City Council Lets Owner of the Chevron Station Move Forward With Carwash Plan

Illustration of the proposed Chevron gas station, car wash, and convenience store on the northwest corner of Holloway Drive and La Cienega Boulevard

The West Hollywood City Council has agreed to let the owner of the Chevron gas station on the northwest corner of La Cienega Boulevard and Holloway Drive move forward with a plan to add a carwash and a convenience store.

The Council’s decision was a response to an appeal of the city Planning Commission’s earlier approval of the project. It came in a three to one vote, with Councilmember Lauren Meister supporting the appeal. Councilmember John Heilman abstained because he lives near the project.

The property will continue to operate as a gas station with the existing gas pumps and canopy remaining, but the automobile service bays will be eliminated. In addition to the convenience store and car wash, the new building will have space for another small shop, but what business will occupy that space has not yet been determined. The car wash will operate from 8 a.m. to 8 p.m.

The appeal was filed by Jerome Cleary, who is a candidate in the Nov. 3 City Council election. Cleary claimed that adding a carwash to the site would result in a long line of vehicles lined along La Cienega Boulevard to enter the carwash. He and other nearby residents also objected to the fact that the convenience store would be allowed to sell alcoholic beverages. Some also claimed the carwash would lead to more accidents at its intersection with Holloway and pose a risk to pedestrians on the sidewalk. And some said they were opposed to the property owner’s decision to close the auto service bays.

The project got the support of about 100 nearby residents, who signed a petition on its behalf. Keith Kaplan, a local resident and real estate agent, noted that plans to demolish the carwash on La Cienega Boulevard near Norms would leave only one automatic carwash in the area — the Santa Palm carwash on Santa Monica Boulevard at Palm Avenue.

Ben Pouldar, who has owned the station for the past 13 years, said the auto service bays were no longer making money. Pouldar also addressed Cleary’s claim that he had to wait 45 minutes in a long line of cars to enter another carwash operated by Pouldar. The carwash at La Cienega and Holloway would be automated, Pouldar said, and thus able to process one car every three minutes. Pouldar owns 23 other gas stations/convenience stores in the Los Angeles area.

Councilmember Lauren Meister questioned the decision by the city’s planning staff that the project wasn’t likely to have a significant impact on the environment, saying she was concerned about the noise and traffic it would generate and its impact on air quality. The Planning and Development Services Department did conduct a noise study that measured and modeled the existing noise environment from the service station, and then analyzed the proposed project for potential impact on the surrounding area. It also used a model to analyze the impact on traffic, which it found would not be significant.

To address concerns about the traffic impact of the project, Poulder agreed to remove the easternmost driveway on Holloway to lessen the impact on the La Cienega / Holloway intersection of cars leaving the lot.  He also agreed to find a way to restrict access to the landscaped area on the western edge of the property, which Councilmember John D’Amico has raised concerns about.

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Carolyn
Carolyn
29 days ago

Are the comments closed? I left one yesterday that did has not appeared.

Henry (Hank) Scott
Admin
29 days ago
Reply to  Carolyn

Your comment illogically ended up in the spam folder. It has been retrieved and posted. Sorry for the delay.

Carolyn Campbell
Carolyn Campbell
30 days ago

That intersection already has an F rating. It’s baffling how some members of the City Council (Lauren Meister soley supported the appeal against the project) would consider that increasing traffic with the addition of three new businesses would somehow serve the betterment of the community’s environment. The HOA Presidents of the two immediately adjacent condo complexes with over 100 residents in each, plus renters from the adjacent apartment building all vehemently objected to the project for substantive reasons, including increased noise, pollution, traffic gridlock (25-30 cars being washed per hour entering and exiting onto that intersection), plus potentially adding to… Read more »

Alex
Alex
30 days ago

This is awful. I live close by and signed the petition against this. The chevron already attracts drunks at night who just want to chill in the Parking lot and blast their loud music. Now it’s going to get worse!! No wonder people are leaving this town. Who wants to deal with that mess.

JF1
JF1
1 month ago

And let’s see if the city even gets the benefit of new trees along the northern side as depicted in the rendering. Doubt it.

JF1
JF1
1 month ago

What a shame. Big mistake.

Bill Skywatcher
Bill Skywatcher
1 month ago

Seems like a strange place for a carwash.

Also, the car service bays don’t make money? Weho doesn’t need another carwash, what it needs are more car repair shops!

Eric Daniel
Eric Daniel
1 month ago

The last thing that intersection needs is something that is going to draw more cars. The only thing worse is trying to get through that intersection in a power outage. Which I have had to do multiple times.

This and the Santa Monica/La Cienega to the south really needs more traffic control and can’t take more businesses.

Judy Tanka
Judy Tanka
1 month ago

Correction: Actually, 100 signatures of nearby residents OPPOSING the project was submitted.

Henry (Hank) Scott
Admin
1 month ago
Reply to  Judy Tanka

According to the attorney for the property owner, 100 signatures from nearby residents supporting the project also had been obtained

Judy
Judy
1 month ago

Yes, they collected signatures from near and not so near the property. The question is : why wasn’t the petition with 100 signatures from residents in the immediate vicinity opposing the project NOT acknowledged ?

Jerome Cleary
Jerome Cleary
30 days ago
Reply to  Judy

The most important fact is when Lauren Meister pointed out as a city Council member that the Chevron owner passed around a petition in support of his proposed project but somehow conveniently left off their petition that they were going to remove the repair service station. Thus, people signing this fraudulent petition in support of it only signed it not realizing that the repair service station was being removed. Which also means the seven planing commissioners somehow completely overlooked this in the petition too. It only took one city Council member Lauren Meister to notice this and bring it up… Read more »