Car wash okayed for Maillardville

A bid, voted down two years ago, to build a car wash in Maillardville got the green light this week despite area residents having the same concerns.

On Monday, during a public hearing on the application for 801 Henderson Ave., neighbours told Coquitlam city council they feared extra traffic and noise from the planned car wash as well as plummeting property values.

Many houses in the area are being built or renovated, and homeowners complained about a rezoning change happening as the city undergoes an update of the area plan.

"You would be jumping the gun to go ahead of your own study," a Jackson Street resident warned city council, with a Henderson Street homeowner asking,"How many times do we have to go through this application process?"

But Jim Allen of Allen Concepts, which is representing the property owner Sukhjit Gill, who also has the adjacent land with a Husky gas station, said most of the issues have been addressed since the proposal first went before council in 2011.

He said the car wash hours of operation have been reduced by one hour, with the same 7 a.m. opening but a 10 p.m. instead of 11 p.m. closing; lighting has been modified; noise will be controlled; and security gates and landscaping will be installed. Allen also showed a video to council of the Husky car wash in Whistler, which he said would be similar, with closed doors.

Coun. Terry O'Neill said the crux of the problem is that cars leaving the car wash would filter into a residential neighbourhood. He suggested city staff look at working with Allen Concepts, before a development permit is issued, to create a U-turn onsite.

Coun. Brent Asmundson said local residents don't want the car wash. "There are lots of people who have put investments into that area," he said in opposing the proposal.

"People have told us what they want," Coun. Neal Nicholson said while speaking against the car wash. "I think we have to respect that and give them the neighbourhood that they're building for themselves."

Still, other councillors argued the site has been designated in the official community plan for at least 20 years as service-commercial. And the Maillardville Neighbourhood Plan calls for a gradual transitioning of the area to commercial.

Coun. Craig Hodge, who voted for the bid, asked for more traffic studies and traffic calming measures around Lougheed Highway and Bernatchey Street.


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