Great White Express Car Wash

Design documents for the proposed Great White Express Car Wash.

The Great White Express Car Wash, a project proposed to be constructed between the Lowe's and KFC on Belshire Village Drive, saw it's site plan approved by the Spring Hill Planning Commission Monday by a vote of 6-1.

The approval comes just weeks after the project's applicant sued the city over a previous denial.


Proposed by the Arkansas-based company GWE Holdings, the car wash would be the second Great White Express in the city, with the first location opening last year near The Crossings shopping district.

Back in September, the Planning Commission shot down the car wash's site plan over sewer capacity and traffic concerns, with Commissioner Matt Fitterer raising concerns about the car wash potentially bringing the area's sewer capacity to excess of 90 percent.

On Nov. 12, the city received a letter from an attorney representing GWE Holdings — Doug Sloan — that requested a reconsideration on the project's site plan.

A day later on Nov. 13, the owners of GWE Holdings — Debbi and James Whitlock — filed a lawsuit against the city asking that their site plan for the car wash be "approved and that all necessary and appropriate permits and license be issued immediately." The lawsuit also asks of the Maury County Chancery Court that GWE Holdings "be awarded its legal fees and other expenses."

Fitterer has strongly challenged the basis for both Sloan's request for reconsideration and the lawsuit as being misrepresentative.

Spring Hill approves site plan for Great White Express Car Wash

Sloan appeared before the city Planning Commission at City Hall Monday night, making his case as to why the proposed car wash met all of the city's standards for such a project.

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Doug Sloan, an attorney with Bone McAllester Norton, speaks on behalf of the applicant of the Great White Express Car Wash.

Regarding traffic concerns, Sloan said that a traffic study found that the car wash would generate approximately 72 midday trips, and 86 trips in the evening. Based on the study's findings, Sloan argued, the site plan for the car wash was more than adequate to quash traffic concerns.

“At no time do car washes meet or exceed the 100 new peak hour trips that normally require a traffic study," Sloan said. "Nevertheless, my client did have the traffic study performed, and the study indicated that while the car wash will generate new traffic, much of [it] will be pass-by or diverted traffic that is already traveling the vicinity of the site.”

Touching on the commission's sewer capacity concerns, Sloan argued the results of a study commissioned by the city found the proposed car wash to not have any adverse effects on the area's sewer capacity, and that even during heavy rainfall, would not exceed 90 percent of the area's sewer capacity.

“The report submitted by the city’s engineer and the engineering firm hired by the city shows that sewer service is available to the property, and that the receiving pipe and downstream pipes have adequate capacity," Sloan said.

"The report goes on to state that unlike many other uses, car washes should not contribute to any peak wet weather flows as it will not operate during wet weather conditions. While the analysis shows this segment may reach 77 percent during wet weather conditions, the free capacity of the adjacent pipes and the size of the downstream connection will allow any peak events to adequately be routed along this section.”

Sloan added that the project also includes a reclamation system that is "designed to capture 80 percent to 90 percent of the water that they use on site to vastly reduce the amount of water that they’re using, and certainly the amount of water that they put back into the storm water system.”

Sloan also said the study found that the average time for the area's sewer systems to recover from rainfall was 45 minutes, or one and a half hours during heavy rainfall.

Not convinced, Fitterer proposed amending the request by adding a new condition of approval, one that would see a permit or certificate of occupancy — licenses that would be required for the car wash to operate — not be granted until "capacity of pipe be adequately addressed."

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Spring Hill Planning Commissioners cast their votes on the site plan of the Great White Express Car Wash.

"Based upon the information provided by the city staff and consultants addressing the [pipe] issue that [the sewer pipes on the site] peak at two to three days following rain events, I’m not convinced that [the pipes] have adequate capacity to accommodate this project," Fitterer said.

That amendment passed with a vote of 4-3, with the site plan itself being approved with a vote of 6-1, with Fitterer being the lone no vote.

Due to the ongoing lawsuit, Fitterer declined to comment on the discrepancy between his claim that the area's sewer capacity peaks at two to three days following rain, and Sloan's claim that the city-commissioned study found that it peaks at 45 minutes to one and a half hours.