Wilmette douses car wash project
WHAT: proposed car wash
WHERE: 3501 W. Lake, Wilmette
OUTCOME: rejected by village board
Updated: January 21, 2013 2:09PM
The owners of a west Wilmette Shell gas station can’t build the car wash they want, village trustees decided Monday, because the noise would disturb nearby residents.
Trustees unanimously rejected zoning requests by Mohammed Yagoob, co-owner of the station at 3501 W. Lake Ave., as they assured him they hoped he would find a different additional use to put on his small lot.
It just couldn’t be the one-bay car wash he wanted, they said; sound levels projected by a Yagoob’s consultant convinced them the car wash would generate enough noise on an intermittent but regular schedule to affect the quality of life for residents of nearby Laramie Avenue.
Assurances that the car wash would be used only three to four times per hour for an average of one and a half to two minutes each time, with the doors closed, didn’t sway board members. For one thing, Trustee Alan Swanson said, car wash doors would probably end up open on hot summer days, making the operation noisier, despite the owners’ best intentions.
The nature of even brief washes means residents would experience regular bursts of noise, Trustee Bob Bielinski said.
“If I blew an air horn at my property line for five minutes every hour ... I don’t think my neighbors would approve,” Bielinski said.
Laramie Avenue residents Al Kantner, Marcia Dover and Susan Coghlin told the board they respected the station owners, and supported their other requests for a convenience store and an extra gas pump. It was only the car wash they opposed.
The project came to trustees last August with a positive vote from the village’s zoning board. At that time, the board postponed its vote so that station owners could do a professional sound study.
On Tuesday, Yagoob said he and his fellow business owner needed an income source beyond the gas station to make the operation profitable.
They originally proposed the convenience store, the car wash and extra pump and a Dunkin Donuts outlet, he said. He ditched the Dunkin Donuts franchise after village officials told him to downsize the project – and when he realized there was another Dunkin outlet nearby.
“I very much understand you invested a lot of money,” in the project, Trustee Mike Basil said. “I hope that regardless of the outcome tonight, that you’ll continue to think about (other) ways to make money.”~.