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Mobile car washing businesses in Santa Maria protest new proposed rules

mobile car wash protest santa maria.jpg
Posted at 4:53 PM, Mar 23, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-23 19:53:59-04

Owners of mobile car washing businesses in Santa Maria are protesting proposed regulations that they say could put many of them out of business.

A group representing the businesses and their supporters marched to Santa Maria City Hall on Tuesday.

They are against a proposal that would ban mobile car washers from working on city streets and establish regulations for water runoff.

Business owners say these new regulations are unfair.

"These are families trying to get by, trying to make a living, trying to support themselves," said Chris Barajas, California Detail Center owner. "They're not asking for a handout, they're out there working during a pandemic when there's no jobs to be had. What are these people going to do right now?"

City officials say they want to help mobile car washing services prosper while also passing regulations with safety and fairness in mind and that protect the environment from wastewater that's discharged onto the street.

"The City is not trying to put anybody out of business. The goal is to have mobile commercial washers return to being mobile, not stationary on a street, which is what drives many of the complaints we receive," city officials said in a statement.

Car wash owners say they would have to purchase new equipment in order to comply with the proposed rules.

On March 16, the city council voted to direct staff to establish regulations for mobile car washing services. The next city council meeting is scheduled for April 6.