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Brite Worx Carwashery proposal draws opposition in Chesterfield, heads back to committee

By: Jim Erickson

A Brite Worx Carwashery is proposed for Clayton and Baxter roads.

A proposal to build a new car wash at Baxter and Clayton roads has drawn citizen opposition and has met with mixed reviews from the Chesterfield Planning Commission and the City Council’s planning and public works committee. Proponents also have gone back to the drawing board to come up with revisions to address concerns about the project.

Legislation on a rezoning plan for the car wash was scheduled for a first reading at the council’s Nov. 6 meeting but was delayed until an undetermined future date to give proponents an opportunity to discuss proposed changes with the city’s planning staff and concerned residents living near the project site.

Earlier this year, Wallis Companies, on behalf of Brite Worx Carwashery, submitted a request for a zoning map amendment on a 1.8-acre parcel on the northwest corner of the Baxter-Clayton intersection.

A Mobil gas station now is on the property but zoning was changed in 2001 to allow not only that use but also a convenience store, fast-food restaurant and car wash. The approved plan was never completed and the proposed amendment calls for a car wash only.

At a May planning commission public hearing, issues were raised about noise, traffic, waste and storm water, a proposed masonry wall, lighting and architectural standards. However, in September, the commission recommended approval on a 5-3 vote. In a review of the issue last month at a meeting of the council’s planning and public works committee, many of the complaints raised earlier came up again, with emphasis on traffic and noise concerns. However, car wash proponents maintained that the original multi-use zoning approved years ago would generate a volume of up to 1,100 cars daily while the car wash-only operation is expected to attract just 300.

Councilmember Dan Hurt [Ward 3] questioned that estimate. He also predicted that the right-in, right-out access to the operation will mean northbound vehicles on Baxter will tend to turn around at the Woodfield Subdivision entrance to go south to reach the carwash. In addition, he noted the proposed plan will be more intrusive, will bring the development closer to the northern property and encroach on the current green space buffer.

The committee ultimately voted 4-0 to recommend that the full council deny the request.

At the Nov. 6 meeting, Councilmember Guy Tilman [Ward 2], who chairs the planning and public works committee, noted that car wash proponents had asked the first reading of legislation be delayed and that the proposal be sent back to his panel for discussion of changes being made to address concerns that had been aired.

Tilman urged proponents to review their changes with nearby residents before meeting again with the committee. He added that, whenever the committee meets to reconsider the request, the session will be held in the council’s chamber to ensure adequate room for those wanting to attend. He pledged public comment also will be accepted at that session.

A number of residents opposing the project attended the Nov. 6 meeting and many of them had asked to speak. With Tilman’s assurances the council will not be considering the issue until some future date and not before his committee had reviewed it again, most deferred on the opportunity to comment and simply declared their opposition.

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