McQueen-area residents fight proposed truck stop

BY VICTOR CALDERON • • March 27, 2008
Reno Gazette Journal

A group of residents in the Somersett and McQueen neighborhoods in northwest Reno are collecting signatures against a proposed truck stop at Interstate 80 and Robb Drive.

Rob Morrison, a resident in the Somersett area, presented more than 500 signatures to the Ward 5 Northwest Neighborhood Advisory Board at its meeting Mar. 20. About 130 people attended the NAB meeting, which had to be moved to the Reno City Council chambers from the McQueen Fire Station to accommodate the larger crowd.

Morrison said residents are collecting more signatures around the neighborhood and at the Roundabout Market in the Somersett Town Center to present to Reno city council and planning commission members.

“Truck stops themselves are not a bad idea but truck stops in residential areas are bad ideas,” Morrison said Thursday.

Ogden, Utah-based Flying J Inc., the nation’s largest truck stop company, has proposed a truck stop on 48 acres on the south side of I-80 and Robb. The area is bordered by wards 1 and 5.

In December, the Reno City Council approved an ordinance banning truck stops from all but industrial zones in the city despite talk of potential lawsuits from the companies controlling Flying J truck stops and Boomtown.

Flying J’s land is zoned large-lot residential.

Truck stop proponents have filed an application for a special planning area to develop a planned unit development, said Breese Burnley, chair of the Ward 5 Northwest NAB.

The item now goes up for more public comment at the Ward 1 NAB meeting April 8 and then the planning commission, Burnley said.

Morrison said another truck stop to add to several stops already located between Fernley and the California border would be unsightly.

“Every night people in the McQueen area would be looking down the hill at bright lights not to mention the truck fumes coming from idling vehicles,” he said.

With the the proposed truck stop near a bluff that leads to the Truckee River, any leak from vehicles could get into residents’ drinking water, Morrison said.

Flying J officials could not be reached for comment Thursday afternoon