PEORIA, Ill. (WMBD) — Following months of discussions and delays, the Peoria City Council unanimously gave the green light for a highly-debated car wash to be built in North Peoria.
During Tuesday’s meeting, the council approved a special use license for Club Car Wash to construct and operate at the corner of University Street and Glen Avenue, in turn replacing the GlenHaven strip mall.
Some members of the Joseph family, the property owners, attended the meeting. Before the vote, Diane Joseph, the property owner’s niece, gave an emotional speech on how her family developed the corner of Glen and University 66 years ago, and now it’s time to sell.
“That property has become a lot for our family to maintain and it is simply too much,” Joseph said. “Fortunately Club Car Wash has presented an opportunity to help us bring a successful end to the Joseph family’s time on the corner and present a new future for that property.”
Third district councilman Tim Riggenbach said urged the council to approve the motion. He said the car wash would be less of a traffic hassle than a gas station or a fast-food restaurant, both are permitted uses for the area.
“There’s no logical reason for us not to approve this tonight,” Riggenbach said. “There’s no city involvement, no city investment. The traffic counts are actually going to be less impactful with a car wash as opposed to some permitted uses.”
The Joseph family’s attorney said the city’s development department helped the GlenHaven shopping center’s tenants find new locations.
Last month, 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.
Before voting Council members such as Beth Jensen, Rita Ali and Jim Montelongo expressed their initial concerns, including tenants, traffic and safety have been eased.
Councilwoman Jensen brought up environmental concerns about the car wash getting rid of its wastewater.
Ross Black, Community Development Director, said the developers will have to submit a set of detailed plans, including instruction and engineering drawings to city staff for review and approval. He said the car wash is also required to get a state permit from the Illinois Environmental Protection Agency before they can operate.
Councilman Riggenbach said the family still has to close the real estate deal before construction can begin.