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Sep 18, 2012 3:39 PMPublication: The East Hampton Press

Pitch For Car Wash in Wainscott

Sep 18, 2012 6:44 PM

Driving all the way to Southampton or Amagansett for a car wash? That could change.

Two developers are pitching a plan to the East Hampton Town Planning Board to transform a former nightspot on Montauk Highway in Wainscott into the first full-service car wash in town.

Board members seemed supportive of the overall idea at a meeting on September 12 at which they reviewed a preliminary application of the project. But they also offered several suggestions to improve the plans, including calling for a traffic study at the site and drafting a detailed landscaping and lighting plan.

The application, Hamptons Wash, is backed by Jeffrey Schneider and Tom Barton. They want to build a 5,400-square-foot bay car wash, with 800 square feet of office space and 25 parking spaces located in the back of the property. Access to the car wash would be from East Gate Road and Montauk Highway. Twelve employees would work at the business.

The car wash would be “the most automated car wash, probably, on the island,” according to Daniel Bell, of Zipo Shine of Nanuet, New York, which sells car wash equipment. He said that “90 percent” of the work would be done by machines.

The water used would be recycled, meeting a concern raised by town and Planning Board officials at the meeting. Mr. Bell said the equipment in the project would recycle 160 gallons of water a minute.

“We treat the water as if you were a sewer company,” he said. “Our equipment will clean the water down to five microns, which is, I wouldn’t drink it, but it does give us the quality of wash that we expect to give customers that will be paying 
what they pay for a car wash today.”

Planning Board member Bob Schaeffer, who is the board’s liaison for Wainscott applications, said he needed a more detailed explanation of the project, including proposed hours of operation. He pointed out that the applicants will also have to gain approvals from the Suffolk County Department of Health Services and the New York State Department of Transportation, since Montauk Highway is a state road.

“There’s a need for a car wash,” said Mr. Schneider, who added that it will operate during the daytime. “Everyone that I talk to in the community is like, they have to go to Southampton, or they have to go to Amagansett behind the gas station.... So there’s a real need here.”

Other Planning Board members also weighed in on the project. Diana Weir, the vice chairwoman of the board, and a Wainscott resident who lives near the site, supported the project. She said the site is currently an “eyesore.”

“I think that as long as the screening is good, I don’t have an objection to it personally,” Ms. Weir said. “The traffic is what you’re going to hear from the community.”

Board member Patrick Schutte said he had concerns about the layout of the project, with the car wash being located to the rear of the property. He pointed out that it could result in noise issues for residents.

“I would just like to have a very detailed narrative on the operation, the recycling and the sound,” he said. “I think that would help me feel a little better on this.”

Other Planning Board members, J.P. Foster and Nancy Keeshan, said the proposed use was an improvement over its previous use as a nightclub.

Laurie Wiltshire, president of Land Planning Services and a representative for the applicants, said the next step would be to coordinate formal surveys and draw up a formal application.

“This was only a preliminary review to get feedback and it seemed to go very well,” Ms. Wiltshire said. “It seems to be a use that would be welcome from the community, at least from the feedback we’ve gotten from the board and people we’ve spoken to.”

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good idea we need a caar wash locally and better than some club operating at over capacity and noise levels all summer which will probably happen when the money loosens up
By xtiego (698), bridgehampton on Sep 18, 12 6:53 PM
Take cover: they proposed a car wash for the field just west of Bridgehampton Carvel several years back, and the community went ballistic
Another one was proposed behind the Water Mill Shell--same community reaction.
The site backs up to dense residential development directly north. I predict a good winter for several land use attorneys
By aging hipster (201), Southampton on Sep 19, 12 9:11 AM
Much needed....never going to happen....Unfortunately.
Although after seeing the monstrous size of Home Goods (Plitt Ford), I assume maybe anything is possible?!?
By saggguy (20), SAGAPONACK on Jan 21, 15 10:09 PM