More than 65 people, many of them Deerfield’s existing dry cleaners, objected to a proposed ordinance granting a special use permit to CD One Price Cleaners Tuesday at a meeting of the Village Board of Trustees fearing it will put them out of business.
No vote was taken during the first reading of the law that would allow CD One Price to open a plant at 190 Waukegan Road offering one price per item of dry cleaning and a separate single cost per piece of laundry. There will be a vote Feb. 3.
Before the Board listened to the local business owners and their representative, Village Attorney Peter Colbentz explained the criteria for a special use permit including the section of Deerfield’s code requiring a dry cleaning facility not exceed 2,750 square feet. CD One Price is asking to run a 3,000 square foot plant.
“If the cleaner were at the required size there would not be a hearing tonight,” Colbentz said. “This is a zoning matter. We do not use zoning to prohibit business competition.”
The existing cleaners claim the size of CD One Price’s facility is one of the reasons the newcomer can significantly undercut their prices along with the fact it does not offer full services. It only cleans and launders apparel.
“They need immense volume to make this work and that is why they need 3,000 square feet,” Steven Saks, an attorney representing a number of the existing cleaners, said. “The large square footage allows them to undercut by price.”
Arnold Karolewski of Deerfield, an attorney representing CD One Price and others affiliated with the new project, claims the 250 square foot difference will not matter. “Zoning should not be used to keep out competition,” he said.
Both Angela Kim of Osterman Cleaners and Jemma Jones of Commons Cleaners told the Board their businesses cannot survive on the specialty services they offer which CD One Price does not. “The end result will be loss of revenue and jobs in the Village,” Jones said.
Mayor Harriet Rosenthal tried to reassure the business owners, some of whom have been in Deerfield over 20 years. “We have done research where there has been a one price cleaner the moms and pops have not gone one of business,” she said.
Patch will have a more detailed article on this issue and other Board business later this week.
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