The corner of Lake and Brown Streets in Penn Yan will become the next high-visibility redevelopment site if all goes to plan. The Yates County Planning Board has given its highest recommendation to the Special Use Permit to build a Classy Chassy car wash at 206 Lake St., stating the project will have “a positive county-wide, intermunicipal impact.”
Currently the location of East Side Grill, the site had been a gas station until the 1970s. As a result of that former use, there is petroleum ground contamination that must be cleaned up before construction can begin. Classy Chassis owner Jeff Arnold, who resides near Branchport, states that the current owners do not have the means to conduct the cleanup, but he is committed to opening a branch in Penn Yan, and believes the visibility and traffic of the Lake & Brown St. intersection is a prime location. Based in Clifton Springs, Classy Chassy has 25 existing car wash locations in New York State. Arnold says he expects the cleanup to take 6 to 9 months before actual construction of the carwash can begin, so he hopes to get underway soon.
In compliance with the 2020 Vision plan, the tunnel style car wash will be built close to the sidewalk and street, with the wait lane and vacuum stations located at the rear of the lot. The building and landscape plans are done to contribute to the appearance of the corner. Signage is expected to be on the building with a low, monument sign on the corner rather than a high pole mounted sign.
Board member Judy Wiltberger raised the question of traffic congestion at that intersection, which can be congested in summer traffic. Arnold replied that the busiest time for carwashes are spread over about 15 days ranging from December to March. He says he and the project engineer, Bill Grove of Naples, have met with N.Y.S. Dept. of Transportation on the issue. They report the DOT is pleased the existing three curb cuts on Lake Street will be reduced to one, and that the entrance will be as far away from the intersection as possible. There will be a single emergency-only exit onto Brown Street. The wait lane on the property will accomodate up to 20 car lengths, so the possibility of cars waiting in traffic to enter will be minimized.
Seeing the ground contamination cleanup as a benefit, board member Sarah Vestal moved that the board declare the project to have “a positive county-wide or intermunicipal impact,” which was approved unanimously. The project will now go back to the Village of Penn Yan for final approvals.