Lauren Cooper

With multiple car washes already in existence in Oxford, the city planning commission is currently reviewing plans for one more.

The proposal for a new car wash at 324 W. Collins St. is currently being assessed and is waiting its final hearing, to be held Tuesday, April 17.

According to the Certification of Action provided by Oxford City Hall, this project was formally introduced Dec. 29, 2006, in request for a review hearing by the City of Oxford Planning Commission and the Oxford City Council. The first public hearing was held March 8, at 118 W. High St.

The potential car wash would be under the ownership of D&B Family Limited Partnership, who currently own Locust Car Wash and Laundry, located at 115 S. Locust St.

According to the formally documented proposal, given to the Oxford Planning Commission in late December by architect Scott Webb, the new car wash will be located adjacent to and behind the current car wash, and will be built in consideration of the design, operational hours, and functions of the existing car wash.

This proposal suggests that the new facility would have a shared entrance with Locust Car Wash and Laundry, and will contain two new automatic car wash bays.

Currently, 324 W. Collins St. consists of a single-use rental home, which is owned and leased to renters by D&B Family Limited Partnership.

According to Webb’s proposal, the owners of this property would like to remove this rental house in order to build their new car wash. In doing so, they would forgo leasing this house to tenants and either let the contract run out or decide not to renew it upon beginning construction.

Community Development Planner for Oxford Kathy Dale explained the guidelines of this project and how this proposal spot came to be.

“This rental home resides within the general business district area and is therefore zoned for commercial use,” Dale said. “The building of a car wash requires a conditional use permit, where special permission must be granted in order for the development to be approved.”

According to the zoning code regulations, again provided by the Oxford City Council, the Oxford General Business District is an area, such as Locust Street, where businesses currently reside and have the potential to be built and redeveloped in the future.

Upon reviewing the proposal, the planning commission has voiced concern that the current intersection of Locust Street and West Collins may not appropriately accommodate a suspected increase in traffic that this car wash will bring in.

In response to this concern, Webb assured in his proposal that this site would be designed so that the traffic accessing the site will not impact the surrounding movement of traffic and will not cause a disruption.

Junior Austin Coop has used both the automatic and hand wash bays and notes the necessity of both.

“I think that it would be a good idea to add more automatic wash bays,” Coop said. “On nice days, there is usually is a long wait for the one that is currently at Locust Car Wash, and adding more could eliminate this.”

Conversely, junior Stuart Ostro, who prefers to use only the hand wash facilities at Locust Car Wash, sees a new car wash as being unnecessary.

“I like the existing car wash because I have the ability to wash my own car, which cleans it better overall,” Ostro said. “I probably would still use the old one even if these new automatic facilities were built.”

Finally, according to the proposal, the planning commission is worried about the little to no employment opportunities that the new facility will offer.

“If all regulations are met and authorization is granted by the planning committee, under the conditional use doctrine, the development process must be complete and ready to operate within two years,” Dale said. “It is then up the contractors

and architect when they will begin in their building process.”