LOS ANGELES — The East Los Angeles Area Planning Commission has denied permission to allow Benjamin Donel to construct a carwash at his Shell gas station, according to the Los Angeles Times.

Nearby residents, as well as employees from a competing carwash, fought the project, noted the article. United Steelworkers Local 675 and Gustavo Valdivia, a lobbyist who works close by, also joined the fight.

The commission voted three to two to reject the proposal, stated the article, and Donel now plans to sue the city. His attorney, Tim McOsker, said in the article, "What [the opponents] were saying is, ‘We're a good union carwash, and you cannot put in another business that might compete with us.’”

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The article reported that Donel has already spent about $27,000 on the application, and he will spend more if he continues with his case. Donel has produced traffic and noise studies which said his carwash wouldn’t have a large negative impact, but experts disagreed.

One nearby business, a 76 gas station, encouraged customers to sign a petition against the proposal, said the article.

Donel had hoped his councilman, Gil Cedillo, would help his cause, but this wasn’t the case, he shared in the article. "If you can't turn to your councilman … who do you turn to?"

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