19 May 2009

Meadowview Truck Stop nixed… for now

The Washington County Planning Commission voted 4-2 against rezoning of a proposed site for a Love’s Travel Center at Exit 24 in Meadowview. This decision will force the Board of Supervisors into making the final determination based solely on its decision to adopt the recommendation or not.

There are plenty of reasons why the sale and development of the property should go ahead. Jobs, influx of secondary traffic to the area, and so on. However, this is only one good reason why it should not proceed. The elementary school. There is a tremendous amount of traffic associated with parents picking up their children from school. Even with the availability of school buses, a sizeable portion of parents elect to drop children off and pick them up.This traffic amounts to vehicles parking along side the road waiting for school to dismiss. The traffic load would increase significantly.

This is not the first time I’ve had to do some soul searching about a truck stop in the Meadowview, Emory and Glade Spring district. In 1999, during my campaign for Board of Supervisors, a truck stop had been proposed at then empty exit 29. I was asked repeatedly where I stood on it. I had no honest answer because I was torn between the need for jobs and development and the desire to protect home owners from unwanted source of noise and fuel fumes. The kicker this time is the school.

With the argument that the area needs jobs,there is another angle which is not being talked about. Where are the good paying industrial jobs that were promised with the development of the Glade area industrial park which is sitting unused with the access road and basic lighting already in place? Mr. Boucher intimated that with this addition, good paying industrial jobs would flock to the Glade Spring and Meadowview area. Where are they? The property has been unused for almost 4 years. Certainly there are companies that would view the proximity to the interstate as beneficial?

That’s right. Mr. Boucher spends most of his time selling out his constituents.

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