A new car wash development adjacent to – but not part of – The Falls at Crackerneck Creek in Independence cleared one hurdle Tuesday evening.

A new car wash development adjacent to – but not part of – The Falls at Crackerneck Creek in Independence cleared one hurdle Tuesday evening.


The Planning Commission voted 3-1 to allow a special use permit for a Green Lantern Car Wash at the northeast corner of U.S. 40 and South Cochise Court. The car wash – if it receives City Council approval – will be between Missouri 291 and Cheddar’s Casual Café, a restaurant that is part of the Bass Pro Shops-anchored The Falls at Crackerneck Creek.


But Planning Commission vice chairman Pat Campbell voted against the case, saying that a car wash just wasn’t what he had in mind for development in that area. Even though the business won’t be part of The Falls, Campbell did serve as the chairman of the TIF Commission when that project was approved in 2004.


“Fortunately – or unfortunately – I live right across from there,” Campbell said, “and I guess I hadn’t envisioned a car wash there. I don’t know what I had envisioned ... but I just didn’t envision a car wash. I don’t like the appearance of a car wash coming into that area. That’s a prejudice that I have.”


The Independence Green Lantern Car Wash would make its fourth location in the Kansas City area, with sites also in Olathe and Overland Park, Kan., and Liberty, as well as in the Wichita, Kan., and St. Louis markets.


Customers would enter and exit the site through a single driveway on South Cochise Court, and through the project, the developer will reconstruct South Cochise Court from U.S. 40 north to its intersection with East 46th Terrace.


All work done on vehicles is done inside a building, with no self-service washing or outside vacuums. If customers choose to have the inside of their vehicles cleaned, they can wait inside a small retail area that features beverages, snacks and minor automotive accessories for sale.


Donald Boos, director of real estate development for Blue Beacon International – Green Lantern’s parent company – said the company is committed to quality in all of its businesses.


“We build (our properties) to last, not for sale,” Boos said. “We put the best materials into them because we want to own and operate them forever.”


Green Lantern Car Wash doesn’t offer jobs at below-minimum wage level and doesn’t allow tipping for services provided. Employees are considered full-time at 24 hours of work each week and qualify for benefits, such as health insurance.


Many of the car wash employees are still in high school, experiencing their first jobs, Boos said, so Green Lantern offers a savings incentive – if employees hold money outside of their paycheck, Green Lantern offers 10 percent interest to encourage savings.


“We care about our employees, and we care about the cities we’re in,” Boos said.


He also addressed concerns like potential noise issues and late-night hours of operation. Green Lantern Car Wash closes at 8 p.m., except for Sundays, when it closes at 6 p.m.


“We’re not surprised by that – that’s become a very common thing we’re hearing in our industry,” Boos said of noise. The business must comply with the noise restrictions outlined in the City Code. “We’re fully aware of the ordinance, and we believe we comply. We’ve never had a problem at any of our other locations.”