Green River Star -

By David Martin
Editor 

Zone change for proposed truck stop approved

 

December 19, 2018



Residents are one step closer to seeing a new truck stop in Sweetwater County.

Tuesday, the Sweetwater County Commissioners approved a zone change for two parcels west of Jamestown.

The commissioners approved the change from agricultural to commercial in a 3-2 vote where Commissioners John Kolb and Reid West voted against the change. The proposal passed through the Sweetwater County Planning and Zoning Commission with a 3-1 decision Dec. 12.

According to meeting documents, the truck stop is in the conceptual stage and is planned to include a travel center, truck lube and tire facility and a parking area with fuel pumps.

West doesn’t believe the location is the best place to build a truck stop, saying traffic going west would start decelerating over the bridge as vehicles approach the exit ramp leading to the truck stop.

During snowy conditions, West said the bridge would be icy and thinks the ramp isn’t long enough to support multiple vehicles leaving the interstate, citing instances where trucks can be seen lined up on the interstate as they attempt to exit to the truck stops on Elk Street in Rock Springs.

His other concern is for traffic moving east, believing hill near the exit ramp to cause people to brake hard as they attempt to exit the interstate, which he sees as a problem in icy conditions.

“It doesn’t seem like an ideal location to me based on those comments,” West said.

Kim Van Dyke, a representative of Love’s Travel Stops admits no one can control Wyoming weather, but said the company’s traffic studies suggest the ramps can accommodate the volume of vehicles leaving the interstate and can help remove traffic from the interstate during severe weather conditions and not have vehicles park on the side of the interstate or on the ramps.

“That’s your safety card,” he said.

Kolb said he’s concerned with an inversion issue near truck stops, saying exhaust from idling trucks gets trapped in low-lying areas.

“That’s not to say we don’t need truck stops and we don’t need them around our county,” Kolb said. “I think they’re vital.”

Steve Core, vice president of the Rolling Green Country Club Board and representing 250 owners of the golf course, said they have major concerns about the proposal.

He said those concerns haven’t changed since a proposal was made by Petro to build a truck stop in the area in 1989.

Saying the group shares Kolb’s concerns about inversion and pollution, Core said they’re also concerned with the increased traffic coming off the interstate near the golf course, as well as trash, noise and a possible leakage into the the nearby river, which provides drinking water for residents. Core also asked what the next step of the process is after the commissioners approve the zoning change.

Eric Bingham, director of the county’s land use department, said the decision does not mean a truck stop will be built. He said the land owners would need to apply for a conditional use permit to allow a truck stop to be built, going through the county’s planning and zoning board and ultimately, the county commissioners.

“It’ll be about a two or three month process,” Bingham said.

Core said he has no issue with making the land commercial, but has major issues with a truck stop.

The county also received comments in favor of the zone change and truck stop.

“We are in favor of the zone change of the above property from A (Agriculture) to C (Commercial) and (feel) it would be advantageous for Green River as it would increase the tax base and provide additional jobs in the community,” Robert and Margaret Dyer wrote in a comment sent to the county.

The Wyoming Department of Transportation also has no objections to the zone change, but requested the right to make future comments and review as commercial development begins

 

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