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Yes, rare legit question here - - how to apply design standards to a car wash that wants to locate in a pedestrian friendly mixed use development area? I know the Council is going to want to see this happen.
Is it a wash your own car wash or a drive through car wash - I think in either case, you'd want the drive in/out openings to be parallel to the side walk and not perpendicular. That way, yes it's a long wall along the frontage but you could have a mural there or even windows (at night they could light up the water to make it cool) but you wouldn't have that car-focus and water facing the sidewalk. This would make limiting curb cuts easier as it would only be 2, one way in and one way out. Often car washes become a huge curb cut that coats their frontage so this might help contain that.
We have done one. It certainly isn't the best use of an acre, but it worked. No parking was permitted between the building and the street. There are buildings to the left and right of this lot. There isn't anything developed behind it yet though. We did not permit it to go in our most mixed-use area, as we don't permit drive-thru's at all there, but this is just outside of that, and it was pigeon holed in.
I have always been a fan of design regulations that really allow it to be converted into a different use later on and elements that make it look more like a downtown commercial building and less like a auto-dominated use. One of the best examples that I have seen of this is Woody's Auto Service in Davidson NC.