a lot of cars there all the time.”

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