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Carwash approved despite heavy opposition

CUYAHOGA FALLS, Ohio — According to www.akron.com, despite a slew of dissatisfied comments from local residents about a proposed Conrad’s BlueFalls Car Wash on Portage Trail Extension West, the project was approved to go ahead with construction.

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Before the city council voted on legislation to issue a conditional zoning certificate to the carwash, pieces of correspondence opposing the planned business were read out loud at the Sept. 28th meeting, the article continued.

Most comments were submitted by residents who live directly behind the proposed site for the tunnel carwash and asked the council to vote against the legislation, the article noted.

Specifically, residents were skeptical that Conrad’s would fit in with the aesthetics of the area, the article added.

Falls resident John Hurley, who visited another Conrad’s location and found it both unattractive and noisy, called the proposed carwash a “threat” to adjacent properties and called for the city to find a different development that would be a better fit for the “otherwise attractive corridor, fulfilling the intent of the general development code.”

“This is an architectural misfit for this land,” Hurley said.

Residents were also concerned about idle vehicle emissions and other environmental impacts, noise and lighting concerns as well as decreased property values, the article noted.
The owners of Falls Laserwash on Portage Trail also submitted a letter explaining how Conrad’s would negatively impact its business and that of the other five carwashes in the city, including Quality Scrub on State Rd., the article stated.

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There were no comments in favor of the new carwash at the meeting, the article added.

“I work for the residents and I am strongly voting no. No one I spoke to is for it,” said Council President Mike Brillhart (D-Ward 5) of the proposed carwash.

Councilman Frank Stams (D-Ward 8) also vocally opposed the project, noting that the Planning Commission did not approve of the carwash in the beginning, and although it did eventually vote to approve issuing a conditional zoning certificate, Stams said he was still “respectfully” against the development, the article continued.

Stams said the city already had a multitude of carwashes and that this one specifically could disturb the peace and negatively impact the aesthetic of the area, the article stated.

Councilman Jerry James (D-Ward 7) agreed residents would be impacted by the business, saying, “Everyone has listened to the concerns. We respect what you have told us.”

James reminded the council that the Planning Commission did vote in favor of granting the zoning certificate for the project and that a carwash was identified as an acceptable development for the district, the article noted.

“None of these decisions are easy. There was a lot of controversy leading up to tonight,” he said. “I am proud of everyone involved for doing their due diligence and research.”

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James also applauded the project developer for taking extra steps to appease residents’ concerns, the article stated.

The council went on to authorize the conditional zoning certificate with a 7-4 vote, the article concluded.

Read the original story here.

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