In a vote of 4-1, the City Council approved a special use permit for Mr. Clean Car Wash at 203 Sebastian Blvd (CR-512), east of the O’Reilly Auto Parts store.
Councilwoman Kelly Dixon opposed the permit, citing that a national chain could ruin the town’s charm and jeopardize other local car wash businesses.
But Councilman Ed Dodd said the application for the permit is consistent with what’s been done near the property. For example, a paint store and an auto store are beside them.
“We can’t pick big winners and losers in the business place. Honestly, the government’s responsibility is not to be the picker of a winner and a loser in the marketplace. Will this car wash put some of the existing car washers out of business? I’m thoroughly convinced it will,” said Dodd.
Two local owners of different car washes also spoke against the move, stating it would hurt their businesses.
But Councilman Chris Nunn feels that people will still use the other businesses because of the stand-alone bays. For example, large trucks and boats can’t use the express car wash.
“We are a huge boating community,” said Nunn. “They’re going to continue using those other car washes because they can’t take them through the express. So I’m in support of this project. I think it’s a good area for it. I believe there’s enough buffer looking at the map.”
A spokesperson for Mr. Clean said they are strictly an automated car wash with services that aren’t offered today in Sebastian.
“We greet you, and we get you loaded into the tunnel,” the spokesperson said. “And then we provide the service of free vacuums, window cleaners, and an all-purpose cleaner so that you can continue working on the inside of your vehicle.”
The car wash uses 50 gallons of water per wash but recycles 64 percent of it.
The company also said they become part of the community where they build car washes, and reach out to help local charities. They also hire within the community, the spokesperson said.