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Car wash coming to Watertown plaza

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A Rome developer plans to build and open a Precision Wash car wash on a parcel at the Northland Plaza off Eastern Boulevard.

The city Planning Board approved site plans for Evergreen Family FLP, Rome, on Tuesday to build a 3,300-square-foot, five-bay automated car wash on a 0.74-acre parcel near the State CS Employees Federal Credit Union building. Precision Wash already runs automated car washes on Coffeen Street, Washington Street and Route 11 in Evans Mills.

Construction would begin before winter and the business is slated to open in April.

The Watertown City Council still must give a final approval; a public hearing is expected to be scheduled for next month.

The car wash would be open 24 hours, seven days a week and serve as many as 150 vehicles a day, said Timothy M. Hogan, the engineer representing Precision Wash.

Before the vote Tuesday, city officials and the Planning Board expressed concern that Northland Plaza’s parking lot needs an upgrade because of the additional traffic generated by the car wash. The parking lot lacks islands to control flow, they said. “The big thing is doing something with the parking lot,” said Justin Wood of the city’s Engineering Office.

In other action, the Planning Board approved site plans for an 1,800-square-foot, L-shaped expansion at the Quickslee convenience store at 1279 Coffeen St. Before the vote, planners voiced concerns about traffic, the lack of landscaping and the need for a sidewalk along that section of Coffeen Street. After a 90-minute discussion, engineer Christopher E. Boyes agreed to install a no-left-turn onto Coffeen Street at the entrance closest to Interstate 81. He also agreed to install the sidewalk and plant some trees to act as a buffer zone for Ontario Village apartments.

Council members are expected to vote on the site plans next month.

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