Club Car Wash appeals denial of conditional use permit for new carwash

Club Car Wash appeals permit denial

MADISON, Wis. — The area surrounding the proposed facility is zoned for mixed use, with auto-oriented uses specifically permitted in the CC-T District.

MADISON, Wis. — On Aug. 28, 2023, the City of Madison denied Club Car Wash’s application for a conditional use permit for a site on Lien Road, near the intersection of E Washington Ave. and Stoughton Rd.

Club Car Wash promptly filed an appeal. 

City of Madison’s common council will hear this appeal on Oct. 3, 2023. 

The City’s Planning Division recommended approval of Club Car Wash’s project, subject to 87 conditions of approval.

Club Car Wash was willing to meet all the staff’s conditions in order to ensure that its project complies with the city’s requirements. 

Furthermore, the city’s Urban Design Commission also voted to approve the project on Aug. 16, 2023. 

According to Cub Car Wash’s vice president of development, Justin Barnes, “We were surprised and disappointed that the planning commission denied our application for a CUP, particularly in light of a relatively new law enacted in Wisconsin which mandates the issuance of CUPs by municipalities where applicants meet the standards set forth in local ordinances.”

Known as Act 67, this 2017 law requires that a local zoning authority’s decision to deny a conditional use permit (or CUP) must be supported by substantial evidence. 

According to some, this law was intended to establish a requirement that a CUP should be issued if the applicant agreed to meet the applicable conditions.

The area surrounding Club Car Wash’s proposed facility is zoned for mixed use, with auto-oriented uses specifically permitted in the CC-T District.

Approximately 45,000 cars drive along this area of E Washington Ave. every day. 

However, the plan commission raised concerns about locating this auto-oriented business in the city’s new Transit Oriented Overlay District, which encourages transit activity. 

Specifically, Alder Field expressed concerns that the carwash and lines of cars idling and spilling off the property would discourage residential uses in the area.

However, Club Car Wash points out that its facility will not have direct access to E Washington Ave. and its use is consistent with the existing businesses in the area, such as grocery stores, gas stations and other retail uses. 

The city recently approved a similar carwash project in the CC-T district on Pflaum Rd., according to the release.

“We are hopeful that City Council will overturn the plan commission and grant us our conditional use permit,” Barnes said. 

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