The Herald Banner, Greenville, TX

September 26, 2013

Agreement reached in car wash noise dispute

By BRAD KELLAR
Herald-Banner Staff

GREENVILLE — Representatives for the City of Greenville and the owner of a local car wash have reached a settlement concerning claims of excessive noise coming from the facility.

Late Tuesday night the Greenville City Council adjourned an executive session, returned to the regular session and authorized City Attorney Daniel Ray to proceed with the agreement with Carlos Limones, the owner of the car wash along FM 1570 in Greenville.

Ray said the agreement will address the noise issue, which has resulted in several hundred misdemeanor charges filed against the business in municipal court.

“It appears as if that is going to be taken care of,” Ray said.

Ray and a subcommittee of the council met with Limones and his attorney Tuesday afternoon, prior to the start of the council’s regular session, during which the agreement was hammered out.

Earlier this month, the council instructed Ray to file an injunction against the business, which had angered the residents of an adjacent neighborhood. The injunction has not been filed, although Limones filed suit against the city, Ray, Council member Dan Perkins, Police Chief Daniel Busken, Assistant Police Chief Scott Smith and several individuals from the neighborhood, following the filing of approximately 789 misdemeanor counts in connection with the use of a blow dryer in each of two automatic drive-through bays at the car wash.

In his suit, filed with the United States District Court for the Northern District of Texas in Dallas, Limones claimed the charges were the result of a conspiracy on the part of the city, acting through Ray, Perkins, Busken, Smith and the neighborhood residents, in retaliation for his refusal to settle the dispute “on terms they dictated to him.”

Under the agreement, both sides will drop their actions. In return, Limones would take measures to reduce the noise coming from the car wash.

“It would involve building an eight foot fence and installing equipment at the facility,” Ray said, adding the city would draft an amendment to the its noise ordinance which would “set an objective decibel level” upon which to base noise complaints in the future.

Ray said the amended ordinance and formal settlement will be presented to the council in the near future.

“I expect that to be at the first meeting in October or possibly the second,” he said.