Developer Michael Pollack and attorneys from the Rose Law Group argue against allowing Quick Quack Car Wash to be built in Tempe at the City Council meeting Feb. 8, 2018. Patrick Breen/azcentral.com
An attorney for Quick Quack Car Wash wants Tempe leaders to reconsider last month’s decision to quash the project.
The Tempe City Council revoked permits for the car wash after nearly three hours of debate in a packed council chambers Feb. 8. More than 40 residents, mostly opposed, spoke about the proposed car wash at Baseline Road and McClintock Drive. Opponents pointed to increased noise and traffic. Those in favor said a car wash was an upgrade from the vacant gas station that once operated on the corner.
An attorney representing the car wash now says the council inappropriately nixed the project based on public opinion, not legal standards.
The car wash meets the criteria to move forward, Cameron Artigue, an attorney representing the car wash chain wrote in a letter to the city.
Artigue’s letter notes the city code requires litigation to be filed in court within 30 days of the council’s decision. “It is our intention to do so,” he wrote.
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Artigue filed a complaint in the Maricopa County Superior Court last week.
“This is just a complete slap in the face to the residents of Tempe,” said attorney Thomas Galvin, who represents Michael Pollack, the owner of the nearby Peter Piper Pizza Plaza and other commercial properties in the East Valley.
Pollack had appealed the city permits given to Quick Quack, leading to last month’s hearing.
3 concerns about council quashing permits
Artigue’s letter argues three main points:
- The council confused Tempe’s noise ordinance with the noise criteria set by the use permit. The permit does not require sound level measurements so a decision based on the ordinance is incorrect.
- The council failed to explain its legal reasons for revoking the permit.
- The council deviated from the required procedure by allowing a “series of speakers,” including Pollack, and by not having a staff recommendation. During the appeal, city rules required the council to act as a quasi-judicial body, or similar to a court.
Much of last month’s hearing revolved around noise that would be created by the proposed car wash.
An acoustic expert for Quick Quack argued the noise would not exceed unsafe or detrimental levels. An expert for Pollack argued it would.
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That debate unfairly swayed council instead of making its decision based on “findings of fact or conclusions of law,” Artigue’s letter says.
But the “most serious error” came from the “long series of speakers who had nothing to say beyond advocating a desired result,” Artigue wrote.
“This would be appropriate in a legislative hearing; but it has no place in a quasi-judicial context,” his letter says.
More to come April 12
The council will decide April 12 if it will reconsider its decision. If so, a rehearing would be scheduled, a city spokeswoman said.
The council would again act as a quasi-judicial body, meaning they could not comment before the hearing and vote.
The council finds itself in a tough spot: If they allow Quick Quack to move forward, numerous residents are opposed. If they don’t, they face a lawsuit by Quick Quack.
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