If you drive down West Jefferson Street, you may have noticed that the Quick Clean car wash has been converted into the U-Store It Mini Warehouses. On Tuesday, the Plymouth Board of Zoning Appeals heard a request from Frauhiger Realty for a variance of use to convert the existing car wash into the mini storage facility. The location of the facility is 816 N. Center Street.
In his report, Plan Consultant Ralph Booker read a letter from Frauhiger Realty explaining that they would like to be allowed a variance to turn the five bay car wash into an eight unit mini warehouse facility.
“We would not be changing the footprint of the existing structure. We will simply be adding roll up doors to both the north and south sides of the bay to close them off,” Booker read from the letter.
The letter went on to say that Frauhiger Realty would be offering two 13 by 30 units with access to both the north and south. They will also be offering six 13 by 15 units with single door access. The self serving vacuum service islands would be removed.
“As the building stands, the car wash equipment has aged beyond repair coupled with us having to fight break-ins from our coin boxes, vagrant style people setting up in the bays at night, people illegally dumping oil and other forms of trash in the facility etc. We made the decision that the facility was not making enough to invest in upgrades,” read Booker.
Booker informed the board that mini-warehouses are not permitted in the zoning district, hence the request for the variance of use.
The conversion has already been performed. Frauhiger Realty Facility Manager Ashley Finney was present during the meeting and stated that the conversion was performed not knowing mini-warehouses were not permitted by the city.
“We have done this in multiple towns and we haven’t had any problems. I apologize for kind of jumping the gun, because again we’ve done it in so many other towns and it was fine in their ordinance. I didn’t event think about it,” said Finney.
She stated that the conversion would reduce traffic in the area as well as a reduction in noise.
Finney stated that if the board deny the request, the doors would still be maintained due to the amount of trouble the car wash has suffered over the years.
Among those issues involving the oil dumps, sleeping vagrants, Finney told the board that people have even skinned deers and left the carcasses in the car wash bays.
“It will be easier for us to maintain and control,” Finney said of the conversion.
When the public hearing was opened, comments were heard..
Bill Walters spoke in favor of the request. As a nearby resident, he stated that he’s seen some of the mess and agreed that it would be easier to maintain and would be an improvement.
Mayor Mark Senter stated that while he had no comment either way, he was contacted by an individual.
“I did speak to a gentleman living behind the building. He was very upset. I think he was more upset because they went ahead and did it without permission or without getting you (Building Commissioner Keith Hammonds) involved,” Senter said. He identified the gentleman as Phil Milton.
Finney stated that a man has been coming to the facility whenever the employees go to their vehicles, sweep the parking lots, and things of that nature.
Finney said that the man used “extreme and explicit language” and “calling our main office.”
“He’s acting completely immature and inappropriate,” said Finney.
Senter said that Milton would be present, but he was not at the meeting.
When the public hearing section was closed, the board approved unanimously a motion to approve the request.