Car wash variance request rejected

Times-Herald Newspapers

DEARBORN – The east Dearborn car wash that had its two automated
wash bays shut down by the city in June has lost an appeal to get them reopened.

Speed Wash, 7333 Wyoming, had its bid for a use variance to reopen the bays voted down unanimously by the Zoning Board of Appeals Nov. 20.
The other seven bays at the car wash, which are self-service, will not be affected by the vote.

The car wash was built in 1981 and a variance for one automated washer bay was granted by the ZBA in 2006 to then-owner Kaid Bazzi, who installed two automated bays and eventually sold the business to Edward Harake in April of this year.

In June, the ZBA revoked the variances granted in 2006, which meant the property would revert back to variances granted in the 1981 agreement.

Zoning Administrator Thomas Paison said several complaints had been made against the business, including some regarding the noise generated by machinery in the automated wash bay.

Harake argued that the noise level in the area is already high because of the traffic on Wyoming. He said he would be willing
to remove the dryers from the bays and he had taken other measures to reduce noise, such as closing the business during the night.

Harake also had decibel levels taken by a sound engineer during a weekday afternoon on the property line, which showed a fluctuation of decibel levels between 45 and 70, with the spikes of 70 decibels occurring when large vehicles drove in front of the business.

City code limits decibel levels to 60 between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., 55 from 7 p.m. to 10 p.m. and 50 from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m.

“There is a decibel level there of 55 and many times 70 without any of the car wash equipment on,” Harake said. “Do you stop every large truck that passes by and tell them that they are in violation because they’re exceeding the 60 decibels?”

Paison said the decibel levels were not decided by the ZBA and that the ordinances still had to be followed. He said the sound engineer hired by Harake came back with results that showed the noise level on the property line to be above what is allowable by the city.

After deliberating on the request, the commissioners voted 5-0 to deny the use variance.

(Bob Oliver can be reached at boliver@bewickpublications.