Traveler's plaza scales back proposal

January 15, 1997


Staff Writer

A plan for developing a traveler's plaza at the intersection of Hopewell Road and Halfway Boulevard has been scaled back, developers said at a hearing before the Washington County Board of Zoning Appeals Wednesday night.

The concept plan submitted by Donald M. Bowman Jr. for the 11557 Hopewell Road location originally included a 60-room motel, a 40,000-square-foot grocery store and a 25,000-square-foot strip shopping center. Those features have been eliminated.

What remains in the plan are fueling stations for trucks and cars, underground fueling tanks, a truck wash, a convenience store, a full-service restaurant and a fast-food restaurant. An existing repair facility and warehouses will remain on the site.


Bowman said after the hearing that he might consider adding the other facilities in the future.

Nearby residents and AC&T representatives voiced concerns about traffic that the truck stop would generate. AC&T owns a truck stop across the street from Bowman's proposed site.

Rick Guhr, president of the nearby Lakeside Park Mobile Home Park Tenants Association, said residents didn't oppose economic development but were worried about the dangers of increased traffic at Halfway Boulevard and Stotler Road, the only access road to the community.

Guhr said the intersection isn't safe and that residents would like to see a warning light at the intersection, a wider intersection and a second entrance to the mobile home park.

"There's going to be somebody killed there, I'm afraid," he said.

AC&T Vice President Brad Fulton said he wasn't opposed to the creation of a truck stop at Bowman's site but said he was concerned that area roads already are overtaxed. "We're trying to put 10 pounds of groceries in an 8-pound sack," he said.

Fulton said the interchange at Interstate 81 won't be upgraded for at least five years and said he was worried the truck stop would make it harder for trucks to get in and out of the AC&T truck stop.

"To me it seems like until these problems are fixed it would be like putting wood on a fire," he said.

Bowman attorney John Urner said the real issue was that Bowman was entitled to build each of the businesses in the plan individually without coming to the appeals board. Urner said it made more sense to develop one consolidated plan.

Bowman said at the meeting that most of the 480 trucks in his fleet will get their fuel from the new truck stop.

A traffic expert employed by Bowman said that the truck stop would have no adverse effect on area intersections.

The Board of Zoning Appeals will rule on whether to grant a special exception for a traveler's plaza in the next 30 days.

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