by Lauren Krupar
Cuyahoga Falls -- A proposed self-service car wash would increase traffic, cause a security problem and would not fit into the neighborhood, Tallmadge Road residents told planning commission members June 19.
"This is not going to fit in," said Tallmadge Road resident Tom Sullivan, one of 14 area residents who attended the meeting and spoke out against the plan. Sullivan added he is concerned about crime and traffic issues a 24-hour self-service car wash might cause. "Everything about that place is wrong."
Planning commission members said they agreed.
"I have a whole page of concerns that echo what the majority of everyone here has said," commission member Mary Myers said. "The size concerns me. The traffic concerns me."
"I don't believe the engineering can contain the traffic," acting commission chair Janna Amole said. "It is a very delicate traffic balance right now."
After approximately an hour of discussion, there was a short silence from commission members when asked to approve the file, followed by five votes against the proposed conditional use permit for the car wash.
Commission chair the Deacon David Seal and member Ed Davidian were not present for the vote.
John L. Falatok of the Tallmadge-Prospect LLC, which is listed as the applicant and owner of the property, was not available for comment.
The proposed four-bay car wash would have been built on approximately .372 acres at 510 Tallmadge Road, what currently is a vacant 1893 house and garage. The Schwebel's truck lot is to the west of the property with residential homes and apartments comprising the rest of the neighborhood.
The area is zoned E-1 and is at the edge of the employment district which also contains Schwebel's and the Circle K gas station.
The car wash would have faced Tallmadge Avenue with an exit on Walnut Street. The property also is bordered by Prospect Avenue, which deadends onto Main Street and Tallmadge Avenue.
Representatives of the applicant said the four-bay car wash would have contained two roll-on stations, a mechanical room and a vacuum station. The business would have been opened 24 hours a day without an employee on site.
"I'm having difficulties reconciling the employment district with a self-service car wash with no employees," commission member Stacy Walter said.
"How and why this parcel got zoned light industrial is beyond me," High Street resident Paul Clawson said.