Is Springfield Ready for a Car Wash?

January 6, 2010 522 comments Open printer friendly version of this article Print Article

Can a car wash be a part of an urban revitalization plan? After heated opposition and misinformation dominating discussion about the 4th & Main project, owner Silas Jones has modified development plans to better integrate the project within the community. Can common ground be found that will finally lead to project approval and new life along the Main Street corridor?






PROJECT LOCATION



The car wash facility is proposed for a commercially (CCG-S) zoned site within the Main Street commercial corridor at the corner of 4th & Main.  The site is surrounded on three sides by CCG-S properties and has been zoned for commercial use as far back as 1955.  A boarding house facility is located to the south.  The owners of this facility are in support of the project.





PROJECT SITE PLAN



The car wash would be housed in a vacant car wash building that was constructed on-site in 1955.  Site plan and program illustrations show car washing activities taking place in the middle of the site.  A store selling car washing accessories, landscaping and an outdoor seating area would connect the structure to the public realm (4th Street).

Site Plan



Site Program





Vacuum equipment will be located at the rear (Northeast corner) of the property.



Current view of vacuum equipment area (perspective 1)



Proposed view of vacuum equipment area (perspective 1)





Current view of vacuum equipment area (perspective 2)



Proposed view of vacuum equipment area (perspective 2)



NOISE LEVELS

Despite an active fire station located nearby, some in the community have raised a concern about the amount of noise the facility will bring to the area.  The graphics below suggest that noise may not be an issue at all.

Decibel levels with no equipment running




Decibel levels with equipment running





Enhancing Walkability

Although the central focus of the project caters to the automobile, through good design, the project improves walkability by replacing an existing blighted asphalt parking area with outdoor seating (car wash waiting area) and landscaping between the retail store and the street.

Current conditions along West 4th Street



Proposed conditions along West 4th Street




Current view from West 4th Street, looking east



Proposed view from West 4th Street looking east



A trademark of urbanism, off-street parking is proposed to be located within the site and not between the building and the public realm (sidewalk).

Current view of parking area



Proposed view of parking area



The parking area will also be buffered from adjacent commercial properties with landscaping.

Current view from 4th & Main


Proposed view from 4th & Main




UNDERSTANDING THE ZONING ISSUE

Much confusion regarding this project stems around the Springfield Zoning Overlay and understanding what "Permissible by Exception" means under the property's existing CCG-S zoning.

Here are the current uses allowed on the car wash site and the surrounding commerical properties along Main and 4th Streets:

Quote
IV.   Commercial Community/General-Springfield (CCG-S) District
   
(a)   Permitted uses and structures.    

(1)   Retail outlets for sale of food and drugs, wearing apparel, toys, sundries and notions, books and stationery, leather goods and luggage, jewelry (including watch repair) art, cameras or photographic supplies (including camera repair), sporting goods, hobby shops and pet shops (but not animal boarding kennels), musical instruments, florist or shops, delicatessens, bakeries (but not wholesale bakeries), home furnishings and appliances (including repair incidental to sales), office equipment or furniture, antiques, hardware, new automobile parts (including rebuilt parts not installation, repair or rebuilding of parts) and accessories and similar uses.

(2)   Service establishments such as barber or beauty shops, shoe repair shops, restaurants, interior decorators, reducing salons or gymnasiums, self-service laundries or dry cleaners, tailors or dressmakers, laundries or dry cleaning pickup stations, dry cleaning and laundry package plants in completely enclosed buildings using nonflammable liquids such as perchloroethylene and with no odor, fumes or steam detectable to normal senses from off the premises, radio and television broadcasting offices and studios, communication antennas, funeral homes, marinas, blueprinting, job printing (but not newspaper), radio and television repair shops, travel agencies, employment offices, (but not day labor pools), home equipment rental and similar uses.

(3)   Banks (including drive-thru tellers), loan companies, mortgage brokers, stockbrokers and similar financial institutions.

(4)   All types of professional and business offices, newspaper offices (but not printing), employment offices, union halls, buildings trades contractors (not requiring outside storage or the use of a vehicle in excess of one-ton capacity or equipment, machinery, ditching machines, tractors, bulldozers or other heavy construction equipment) and similar uses.

(5)   Original use single-family dwellings.
(6)   Original use two-family dwellings.
(7)   Original use multiple-family dwellings.

(8)   Commercial indoor recreational or entertainment facilities such as bowling alleys, swimming pools, indoor skating rinks, theaters (including motion picture theaters but not open-air theaters), and similar uses (but not dance halls).

(9)   Art galleries, museums, community centers, music, photography, gymnastics, karate and martial arts studios, theaters for stage performances (but not motion picture theaters) dance, art, vocational, trade or business schools and similar uses.

