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LA PALMA : Carwash Approved Despite Protests

The city will get a third carwash despite opposition from most of the 200 residents who crowded into a City Council meeting this week.

The council’s 4-1 vote for the project Tuesday night produced angry mutters from the large audience, which overflowed into the lobby of the council chambers.

Mayor Wally D. Linn, who favored the project, told the audience that he did not think the carwash was so unpopular with the overall city of 16,000 residents.

“You would think this was a nuclear plant we are approving here tonight,” Linn said. “But it is only a carwash.” He added that the central issue was land use and that conditions the city was placing on the carwash site made the project acceptable.

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However, most in the audience indicated their disagreement with Linn and the council majority.

Opponents, among other things, noted that La Palma already has one carwash and a second one received city approval about 18 months ago. A third carwash would be just too many for such a small town, the opponents contended.

Many of those who spoke against the project belong to a new citizens’ organization called the Save the Vision Committee, which contended that the site at Moody Street and Crescent Avenue is too small for the carwash.

The committee also said the project would increase traffic congestion and would be dangerous.

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Supporters of the project, however, responded that the city’s conditions on the project include traffic safety measures. The project, supporters predicted, will be safe and financially successful.

The applicant for the project is Paul Son, who proposed both a carwash and a small convenience store on the site.

City public works director Ismile H. Noorbaksh recommended approving the application. Noorbaksh said the city had attached more conditions to the carwash project “than I have ever seen in the years I have worked for the city of La Palma.”

Beside Linn, council members voting for the project were Larry A. Herman, David Lim and Duane F. Schuster. The opposing vote was cast by Councilwoman Eva G. Miner.

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