Tidal Wave is operating under a temporary permit


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 first in a two-part series. Read Part 2 here.

The newly opened Tidal Wave Car Wash Center in Sunset Hills will operate for the foreseeable future under a temporary occupancy agreement after the plan for the intersection near the car wash was rejected by the Board of Aldermen.

The car wash opened in December.

Edison Real Estate Three LLC, property owner of the Tidal Wave car wash at 3270 S. Lindbergh Blvd., submitted an amended development plan that changes the lane striping required on the originally approved site plan at the car wash intersection of East Watson Road and South Lindbergh Boulevard.

The project was approved in 2018 through a tie-breaker from Mayor Pat Fribis, replacing the derelict Econo Lodge. One condition of approval by the aldermen at that time was reconfiguring the striping on East Watson Road to create a right-turn lane onto Lindbergh Boulevard.

But under the plan from aldermen, the traffic lights on the Rott Road side of the intersection would not be properly centered over the traffic lanes. So the lanes were restriped in their current configuration to line up with the mast arm containing the traffic lane.

Approval of the amended development plan would have meant that the intersection’s current striping remains, while denial meant that the Tidal Wave continues to operate with a temporary occupancy permit until the original conditions from 2018 come into compliance. The Planning and Zoning Commission recommended denial on the grounds that Tidal Wave could operate until the Missouri Department of Transportation, or MoDOT, makes improvements along South Lindbergh Boulevard next year that include replacement of the mast arm at the East Watson/South Lindbergh intersection. That would allow the lane configuration that was approved in 2018.

In order to authorize temporary occupancy with those conditions, City Attorney Robert E. Jones said Feb. 9 that aldermen would have to reject the amended development plan, which they did.

“We’re OK with the Planning and Zoning Commission denial … and the conditions,” said Brandon Harp of Civil Engineering Design Consultants. “We have met with MoDOT and those design changes are in the process of being implemented.”

The conditions added onto the permit require that the petitioner works with MoDOT on the intersection and submits a $2,000 escrow released after the intersection improvements are made.

“It sounds like the developer is fine with this,” said Ward 2 Alderman Casey Wong, who represents the car wash’s ward.