A photo of an SUV driving out of a car wash.
The Hemet City Council last week voted to extend a moratorium on the establishment and expansion of existing car washes for another 10 months. (Canva Images)

The Hemet City Council last week unanimously voted to extend a moratorium on the establishment and expansion of existing car washes through Aug. 8 of next year.

“This does not affect any lawfully operating car wash that is in existence or has entitlements as of today,” Steven Graham, city attorney, said. “We are not shutting down all car washes in the city, rest assured.”

The city previously adopted the ordinance last month to allow city staff time to consider potential changes to the city’s zoning ordinances to address the “proliferation and oversaturation” of car washes within the city limits.

“Over the past three years, there has been a notable increase in the development of car wash facilities in the city,” city staff wrote in a report to council. “To ensure that the proposed use is in balance with the needs of the community, it is recommended that exploration of a zoning code update be pursued in a manner that does not result in overbuilding of car wash facilities on commercial properties.”

Staff further recommended looking into the existing market conditions that result in an oversaturation of car wash facilities.

According to that report, there are currently 26 car wash facilities A total of 26 car wash facilities in the city that are either existing, entitled for construction or pending submittal. The facilities are mostly clustered along the Florida Avenue commercial corridor and at high traffic intersections of Sanderson and Stetson avenues, the report said.

The extended ordinance also better defines what a car wash is and makes clear that the ordinance will not impact the 26 facilities that the city previously identified.

In other council action: The Hemet City Council voted 4-1 to disband the City’s Infrastructure Commission and transfer all of its functions and duties to the City’s Planning Commission. Council member Linda Krupa voted against disbanding the commission.

A video of the meeting can be found here on the city’s YouTube page.

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