Residents to council: no truck stop
First reading approved
David Jacobs (DJACOBS@RGJ.COM)
November 29, 2007
Adult bookstores and adult entertainment. Liquor stores and billboards.
All were mentioned Wednesday night as Reno City Council took on the issue of truck stops.
Council approved the first reading of an ordinance defining what truck stops are and where they could be built.
Having a minimum of a 10-acre site, fewer than 200 truck parking spots and including industrial zoning with a special-use permit are part of the proposed ordinance.
Officials said suitable locations for adult bookstores and liquor stores already have been dealt with by the city and that truck-stop locations are appropriate to address now.
The vote Wednesday night was 6-0 with Mayor Bob Cashell abstaining.
The council members plan to revisit the ordinance when a second reading is held. A date has not been finalized.
About 50 people signed up Wednesday night to speak to the council, which took up the issue after a three-hour hearing on a South Meadows development project.
Many of those on hand in the Reno-Sparks Convention Center live in the McQueen area of northwest Reno.
The ordinance stemmed their opposition to word of a Flying J truck stop eventually being built on a 48-acre truck stop south of the Robb Drive interchange at Interstate 80.
Officials, however, were quick to say that the ordinance is not specific to any plans for a Flying J. City Council members also stated they had seen no plans for a Flying J at that site. Any plan for one would come as part of future action before council on a site-specific proposal, officials said.
Flying J representatives at the meeting expressed "serious concerns" about the ordinance.
It was described by them as a blanket-type measure, overly restrictive and unreasonable that could mean no new truck stops in Reno. They also were referred to as "travel centers" with automobiles frequently using them. Also mentioned was that trucks using these sites carry needed goods to consumers.
Boomtown also expressed some opposition. Concerns include that new restrictions would impact future rebuilding of an existing truck stop in the Boomtown area.
City staff members plan to work with Boomtown. They are seeking to find a way for Boomtown to carry out future truck-stop plans without extra hurdles brought on by the proposed ordinance.
Responding to concerns, Reno staffers also are identifying sites within the city where truck stops could be built. Mentioned as possibilities under current industrial uses were the Cold Springs area and off Stead Boulevard.
McQueen area residents said their northwest Reno community would not be a suitable location for a future truck stop. Their concerns include trash, noise, lights, the environment, potential crime and increased traffic congestion.
Residents also consider the area to be a gateway to Reno from eastbound I-80. Their suggestions included creating a park at the 48-acre site.
They support the ordinance if that means no truck stop in their neighborhood. "I am for this ordinance," Fred Frampton said. "It is a great piece of work."
Mayor Cashell abstained because of his past private business experience involving the travel-tourism industry.