In a continuing quest to improve the overall look of the county, the Pasco County Commission is eying new standards for car washes and drive-thru facilities.
The board discussed the drive-thru issue at its Oct. 10 meeting and directed county planners to come back with recommended standards. It previously discussed during its Sept. 19 meeting the need for new car wash standards.
In both cases, the board is looking to update land development code regulations that affect the design and appearance of drive-thru facilities and car washes.
In the case of car washes, the board raised concerns about the number of such businesses popping up across Pasco.
It wants to adopt standards similar to the ones it has imposed on self-storage facilities that affect the location of car washes.
The board also is looking at drive-thru facilities associated with fast-food restaurants, financial institutions, pharmacies and other similar uses.
The new standards involve building placement, drive-thru placement, on-site parking, drive-thru stacking requirements and landscape buffering.
Regarding drive-thru facilities, that county board authorized the planners to come back with amendments to the land development code that consider:
- Requiring drive-thru facilities to meet design and development requirements, such as placing parking to the side and rear of buildings and reducing stacking requirements
- Requiring site plans to locate buildings close to the road or internal streets with guidelines to distinguish between major arterials and local roads/streets
- Establishing flexibility in the code for sites that cannot meet the new requirements
The plan also should optimize landscaping. It also should be possible for commercial sites to have spaces between buildings without requiring buffer yards. That would result in more usable space within the public realm.
Regarding car washes, during its Sept. 19 meeting, the county board directed county planners to come back with recommendations that relate to the site design, the location of parking, vacuuming areas and so on.
During that meeting, Commissioner Seth Weightman raised concerns about the proliferation of car washes.
“They’re everywhere,” he said. “They’re taking up our prime job-generating sites.”
Commissioner Ron Oakley agreed: “It seems like a new one is coming up every time you turn around.”
County planners will return to the board in coming months with proposed new requirements relating to both drive-thru facilities and car washes.
Published November 01, 2023