| Cherry Hill Courier-Post
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Chris LaChall, Cherry Hill Courier-Post
MOUNT LAUREL – The township zoning board has approved plans to convert a Route 73 gym into a car wash.
Valet Car Wash will create a sudsy tunnel up to 200 feet long in a two-story building that’s most recently held Giant Fitness, said Chris Vernon, the firm’s founder.
The zoning board, which previously rejected a proposed medical marijuana dispensary at the site, unanimously approved Vernon’s application at a virtual meeting Wednesday.
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The car wash will occupy a 14,800-square-foot building that’s most recently held Giant Fitness and previously was home to a DiSimone Cadillac dealership.
The business will be the 14th location for Vernon’s company, which is based in Hamilton, Mercer County.
The highly automated facility will employ two to four people, Vernon said.
“There are no employees that touch your car,” he observed.
Patrons spend about three minutes going through the carwash tunnel, then have the option of using about 13 indoor or 38 outdoor vacuum stations, Vernon said.
He said about 25,000 customers belong to a company club that allows unlimited washes for a monthly fee. Other customers pay on an individual-visit basis.
Board members cited the feared impact of the dispensary on traffic and the surrounding community.
Valet Car Wash needed a use variance from the board because the business would not normally be permitted at the Route 73 site, which is zoned for industrial use. Board members also granted preliminary and final site plan approvals.
It was the second car wash to win approval in the area within recent weeks.
Evesham’s planning board last month gave final approval to a Sammy’s Express Car Wash, which is to be constructed at the former site of G-Boys Garden and Christmas Center on Route 70.
The two sites are less than two miles apart.
Jim Walsh reports for the Courier-Post, Burlington County Times and The Daily Journal. His interests include crime, the courts, economic development and being first with breaking news. Reach him at [email protected]
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