Don Bauder 9:45 p.m., March 11
The Talk of the Town (Car Wash) in Escondido
For nearly eight years, residents of the New Tradition subdivision in south Escondido have spoken out against a proposal to build a massive car-wash complex on the corner of Brotherton Road and Centre City Parkway.
They say the project, aptly named the "Talk of the Town Car Wash," will bring too much noise and traffic to the neighborhood. The residents feel the the car-complex, which includes a 5500-square-foot building for car washes and lube jobs as well as a 4100-square-foot cafe, does not fit in with the character of the nearby community.
After rejecting the proposal on several occasions, city councilmembers, with the exception of councilmember Olga Diaz, finally voted in favor of issuing a Conditional Use Permit in May of 2010.
Now, one year later, the project's developer, Munther Ghazia, will return to council chambers on Tuesday August 10 to ask councilmembers to extend the permit for another year. Ghazai also requests the council waive a $72,500 fee associated with underground utilities, in order to make the project "economically feasible."
In the meantime, residents of the New Tradition car wash continue to talk trash about the project.
"The project, from the beginning as well as today and tomorrow, remains wrong for that location," wrote one resident in a letter to city councilmembers. "This project will be a thorn in the side of the neighborhood forever and a monument to faulty-thinking on the part of the City of Escondido."
In addition to general objections over the project, residents of the nearby subdivision accuse Ghazai of backing away from his promise to construct a wall to prevent noise from seeping into the subdivision.
"Despite the best efforts of the impacted neighbors to work with [Ghazai]...it appears that the developer of the car wash project refuses to negotiate in good faith," wrote one resident in a letter to city councilmembers.
The council will discuss extending the CUP and the requested waiver of fees on August 10 during their 4:30 session.