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Emporia Planning Manager Deborah Davis speaks to members of the Emporia City Council.

Clint Slate, of Slate Enterprises, received the Emporia City Council’s go-ahead to establish a car wash following the rezoning of two parcels of property.

One parcel is located at the corner of Pine St. and Pennsylvania Avenue. The other parcel is located on Pine St. The passage of the rezoning request was not unanimous by the City’s governing body or staff.

The City staff recommended the City Council not approve the measure. City Council member Yolanda Hines followed the staff’s request by casting the lone nay vote.

“We felt the close proximity to residents could cause potential issue,” Deborah Davis-Perry, planning manager said.

Davis-Perry said her staff mailed certified letters to residents in the neighborhood detailing the car wash plan. None of the residents replied with the opposition of Slate Enterprises, building a car wash in the area.

Support for the rezoning request came from the Emporia Planning Commission, and eventually, the majority of the City Council. Slate said the car wash would only enhance the site that already has an established business.

“It’s a property that’s directly adjacent to the Cornerstone Market we built,” Slate said. “As a matter of fact, we just finished up with our fourth year on July 8. (We have) Been very pleased — most appreciative of the City, the City residents, and over the highway patrons. “We’ve been blessed by that, and we just feel this is an enhancement of what we’ve already put there.”

Slate said Slate Enterprises would conform to any zoning restrictions put forth by the City.

In other action:

The City Council voted unanimously, 7-0, to allow citizens to establish a mobile food unit. The operation of a mobile food unit is permitted in the downtown district. Before the vote, there was no ordinance to regulate the activity of a mobile food unit.

If the operator is granted a conditional use permit for operation, it’s applicable at various events within the City’s Downtown District and Commercial Districts. A granted license is suitable for one year. The operator must reapply to continue operating the mobile food unit.

The operator of a mobile food unit is required to meet all criteria, including a valid permit from the Virginia Department of Health. A license and fee are unnecessary for an individual mobile food unit participating in a fair, festival, or similar event on private property following the approval of a zoning compliance permit. Still, no vendor is allowed to remain on-site at a property for more than 12 consecutive hours.