Plan commission OKs new products at mobile-home park laundromat

Plan commission OKs new products at mobile-home park laundromat

CHAMPAIGN — Despite some pushback from nearby residents, a laundromat within the Shadowwood mobile-home park cleared the first hurdle for being able to sell a small range of convenience items.

On Wednesday, the Champaign Plan Commission unanimously approved product sales at the Suds City laundromat, at 1600 N. Market St. The approval came with some new requirements to the original plan — no sales of tobacco, liquor or adult materials and no product delivery from 10 p.m. to 7 a.m.

The Champaign City Council will take a final vote on the issue on Dec. 19.

Suds City is owned by Sam Panchal, who said selling products could offset some recent financial struggles. His initial proposal included selling alcohol and tobacco, which several Shadowwood residents said they didn't want. After hearing their concerns, Panchal quickly dropped those from his proposal.

Hiren Panchal, the owner's son and a laundromat employee, said the plan is to sell everyday goods, like tissues and hand sanitizer, and some packaged food, such as chips. He said there's no desire to become similar to convenience stores, like 7-Eleven.

Some Shadowwood residents feared the added offerings could attract outside traffic to a laundromat mainly used by the nearby residents. There's a parking lot between Suds City and the Shadowwood leasing office, and resident Fiona Tapia said she is concerned about the safety of kids who hang out there.

She added that Suds City would also be competing with the Family Dollar, located a few blocks to the south at Bradley and Market.

Patricia Avery, the former NAACP Champaign County president, also encouraged the commission to disapprove of Panchal's proposal.

"This business is in their back door," Avery said of Shadowwood residents. "We've had enough of these convenience stores and know the trouble it brings."

Sejal Panchal, the owner's daughter and a laundromat employee, responded by saying that Shadowwood owner Mark Lofman has told parents to keep kids out of the parking lot.

"I wouldn't want any kids to get hurt," Sejal Panchal said. "This is just to add a tad bit of income to keep this business going — packed food, soda, little supplies for kids or handmade jewelry, we've had some requests for that."Commission member Paul Cole said that not being able to predict if sales will succeed shouldn't stop the board from allowing Suds City to try.These are the other regulations that would be enacted if Suds City is allowed to sell products, according to city associate planner Ben LeRoy:

— The business can't become larger than its current footprint.

— Seven parking spaces will be reserved for customers.

— The store won't be open anytime outside 7 a.m. and 10 p.m.

— Product delivery will occur in the parking lot adjacent from Market Street.

— The store will follow sign regulations under the city's Commercial Neighborhood Zoning District.

— Signs can't be illuminated outside the store's regular hours of operation.

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cjw61822@hotmail.com wrote on December 07, 2017 at 5:12 pm

Patricia Avery, the former NAACP Champaign County president, also encouraged the commission to disapprove of Panchal's proposal.

"This business is in their back door," Avery said of Shadowwood residents. "We've had enough of these convenience stores and know the trouble it brings."

 

Whose causing the problems Patty or would that be too racist to ask.....................

 

I dont see alot of calls for services to the Caseys in Mahomet   Tolono etc.