PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Car wash developers are clearing the air with the public following concerns surrounding setting up shop in a high traffic area.
Ross Black, Peoria’s community development director, said there was a public hearing back in January after Club Car Wash applied to take over the GlenHaven shopping center with one of its new locations on University Street and Glen Avenue.
During a public meeting, Tuesday evening at the Gateway Building, city officials, property owners, Club Car Wash developers, and residents met to go over the proposals and clear up any confusion. Tim Riggenbach, District 3 Councilman, said he believed this meeting was the best course of action.
“There’s been a lot of talk around town and on social media about this,” Riggenbach said. “So we thought this was the best way that we can handle this is actually to hear from the two parties and let all of us who are going to live with those consequences hear the facts.”
The few residents in attendance spoke on the traffic concerns they said they believed the new car wash would bring to the area.
“This is a high-impact intersection there have been accidents there, I don’t know what our rating is but I’m concerned about that,” Patricia Melaik, president of the Metro West Neighborhood association, said.
David Wright, with Traffic Impact Group, said traffic concerns shouldn’t be an issue.
“A car wash such as this is really not a high traffic generator,” Wright said. “I know there are times when car washes seem crazy because it’s a great day and there’s a lot of people there but that is not typically what we design for.”
Wright said they conducted a traffic study of the area and said only 86 cars can fit into the car wash. He also said there should only be about 39 cars coming in and out on an average peak day.
Roland Bartels, CEO of Club Car Wash, said they’d even close two entrances to further help the flow of traffic and on busy days they’d close the Glen Avenue entrance for safety purposes.
Other residents questioned why the area even needs another car wash when there are others in the area and more deserving locations. Bartels said grocery stores are ideal locations.
“We like to go where the grocers are,” Bartels said. “Everybody has to go to the grocery store. So we want to be near the grocer.”
He said the additional landscaping, such as trees, bushes, and grass, they’re planning should also help with stormwater problems. He said Club Car Wash currently has 37 active locations and they’re looking to add three more in March.
Riggenbach said the city council has twice deferred voting on issuing a special use permit for Club Car Wash to operate on Glen and University, one of the reasons was so they could have a public meeting.
He said the matter will go before the council again March 23.