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Thread: Mobile businesses (car wash, etc)?

  1. #1
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    Mobile businesses (car wash, etc)?

    How do communities that you are familiar with handle mobile businesses? Some like car washes, set up shop at the same location frequently and basically are establishing another use in the parking lot (these are the waterless car washes or self-contained units which wash cars using a tank and equipment on board the vehicle). These car wash operations are increasingly common. They want to set up in residential (apartment; condo) and commercial (office, mall) parking lots. If they set up frequently at the same location they are establishing a use there, no? Or are they viewed as "accessory" uses?

  2. #2
    Cyburbian dvdneal's avatar
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    My city killed a lot of that by not allowing any mobile vending other than food. Here everyone likes to set up on the vacant lot and sell rugs and other junk. For us it would also apply to anyone setting up shop in a parking lot. We do allow people to show up, wash your car, change oil, fix windshields, etc. as long as they don't set up shop. We don't have a specifc code to that, it just becomes a judgement call.

    When it comes to the food vendors, we've been okay with them parked in front of Home Depot or whatever because it becomes all foot traffic that need no additonal parking or special anything.

    Good luck.

  3. #3
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    Thanks. This is more targeted to the mobile wash companies - they come to offices and to multifamily and provide car detailing. The way I see it, the mobile wash is just like the mobile auto glass repair, Merry Maid, or dog groomer/dog trainer who shows up in a van with everything self-contained. Only if the mobile wash is permanently setting up shop in a parking area does it become an issue.

  4. #4
    Cyburbian
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    How do you handle businesses such as electricians, plumbers or painters? Does you jurisdiction issue an occupational tax license for a home business which would allow these individual trades to establish an office from their residence and perform there work at many different locations?

    We allow the home office with restrictions of; no employees at the house other than those who live there, no storing/retailing of products from the home, only one company vehicle parked in residential area etc. Only thing allowed at the residence is basic book keeping and scheduling.

    As for mobile car washes the issues we continually run up against is stormwater runoff, where's the dirty water draining to? And if the applicant is proposing to use his/her own container for water, where do they fill up? Should we allow a commercial business to pay residential water rates to operate their business when a fixed location, commercial car wash is paying commercial water rates?

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