VOL. 17 ISSUE NO. 42   | OCTOBER 19 – 25, 2011


Plowing new ground in Cave Creek

‘How common is it to have a beer and wine bar at a car wash?’

CAVE CREEK – Mayor Vincent Francia opened up Monday night’s council meeting by thanking Town Manager Usama Abujbarah and Marshal Adam Stein for doing a great job over the weekend with the events in town.

Francia said Chris Wilson, the rezoning applicant for the southeast corner of Olesen and Cave Creek roads from Desert Rural to General Commercial, requested the item be continued indefinitely.

Councilman Thomas McGuire made the motion, stating the applicant needed more time to negotiate with Walmart on access issues.

jim bruceCouncilman Steve LaMar said he would prefer to have the item continued to a date certain, while Councilman Jim Bruce (left) stated, “I think they should reapply.”

Planning Director Ian Cordwell stated the agenda item would still require a public hearing and re-advertising if council voted to continue the item indefinitely. However, if the applicant were to reapply and start the process over again, it would also need to go back before the planning commission.

Council voted 5-2 to continue the item indefinitely with LaMar and Bruce dissenting.

Bruce’s motion to approve the first reading of an ordinance to rezone Chuck Ulrich’s parcel at the northeast corner of Yolantha Street and Cave Creek Road from Desert Rural to General Commercial carried unanimously.

Bruce noted the rezoning request was much the same as the one recently approved for Cameron Smith’s motorcycle repair business, which would then allow Ulrich to post a sign on his property to advertise his pool service business, and said, “It seems only fair to allow a business to advertise.”

Council voted unanimously to approve a resolution declaring “The Town of Cave Creek Zoning Ordinance” a public record.

Cordwell stated the revised ordinance is scheduled for a public hearing during the first meeting in November and was being presented to council in advance so they may review the document and contact staff if they have any questions.

The final item on the agenda was discussion and possible recommendation for approval of a #7 beer and wine bar license for QNC VIII, LLC, DBA Quick N’ Clean, the car wash located at 6925 E. Cave Creek Road.

david cisiewskiAttorney David Cisiewski (right), representing agent Michael Scarbrough, appeared before council to answer questions.

Vice Mayor Ernie Bunch asked, “How common is it to have a beer and wine bar at a car wash?”

“Not common,” responded Cisiewski, who said the purpose was to make it more pleasant for clients waiting while getting their vehicles detailed.

Pointing out there was limited parking at the car wash, Cisiewski said it would just be a limited offering for a limited time for clients who were getting their vehicles detailed.

Town Attorney Marlene Pontrelli, responding to council’s questions, said because it was a beer and wine bar license, they would be held to the same standard with all the same privileges and responsibilities as any other bar owner.

Councilman Thomas McGuire said, “I’m uncomfortable with this,” adding, “We have many fine bars in Cave Creek.”

He asked Cisiewski if he could cite other places that have done this.

Cisiewski said he could not.

Councilwoman Shelley Anderson said, “I cannot support this,” and asked, “Aren’t you walking distance to other bars?” suggesting the car wash was walking distance to Harold’s.
She questioned the notion of encouraging people to drink and then get in their cars and drive.

Cisiewski said it was really no different than people driving to any other place in town that serves alcohol, where they could conceivably drink for several hours, and then get in their cars and drive away.

LaMar said, “The fundamental question I have – Are we really turning a car wash into a bar?”

Bruce stated, “I think it’s absurd. We have more booze flowing around in this town.”

Bunch moved to recommend approval to the liquor board, with Councilman Dick Esser seconding the motion.

LaMar abstained from voting because he said he frequents the car wash.

However, with Anderson, Bruce and McGuire dissenting, council was deadlocked.
LaMar said he would go ahead and vote then.

The mayor called for a new motion, which Bunch and Esser accommodated.

With LaMar voting in favor, saying he didn’t really see any difference between a pastry shop selling beer and wine and this scenario, council passed a recommendation for approval.

Esser said the recommendation for approval was, “Plowing new ground,” which he said was befitting of Cave Creek.

The recommendation for approval will now go to the Arizona Department of Liquor Licenses and Control, which has the final say on whether or not to allow the license.