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Ahead of Zoning Appeals Hearing, Locals Still Opposed to Car Wash

Published on Tuesday, November 16, 2021 | 10:53 am

Ahead of a Board of Zoning Appeals meeting on Thursday, residents living close to a site where a new car wash could be built continue to express opposition to the project.

The BZA hearing centers on a conditional use permit needed to open a Wild West Express car wash on East Colorado Boulevard.

Residents are concerned about increased traffic.

By the city’s estimates, the project is not expected to generate more than 300 daily trips, and a project that generates less than 300 daily trips is exempt from providing a traffic study.

“No car wash is wanted or needed at this location,” said Christi Franklin.”There are two car washes within a few miles from this location, one just down the street! As a 19 year resident/home owner on this beautiful residential street, this proposed car wash will decrease our standard of living on our street lined with old Craftsman homes. We love our neighborhood and this community, yet it feels as if the city of Pasadena is working to diminish our quality of life to make extra money for its pockets, at the expense of our lives and Pasadena’s General Plan.”

The project would require the demolition of four buildings, the removal of an existing driveway approach on East Colorado Boulevard, two approaches on San Marino Avenue would be modified, a 3,490-square-foot car wash tunnel along the East Colorado Boulevard frontage would be constructed, two queuing lanes would be built to allow vehicles to make payment at a new 75-square-foot kiosk prior to entering the car wash tunnel, and two vacuum equipment structures of 168 and 212 square feet in the parking lot would be built.

In addition, an existing 2,580-square-foot equipment and storage building would be renovated, 32 parking spaces behind the new car wash tunnel with 30 self-serve vacuums and two for employee use would be created, three solar canopies would be constructed over parking spaces in the parking lot, an 8-foot-high  block wall at the rear of the property would be built, and an existing 2,580-square-foot equipment and storage building would be renovated. 

Last November,a city Hearing Officer approved a CUP for the property that is presently occupied by five buildings previously occupied by a business dealing with vehicle services, sales and leasing.

In response to public comments, the Hearing Officer added four conditions in order to address concerns related to traffic along San Marino Avenue and noise from the vacuums along the southern property line.

If a councilmember or a member of the Planning Commission calls up a decision, it is reviewed by the BZA.That decision becomes final unless appealed or called up to the council. In that case, the council would have the final say.

Vice Mayor Andy Wilson requested the call for review on Nov. 30. 

A site attendant would be required to direct on-site traffic to ensure that no vehicles block the sidewalk and no vehicle queues on the public right of way. In addition, vehicular traffic exiting the site would be restricted to left-turn only (toward Colorado Boulevard) to limit the cars traveling toward the residential properties to the south. 

As it relates to the vacuums located at the parking spaces along the southern property line, the machines would be used only between 8 a.m. and 7 p.m. and be limited to only when customer demand would necessitate their use.

The property is located within the East Colorado Specific Plan, the Route 66 area, where a car wash may be allowed with the approval of a CUP, according to a city staff report. 

“Car washes start at Rosemead Blvd / Colorado to Sierra Madre Do we really need another car wash station ?” said Dolores A Millan.

In April, the owner of the car wash, Tiko Pogosyan, told Pasadena Now last month that rather than create congestion his new express wash might relieve it.

“I think any kind of a use that you put in there, residents are going to voice some concerns in regards to traffic, noise, and air pollution,” said Pogosyan. “So those are three basic items that you know residents have issues with on any kind of a project you put in.”

The meeting begins at 6:30 p.m. on Thursday. It may be viewed live at

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