The Santa Maria City Council will meet at 5:30 p.m. tonight at Santa Maria City Hall, where they are expected to vote on a final adoption of a controversial mobile car wash ordinance.
Due to the coronavirus pandemic, the council chambers will be closed to the public, however you can watch the meeting live on the city of Santa Maria’s YouTube page.
Staff Writer Laura Place will be tweeting about the council meeting and protest planned outside City Hall in opposition to the proposed ordinance.
The council passed the first reading of the mobile car wash ordinance on March 16 in hopes of curbing the amount of dirty water entering storm drains, as well as preventing mobile washers from operating out of a fixed location, an issue that has become especially prevalent on Boone Street.
“The city is not trying to put anybody out of business. The goal is to have mobile commercial washers return to being mobile, not stationary on a street, which is what drives many of the complaints we receive,” city spokesman Mark van de Kamp said in response to a late March demonstration.
One of the main issues with the ordinance, washers said, is the section prohibiting washers from operating on city streets, meaning they can only operate at people’s homes or on private property with owner permission.
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The cost of new equipment to meet the regulations also could be prohibitive to washers. A 100-gallon tank system and mat needed to collect and transport dirty water can cost up to $1,200 for a simple system and $2,000 for one that is more advanced, said Chris Barajas, owner of California Detail Center and longtime member of the local mobile wash community.
421 Vote – Santa Maria – Curated tweets by SantaMariaTimes
Photos: Santa Maria’s mobile car washers push back against proposed regulations
Photos: Mobile car washes in Santa Maria
Jason Anderson is the Digital Producer for the Santa Maria Times. He can be reached at 805-739-2213