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Car wash wars in Greece

Greece, N.Y. -- On the heels of their victory at Clover Lanes in Brighton, the Daniele family, owners of Mario's Italian Restaurant and Royal Car Wash, jumped right into another development battle.

Instead of trying to stop a new car wash from coming to town, the family wants to open one of their own on West Ridge Road in Greece. The proposed location is right across the street from the Mall at Greece Ridge. The plan is to tear down a former school building, build a car wash and add another entrance to the lot on Duxbury Road.

In order to do this, the Daniele family needs the town's zoning board of appeals to approve a variance that allows part of the commercial property to spill out into a residential neighborhood.

At a meeting Wednesday night, Larry Wills, who lives on Duxbury Road, said the proposal would put the drive to the car wash right in his yard.

"It's there in the ordinance," Willis said. "It's there to protect the integrity of the neighborhood."

Several of Wills' neighbors spoke up at the meeting to voice their concerns about traffic and noise. Many were aggravated that the Daniele family stopped Delta Sonic from purchasing Clover Lanes and opening a car wash right across the street from the Royal Car Wash they own on Monroe Avenue.

With seven car washes in a three-mile radius, Jeffrey Gold, president of Buckmans Car Wash, said there is no way another should come into the area.

"We have the same thing right here," Gold said. "We have a car wash approximately the same distance from this new location as those two washes were proposed to be."

Danny Daniele said even if they wanted to, his family wouldn't be able to stop the Clover Lanes sale just to cut out their competition. The Daniele family has had a right-to-refusal agreement with the owner of the bowling alley that dates back two decades.

"It wasn't that we wanted to keep Delta Sonic out," he said. "We didn't know who it was. We didn't care who it was. We've always wanted the property and that's what our main goal was. We've be eyeing that property now for almost 20 years."

Now that a judge determined that the Daniele family is first in line to buy Clover Lanes, they are looking to expand their Brighton property. Potential plans include building a three- to four-story hotel with retail space and an underground tunnel that connects to the restaurant. If Brighton doesn't like the hotel plan, Daniele said it could be all retail space or possibly a high-end grocery store.

The family has offers and opportunities, and they plan to move forward on all fronts. Daniele said details with the Greece car wash should be finalized in the next couple of months, and then the board will vote on the issue.

Despite the opposition from some residents, Daniele said his family hopes to break ground on West Ridge Road by the end of this year, and that's not where their expansion ends.

The family plans to open four more car washes in the Rochester area and two more in the Buffalo area in the next three years.

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Washington Times