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Wilmette Cites Noise Concerns, Denies Car Wash

The proposed $1.2 million plan would have added a gas pump, a drive-through car wash and a convenience store at 3501 Lake Avenue.

Wilmette trustees voted 7-0 denying variance requests necessary to install a car wash at the Shell gas station at 3501 Lake Ave., siding with neighbors over noise concerns, Chicago Tribune reported. 

The proposed $1.2 million plan would have added a gas pump, a drive-through car wash and a convenience store at the roughly 16,000-square foot space, which is located in the village’s neighborhood retail zone. 

Among the zoning variations, Wilmette trustees and neighbors of the gas station were most concerned with the request for a 30.8-decibel noise variation to permit the operation of a car wash.  In a neighborhood retail zone, the village permits 50 decibels between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. and 45 decibels between 7 p.m. and 7 a.m. 

During an August board meeting Trustee Bob Bielinski said  

“My understanding is if you go up 10 decibels from a human ear point of view, 10 decibels is twice as loud and 20 decibels is four times as loud and 30 decibels is eight times as loud,” Belinski said. “So 80 versus 50 is eight times as loud, not, well, it’s 15 percent louder – it’s eight times as loud.”

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