A car wash on 75th Street in Naperville has the support of neighbors and preliminary city council approval to add car sales to its business plan.
Finish Line Car Wash at 1090 E. 75th St. is poised to begin selling used cars from the back of its property near the Market Meadows shopping center.
Car sales usually aren't allowed on properties such as the car wash lot, which are zoned for community shopping center use. But city council members voted 8-1 to allow a conditional use for owner Bill Loumbardias to start a small-scale used car dealership.
The vote followed approval by the planning and zoning commission, which established several restrictions on the sales operation.
"I read the planning and zoning commission report. I think they came up with a lot of restrictions and criteria to make this an acceptable use, a soft entry into this business," council member Steve Chirico said. "I think it's very fair to the neighbors and evidently the neighbors feel the same way."
Under planning and zoning commission requirements, Loumbardias will be prohibited from adding extra lighting or an outdoor intercom, and car carrier trucks will not be allowed. Sales hours are limited to 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. on weekdays and by appointment on Saturdays, and only one sales employee will be allowed on site at a time. Cars for sale also cannot be parked or displayed along the front, or south side, of the site.
"It wouldn't look like a car lot from 75th Street," said Craig Cobine, Loumbardias' attorney.
The commission also prohibited car repair or body work from taking place and required Loumbardias to investigate the possibility of creating an access driveway between his site and the adjacent shopping center.
Cross-site access won't be possible because the sites vary in elevation by eight feet, Cobine said, and that caused Naperville staff members some concerns about traffic. Anyone traveling east on 75th Street will have to make a U-turn at Naper Boulevard to pull into the car wash because of a divider on 75th.
Council member Joseph McElroy cast the vote against car sales on the property. Although two neighbors from the nearby Hobson Oaks town houses told the council they see Loumbardias as a good neighbor and they support expansion of his business, McElroy questioned whether car sales is an appropriate business for the location.
"You can't make a land use decision based on whether someone is a good guy or running a good operation," McElroy said.
Council member Grant Wehrli added one extra restriction to those suggested by the planning and zoning commission, saying car sales should only be allowed if a car wash remains in business.
That condition helped make others, including Mayor George Pradel, comfortable with the car sales and led to the favorable vote.
The vote in support of car sales did not grant final approval, but it directed city staff members to prepare documents so the official nod can be given at a later date.