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Carwash, Jiffy Lube Get Thumbs Up

It's on to the county Planning Commission next week for a proposed new carwash and Jiffy Lube in Centreville. The joint project got a thumbs-up recently from the West Fairfax County Citizens Association (WFCCA) Land-Use Committee.

The businesses hope to open up together on the south side of Route 29, just west of the Pickwick Square Shopping Center. They'd be tucked between the existing Exxon station and the shopping center. But the plan needs the county's blessing to rezone the site from residential to commercial, plus a special-exception permit for vehicle light service.

Representing Guy Paolozzi of Suds! carwash and Al Quinnville of Jiffy Lube — operating together as P-Q LLC — attorney Keith Martin updated the WFCCA on revisions made to the original proposal. He said the applicants had "made great strides" in reducing the intensity of the uses and adding landscaping.

The Jiffy Lube was initially slated to be a 2,600-square-foot building with three service bays. "[County] staff wanted less parking so — addressing the intensity issue — we cut close to 1,500 square feet out of the building and all the self-service bays are gone," said Martin. "Three detailing bays remain."

That change freed up more of the property for greenery to be added along Route 29 and the periphery of the site. Said Martin: "From Lee Highway, you won't see the cars underneath the canopy."

However, staff and the applicants still haven't come to terms about how customers would drive away from these businesses. "Staff would prefer we not have direct access from the service drive onto Lee Highway," said Martin. He said the county wants the entrances to the two businesses combined into one.

"But they're just not compatible," he explained. "Patrons would go through the carwash faster than through the Jiffy Lube. Suds!' goal is to have you off-site in three minutes — Jiffy Lube's goal is to have you off-site in under 30 minutes."

In response to a request from WFCCA, Martin said both buildings will have brick exteriors, in a light shade. Both businesses would be open Monday-Friday, 7 a.m.-8 p.m., and Saturday-Sunday, 8 a.m.-7 p.m. If the new project is approved, the existing Jiffy Lube, just east of the site, along Route 29, would close.

The WFCCA's Richard Smith said he likes the idea of "a double flow of cars — one for each use." Otherwise, he said, it could be congested, plus confusing about which line is for which business.

Sully Station resident Gil Kesser appreciated the reduction in the size of the building and said the project would be "a fine addition to the community." The WFCCA then unanimously approved it, with conditions including shielded, downward-directed lights, no exterior neon and access to Route 29 only with staff approval. The Planning Commission will consider it next Wednesday, Dec. 11.