Naperville car wash proposal spotty after commission votes against recommendation  

Jet Brite Car Wash image, exterior
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After hearing an earful from concerned residents, the Naperville Planning and Zoning Commission voted against recommending a proposed car wash at the northeast corner of 83rd Street and Route 59.

Petitioner JB Development Inc. submitted an application to the city for a Jet Brite car wash business on a 2.3-acre parcel currently in unincorporated DuPage County, just outside the city limits.

But the litany of concerns raised during a lengthy public hearing at Wednesday’s meeting gave commissioners pause. Panelists ultimately voted, 5-3, against the proposal, meaning they will not recommend it to city council, which will take it up in April.

Residents’ noise, traffic, stormwater concerns about car wash

During a lengthy hour-and-a-half public hearing, commissioners heard testimony from about a dozen residents within the nearby Aero Estates subdivision that is adjacent to the parcel. A number of residents also provided the city with written testimony.

They objected to the proposed development, citing concerns with traffic, noise and stormwater drainage, which reportedly has been an ongoing concern within the area.

“A car wash doesn’t fit into the current business scheme of golf courses, a residential airport, banks, law offices, medical offices, furniture stores, and churches that currently make up the only non-residential properties in this area along 59 and 83rd St.,” John Cunningham, a resident in Aero Estates, wrote to city officials.

Eddie Bedford, who is Naperville Township’s supervisor and director of road services, gave a neutral response to the car wash proposal itself, but said several lingering challenges in the immediate area could be exacerbated with further development if not addressed long-term.

“I have been by the area many times,” Bedford said. “There is a problem with the lights. There is a problem with the traffic flow. There is a problem with Aero (Drive) being blocked.”

‘It is our goal to be a good neighbor’

Dave Dalesandro, president of Jet Brite Car Wash, said he is willing to work with city staffers and the adjacent Aero Estates residents.

“It’s our goal to be a great neighbor, and it’s our goal to address every one of these concerns,” Dalesandro said. “We will address anything reasonable.”

In his pitch to commissioners, Dalesandro also touted Jet Brite and the services it provides its customers. The company has 11 existing locations, primarily in Chicago’s western suburbs, including an existing operation in Naperville at 850 E. Ogden Ave.

“We were pioneers in changing the car wash industry,” Dalesandro said. “We helped create this express wash concept. We made car washing so fun, inexpensive and easy. The volumes went up tremendously. This has changed the whole industry.”

City staffers did not provide positive recommendation

In addition to nearby residents’ objections, commissioners at the recent meeting heard comments from the city’s transportation, engineering and development department.

Community Planner Gabrielle Mattingly said the proposal includes three stacking lanes that could accommodate up to 42 cars at peak times, as well as vacuum turbines and vacuum stalls, which would be adjacent to the residential properties.

“We have been consistently raising concerns with the development of this proposal, as early as April of 2022, with regards to density and limited parcel depth,” Mattingly said.

There was a motion to narrow the business hours, require installation of a 10-foot-tall fence and stipulate no music be played outside, but it was rejected on a 5-3 vote. The city council will make the final decision on the matter.

Image courtesy: Jet Brite

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