A popular San Luis Obispo car wash faces fines and neighborhood ire for alleged violations of city ordinances and permit conditions.
Quiky Car Wash on Broad Street was hit with fines totaling $900 in September and October in the wake of a July city inspection that found the car wash was exceeding maximum allowed noise levels and had upward-facing light fixtures in violation of the “night sky” ordinance. Compliance with those ordinances are conditions of Quiky’s use permit, which was granted in 2010. City officials also discovered unpermitted construction during the inspection.
Quiky owner Hamish Marshall told New Times that the excessive noise is related to a new dryer system that was installed after the old dryer broke. The new system was put in without a permit and proper silencing equipment, according to the city.
“It wasn’t a huge deal,” Marshall said. “The dryers we replaced the previous dryers with just don’t meet the noise levels for our use permits. We reordered the ones we originally put in.”
The violations are a bigger deal to Jermaine Washington, a SLO resident who shares a property line with Quiky, and the president of the Broad and Rockview Court Place Homeowners’ Association.
Washington said the car wash has been a disruptive presence to the neighborhood over the years. At a SLO City Council meeting on Nov. 7, Washington alleged to council members that there have been “repeated violations” since 2010—ranging from noise, to its hours of operations, to the light fixtures—and “no action of good faith” by Quiky to address them. He called on the city to step up its enforcement actions.
“Every day that we wake up and they turn those blowers on, it’s kind of a slap in the face,” Washington told New Times. “They’re still making money, their business is still existing as if nothing’s happening, and yet we suffer.”
SLO officials confirmed three previous code cases at Quiky. Two were based on noise complaints that were eventually cleared, and one was for unpermitted construction.
Quiky could get hit with another citation if building permits for the new dryers aren’t submitted to the city by Nov. 22.
Marshall is also a co-owner of SLO Brew. In October 2016, the city issued a stop-work order on SLO Brew’s The Rock brewery for alleged unpermitted construction.