Neighbors object to light, noise from car wash


Photo by Erin Achenbach

The Tidal Wave Wash Center as of May 2021 in Sunset Hills, 3720 S. Lindbergh Blvd.

By Erin Achenbach, Staff Reporter

This is the last in a two-part series. Read Part 1 here.

Several Sunset Hills residents have submitted letters to the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission objecting to the lights and noise from the Tidal Wave Wash Center that opened in December at 3270 S. Lindbergh Blvd.

The car wash in Sunset Hills is billed as a “wash center,” with a full-service car wash, gas station,  convenience store, a cafe featuring Kaldi’s Coffee and a drive-thru Smoothie King.

No one spoke about the Tidal Wave at the Feb. 9 Board of Aldermen meeting where Tidal Wave was granted a temporary occupancy permit, but several residents submitted letters ahead of the Feb. 3 Planning and Zoning meeting.

In addition to traffic concerns at the East Watson/South Lindbergh intersection, many residents were also troubled by noise and light from the car wash and the lack of a fence between the car wash and residential areas behind the property.

“The noise and lighting from the car wash tunnel is a serious issue. … The car wash tunnel light is left on 24 hours a day and shines as a beacon light into our yard and homes all day long,” said Assistant City Planner Lynn Sprick, reading public comments submitted electronically. “The noise from the car wash operations, shouting from the coworkers … and the light from vehicles using the facility flow out from the tunnel without any protection for the residents. …”

Because the property abuts another commercial property to the rear, the developer was not required to install a fence, said Sprick. Since the board denied the amended development plan, it couldn’t place new conditions on the plan such as a rear fence or the car wash tunnel light.

Public Works Director Bryson Baker said that the city would continue to work with the developer to address the lighting issue.

“It’s something we talked to the developer about and will continue to talk to the developer, and that can go along with the lighting study, making sure that it meets all the city requirements,” said Baker. “Then if they meet all the requirements we’ll just have to work with the developer to have them make some adjustments to it.”