(10)   Homes for aged and orphans.

(11)   Nursing homes.

(12)   Day care centers or care centers meeting the performance standards and development criteria set forth in Part 4 of the Zoning Code.

(13)   Off-street commercial parking lots meeting the performance standards and criteria set forth in Part 4 of the Zoning Code and the Springfield performance standards and development criteria set forth in Section 656.369.

(14)   Hospitals, sanitariums and similar uses.

(15)   An establishment or facility which includes the retail sale and service of beer or wine for off-premises consumption or for on-premises conjunction with the service of food which is ordered from a menu and prepared or served for pay for consumption on-premises.

(16)   Retail plant nurseries (including outside display but not landscape contractors requiring heavy equipment or vehicles in excess of one-ton capacity).

(17)   Veterinarians meeting the performance standards and development criteria set forth in Part 4 of the Zoning Code.

(18)   Retail outlets for the sale of used wearing apparel, toys, books, luggage, jewelry, cameras, sporting goods, home furnishings and appliances, furniture and similar uses.

(19)   Essential services, including water, sewer, gas, telephone, radio, television and electric, meeting the performance standards and development criteria set forth in Part 4 of the Zoning Code.

(20)   Churches, including a rectory or similar use.

(21)   Schools meeting the performance standards and development criteria set forth in Part 4 of the Zoning Code.


Uses that are "allowed by exception" are uses that should be evaluated on their own individual basis before final approval is given.  "Allowed by exception" implies that uses are not against the goals of the Springfield Zoning Overlay.  Uses that are against the goals and truly incompatible, such as adult book stores, strip clubs, and automobile dealerships are simply not allowed under the CCG-S zoning.  Below is a list uses allowed by exception with the CCG-S zoning.  


Quote
Uses allowed by exception


Quote
(c)   Permissible uses by exception.    

(1)   An establishment or facility which includes the retail sale and service of all alcoholic beverages including liquor, beer or wine for on-premises consumption or off-premises consumption or both, including permanent or restricted outside sale and service, meeting the performance standards and development criteria set forth in Part 4 of the Zoning Code.

(2)   New multiple-family structures.

(3)   Live-work lofts meeting the criteria set forth in Section 656.369.

(4)   Crematories.

(5)   Service stations, service garages for minor repairs and car washer.

(6)   Recycling collection points meeting the performance standards and development criteria set forth in Part 4 of the Zoning Code.

(7)   Essential services, including water, sewer, gas, telephone, radio, television and electric, meeting the performance standards and development criteria set forth in Part 4 of the Zoning Code.

(8)   Private clubs.

(9)   Restaurants with the outside sale and service of food meeting the performance standards and development criteria set forth in Part 4 of the Zoning Code.

(10)   Billiard parlors.

http://library8.municode.com/default-now/home.htm?infobase=12174&doc_action=whatsnew


Like the car wash, Meeks, Ross, Selander & Associates, Third & Main and Three Layers are all examples of projects that needed an exception or rezoning to move forward in Springfield and they all have been assets in the neighborhood's revival. To claim that the car wash should not be allowed because it is against the spirit of the zoning overlay is an inaccurate intepretation of the code at best.




A LETTER FROM THE OWNER











The owner's experience in attempting to open his business suggests that the area may have a communication problem.  Judging from the number of graphics and significant design changes, this project's owner has proven that he is willing to work with the community to fit within the vision of commercial corridor revitalization.  If we don't engage in dialogue early and often, market-rate opportunities for projects that can improve the quality of the commercial corridor will continue to pass the historic district by.



PUBLIC HEARING ON JANUARY 14, 2010

The meeting for the car wash's approval or denial before the Planning Commission is scheduled for Thursday, January 14, 2010.  The Planning Commission meeting will be held at 1 p.m.


Quote
LOCATION:
1st Floor City Hall
Council Chambers
117 W. Duval St.
Public Hearing begins at 1 p.m.

For more information please call

Sandy Simmons
Planning and Development Department
128 E. Forsyth St., Suite 700
Jacksonville, Florida 32202
Phone: (904) 630-1902
Fax: (904) 630-2912




METRO JACKSONVILLE'S VIEW

It is Metro Jacksonville's opinion that this car wash project will be a good development for the Main Street corridor.  An abandoned and blighted property will be replaced by a viable business that will invest in upgrading another parcel along the corridor.  In addition, the owner has proven through this process that he is willing to work with the community to develop a project that benefits all involved.

If we can attract more business owners to the Main Street commercial corridor who are willing to work to develop projects that bring life to Main Street, the revitalization process will advance significantly.


If you would like to sign the online RECOMMENDATION FOR CAR WASH APPROVAL PETITION, click here:

http://www.petitiononline.com/car_wash/petition.html