Councilwoman looks to eliminate 'pop-up car washes'

Are they legitimate businesses or just a front for criminal activity?

A plan is in the works to regulate an industry that currently has no laws on the books in Jacksonville, a businesses that's known as pop-up car washes. They could be shut down under legislation in the works by the city's Blight Committee.

Councilwoman Denise Lee says these so-called "mop and bucket" car washes encourage loitering. And she also claims some are nothing but fronts for criminal activity. On the other hand, some argue it is just a way to make a living.

Tomoania Turner's father manages a parking lot. She says they hire people with criminal records to help them get back into the workforce.

But right beyond the lot's gates -- you'll see people hanging out on the corner.

Councilwoman Lee says she often gets an earful from people who live in her district-- wanting to get rid of pop-up shops.

The city's Blight Committee is now drafting legislation to crack down on "pop up car washes."

Subcommittee Chairman John Crescimbeni says a plan has been in the works for about a month. Sites that claim to have a legitimate business under the ordinance would have to prove it.

Turner says they're doing nothing wrong. Her father's simple car wash has been on the Northside for about 10 years-- and she hopes it can stick around for another decade.

The ordnance would exempt car washes for non-profit agencies.

Crescimbeni says the committee will meet this Thursday -- to move forward with the legislation.


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