Used car lot proposed on 75th Street in Naperville

Naperville City Council members gave a preliminary nod last week to a proposal allowing used-car sales on the site of a car wash on 75th Street west of Naper Boulevard, effectively turning over the ignition on a new sort of business for that part of town — although the endorsement comes with strings attached.

Officials approved the drawing up of paperwork to grant a special use permit enabling Finish Line Car Wash owner Bill Loumbardias to add space for up to 28 cars in the rear of the property, which backs up to a quiet neighborhood. Two residents of that area submitted letters backing the proposal, and also spoke to the council to voice their support.

“This is a testament to this gentleman and the kind of business that he’s run,” said Craig Cobine, Loumbardias’ attorney.

The 8-1 council vote reflected agreement with the Planning & Zoning Commission and a departure from the stance taken by city staff, who find the use inappropriate for the stie. Allison Laff, planning operations manager, pointed out in a memo that existing car dealerships are clustered around Ogden and Aurora avenues and sit in B3 commercial zoning districts, and recommended maintaining that pattern.

The car wash location is zoned B2/community shopping district, which typically doesn’t include car washes as a permitted use. Finish Line was constructed under a planned unit development zoning process that made an exception for the one-acre site when the project was approved in 1985.

Staff members also noted that the city’s 75th Street Corridor Study, completed in 2008, called for shared access with the Market Meadows shopping development at the northwest corner of 75th and Naper, just east of the car wash. The absence of a cross-access feature in Loumbardias’ proposal was cited as a primary concern among staff.

City Council member Joe McElroy asked for more detail about the staff’s opposition to the plan. Laff pointed out the inclusion of the car wash clearance in the larger PUD.

“If it was a stand-alone car wash today, it wouldn’t have been eligible for approval on that site,” said Laff, noting that the use is relatively intensive.

She said there also was concern about a potential precedent in “opening up car dealerships to other locations throughout the city, other than where they’re concentrated today.”

Cobine emphasized that the car sales area, tucked out of sight from the busy thoroughfare, would feature high-end used vehicles, and most sales would take place online. No auto body work or major repairs will be permitted on the property.

The Plan Commission members attached seven other conditions to their approval of the plan, including prohibition of car carrier trucks on the property and any storage or display of the vehicle inventory along 75th. Hours should be confined to 8 a.m. until 7 p.m. Monday through Friday, with Saturday hours only by appointment, the advisory planning group said, and no new lighting should be allowed in the rear of the property, nor should an outdoor intercom system. Just one salesperson, or the owner, should be permitted on the lot at a time, and efforts to create cross-access with Market Meadows should continue, the commission’s recommendation said.

The council added another restriction to its tentative endorsement, requiring continued operation of the car wash as a condition for the used car sales.

Councilman Paul Hinterlong and Mayor A. George Pradel said they both had been undecided on their support for the used car feature, but the added stipulations made them more comfortable with approving it. McElroy cast the sole vote against drawing up the ordinance needed to grant the permit.

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5 Comments

  • James McPherson

    I love that car wash and go there all the time. They run a clean and friendly business. I say more power to get more good business owners like this to operate here in Naperville.

    2014-07-16 11:00:27 | Reply
  • Bobby Istanbouli

    Neighbors full support. such a tough business and location. I remember the crazy construction as well. Finally glad to see a pro business position from Council that makes sense.

    2014-05-29 01:48:44 | Reply
  • Janice Tunney

    I frequent the car wash and commend the owner for reaching out to the neighbors with all his plans. I remember the long road construction which hurt business a great deal for 2 years I believe. The location has been cleaned with many improvements. Naperville should help businesses, especially with such hardship. Neighbor support was huge and restrictions are in place. Best of luck to the owner

    2014-05-29 01:34:54 | Reply
  • Theresa Battle

    Don't turn 75 th street into Ogden Ave. It's a bad idea.

    2014-05-28 15:02:18 | Reply
  • karen johnson

    Naperville does not need any more car lots!

    2014-05-28 14:37:26 | Reply



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