A new self-serve car wash will be constructed downtown on two empty lots along Clement Avenue, between Graham and Ethel streets after City of Kelowna councillors approved the proposal.
The enclosed self-serve car wash area is the biggest of three structures and offers 10 washing bays and 16 external stalls complete with vacuums. Two queue lines will form around the west side of the building for both the automatic and self-serve bays.
Councillors agreed the building design was “beautiful” with its high-quality finishes and modernized designs, utilizing glass throughout the three buildings to unify the project.
But Coun. Loyal Wooldridge voted against the project as it failed to look forward to greener technologies.
The plan fails to offer space for potential placements of electric vehicle charging stations and the gas tanks will be installed below grade — two things Coun. Wooldridge couldn’t get behind.
“I won’t be supporting this application today,” Coun. Wooldridge said. “It’s definitely a beautiful building… but encouraging future green technologies, I truly believe our designs should incorporate space within the design for electric car charging stations.”
Coun. Luke Stack urged his colleagues to focus on the task at hand, which is to vote on the character and form of the building.
“I think moving into the political realm with the types of business they can offer or not… I don’t think those are appropriate comments,” he said.
“People are still driving cars, people still use fuel,” he said. “But I don’t think we should be approving something philosophically. If we really want to do that, then the debate should change our bylaws and not allow gas stations and fuel.”
Coun. Wooldridge rebutted stating his comments were, in fact, design-flaw issues he found with the form and character of the building.
The gas station passed with councillors Wooldridge and Mohini Singh opposed.
Coun. Singh said she couldn’t support the project as gas stations belong on highways, not in downtown residential areas that are walkable.