City Steps Toward Taking Action On Abandoned Car Wash

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 11/21/2019 - 00:59

The Clean Get Away car wash may soon go away.

The city attorney's office is putting together a strategy that could result in the demolition of the car wash, located behind Tractor Supply on East Michigan Avenue.

In April of 2018, the city adopted a dangerous building ordinance with an eye toward forcing cleanup of the blighted property. The city began testing the ordinance in June after a roof collapsed on a Clark Street apartment building.

In May, Mayor Brian Marl, speaking at a planning commission meeting, said his patience with the long-stalled car wash was exhausted. Marl's comments came after the latest siteplan for the project expired without a building permit having been issued.

Now the city is getting its ducks in a row to use the dangerous building ordinance - which could allow the city to demolish the building and charge the property owners. Belleville-based Rosebud Properties LLC has owned the property since 2009. The owners have been paying annual property taxes of $20,000-$22,600.

City Manager Todd Campbell told council the city is replacing members of its Construction Board of Appeals, which plays a role in the dangerous building ordinance. Campbell said the city attorney's office was working on a "step-by-step" process for the city and preparing an evaluation that will be presented to city council.

Councillor Janet Dillon asked why the city wasn't using its blight ordinance.

Attorney Roger Swets said the blight ordinance was useful for getting property owners to replace broken windows and clean graffiti, but that it was limited. He noted there were two blight ordinance violations associated with the car wash property - one of which was still in process.

"The blight ordinance does not allow the more wholesale removal of the property - should that be council's wish. That would be done under the dangerous building ordinance," Swets told council.

The attorney's office is putting together a strategy for the potential demolition of the building under the ordinance.

Dillon asked if the property owner is making an effort to resolve the issues.

Based on various attempts to contact the property owner, Swets said "I would guess they would like to delay with the status quo as long as possible. But with the action the city is taking, we are making clear that the status quo is not going to be acceptable."

Tran Longmoore's picture
Tran Longmoore
Tran Longmoore is a veteran community journalist. He is founder and owner of He is co-publisher of The Saline Post weekly newspaper. Email him at [email protected] or call him at 734-272-6294.

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