Express Car Wash Sues Charlottesville

Henry Weinshenk’s Express Car Wash has, with the help of The Rutherford Institute, filed a federal lawsuit against the City of Charlottesville over last year’s water restrictions, WINA reports. As a refresher, on September 17, emergency water rationing was put into place by the city when the water supply was forecast to be exhausted in 80-100 days. As the first step, outdoor water usage restrictions were put into place, followed by raising the price of water and ordering car washes to shut down. On September 20, Weinshenk announced that he had no intention of ceasing operations, believing that it was reasonable to use the dwindling water supply to wash cars. After being met with heavy criticism, Weinshenk issued a press release three days later, announcing that they had switched to a water-free system of cleaning the cars, thus remaining open throughout the drought. According to a press release by The Rutherford Institute, they are seeking to have the drought restrictions declared unconstitutional, plus damages. “Local businessmen should be able to operate free of fear that they will be arbitrarily shut down by government officials in times of duress,” declares Rutherford president John Whitehead in the release. Was this a case of unfair targeting, or was it a reasonable restriction in a time of emergency?

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