Birmingham City Council

Birmingham Council to Reconsider Automated Car Wash Moratorium

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The Birmingham City Council on Tuesday scheduled a public hearing for July 30 to discuss amending a moratorium passed earlier this year that prohibited automated car wash businesses.

The council passed the moratorium March 5. When the council met April 2, it heard from a group planning a car wash in the Red Mountain neighborhood. They asked that their business be excluded from the moratorium, saying their application had been submitted March 4.

The business owners had planned the car wash for a plot of land along Richard Arrington Jr. Boulevard South between 20th Avenue South and 21st Avenue South near Vulcan Park. The current owners of the property, Vulcan Storage LLC, wanted to sell the property to Tidal Wave Auto Spa, which would develop the car wash.

An attorney representing the group said in April that they felt the business was being singled out by Councilor Valerie Abbott, who introduced the moratorium, and the Red Mountain Neighborhood Association, which opposed the project, citing traffic concerns.

“There’s been several opportunities for this property and the neighborhood has been against every one of them,” landowner Walter Scott said during the April 2 council meeting. “There’s been nothing that’s been presented that they’ve been in favor of except potentially donating it to them for a park.”

Council President Darrell O’Quinn, who introduced the motion to set the public hearing, said the council took up the measure under the recommendation of the city attorney. The hearing will be during the council meeting, which starts at 9:30 a.m. in City Hall.

Before Tuesday’s vote, the council entered into executive session for more than an hour to discuss pending litigation.

In other business, the council:

  • Tabled a measure that would provide $1 million for a citywide project to repave alleyways until city staff could answer council members’ questions about the funding source for the work and how the alleys will be selected for repaving.
  • Approved an agreement between the city and the Housing Authority of the Birmingham District to provide a law enforcement task force and Community Safety Partnership related to the authority’s High-Intensity Community Oriented Police Patrol Program at designated properties. The authority will pay the city $2 million to cover personnel costs and expenses. Under the agreement, the city will provide up to seven police officers, one sergeant and one lieutenant. The contract runs through May 21, 2026.