There Are So Many Car Washes In Harlingen, The City Is Actively Trying To Stop Them


The City of Harlingen is drowning in car washes, or perhaps in the soapy car wash water runoff, who knows!? One things for certain, they’ve just about had it with the wave (pun very much intended) of car washes .

Two weeks ago, the City of Harlingen announced on Facebook it would hold a public forum to discuss the possibility of passing an ordinance to keep new car washes from being developed along certain main roadways within the city limits, buffering them out in favor of shinier businesses, if you will.

One user’s comment was especially fantastic:

Even Harlingen’s Mayor, Norma Sepulveda, urged fellow residents to attend by really lathering up the issue having far greater implications, such as a city governments role in dictating what businesses should and shouldn’t be allowed.

Last night, the city held their public forum and, unfortunately, Harlingen’s hopes for curbing new car washes from foaming up around the city were completely washed out as the ordinance failed.

Sepulveda, however, was able to wax on a new ordinance that would be make opening new car washes in the city more difficult that will be discussed during the next meeting.

A quick search for “Harlingen Car Washes” yields 17 results on the first page of Google Maps, including 6 on or near Harrison and Tyler Avenues, the two main drags that go East and West through the city.

Allow me to get on my soap box for a minute (ok, I’ll stop) and get serious.

If there are too many car washes in a given area, they’re all going to lose money. It’s not a viable business practice to pretend that the amount of cars needing a car wash will continue to rise exponentially all while trying to keep up with the costs of operating the business and to try to stay ahead of your competitors. The free market will eventually decide that some of them won’t make the cut, but once that happens, the city will be left with vacant buildings that will be nearly impossible to fill due because some broker will want to hold out for a client who needs a building with expensive car wash infrastructure.

Does Harlingen want to be a city of vacant car washes running up and down Tyler and Harrison?

Let’s hope the next ordinance doesn’t get poured out.

Previous Story

RIP UTRGV Stadium: UTRGV Announces New Stupid Name For Stadium

Latest from RGV