Le Lézard
Classified in: Transportation
Subject: LAW

Club Car Wash Appeals Denial of Conditional Use Permit for New Car Wash

MADISON, Wis., Sept. 28, 2023 /PRNewswire/ -- On August 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 East Washington Avenue and Stoughton Road. Club Car Wash, a leading car wash provider operating in ten states across the Central United States, promptly filed an appeal. City of Madison's common council will hear this appeal next week on October 3rd, 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 August 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 East Washington Avenue 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 car wash 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 East Washington Avenue and its use is consistent with the existing businesses in the area, such as grocery stores, gas stations and other retail uses.  In fact, the City recently approved a similar car wash project in the CC-T district on Pflaum Road.

Developers in Madison have often complained that the City's approval process regularly presents undue challenges and is highly unpredictable.  These issues were recently demonstrated when the City denied the re-zoning for a downtown apartment project proposed by Core Spaces based in part on the project's failure to include affordable units.  Core Spaces pointed out that the City does not have a uniformly applied affordable housing policy and, therefore, Core Space's project could not be denied on the basis that it failed to include affordable units.  Core Spaces' project was ultimately approved upon re-consideration, but the process has left developers concerned about investing the significant funds required to go through the City's approval process.

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

About Club Car Wash
Founded as Tiger Express Car Wash in 2006, the company rebranded to Club Car Wash in 2019. Currently operating more than 135 locations in Missouri, Kansas, Illinois, Iowa, Oklahoma, Nebraska, Arkansas, Wisconsin, Tennessee, and Texas, Club Car Wash is one of the largest and fastest growing express car wash companies in the Central United States. Club Car Wash has plans to scale rapidly into Colorado, and Minnesota.

To learn more about Club Car Wash, please visit:?www.clubcarwash.com.?? 

Media Contact:
Kendell Palmquist
[email protected] 


Comment on Project: Bill Connors Executive Director Smart Growth Greater Madison, Inc. 608-228-5995 (mobile) [email protected]

Comment of Act 67: Tom Larson or Cori Lamont- Wisconsin Realtors Association. [email protected]; [email protected]  1-608-241-2047

 Articles On Act 67: Legislature Enacts New Standards for Conditional Use Permits, March 19, 2018- Real Property Probate And Trust Law Blog

Legislature Curtails Municipal Conditional Use Permit Authority- Daniel M. Olson, the Municipality February 2018

Similarly Approved Projects:  Crew Car Wash on Pflaum Road was approved and is in the CC-T is significant. See Legislative File #79318 within Legistar.

Note: you can retrieve legislative files by file number or search by other criteria here: https://madison.legistar.com/Legislation.aspx - click advanced search for more search options.

SOURCE Club Car Wash

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