City Council 'walking a tightrope' with truck stop vote - KCBD NewsChannel 11 Lubbock

City Council 'walking a tightrope' with truck stop vote

Lubbock City Councilman Jim Gerlt Lubbock City Councilman Jim Gerlt

On Thursday the Lubbock City Council will vote a second time and decide whether or not to allow a Love's truck stop to be built off I-27.

The location would be west of I-27 on the south side of Regis. Many residents have expressed concern about having a truck stop close to their homes and although the council voted 6 to 0 initially, the debate is far from over.

"My mind's not totally made up yet. It will be made up when I get to hear some of the things Thursday night," said Lubbock City Councilman Jim Gerlt. "I really felt like even though they (Love's) complied with the rules with the notification of people within 200 yards or whatever it is, there are folks just slightly beyond that who did not have notification. I feel like they need to have some opportunity to give some input to the Love's company."

Gerlt was one of the council members who issued a warning to Love's on March 27. Although he initially voted yes, Gerlt wanted the company to listen to the residents.

"I've got to make sure that the citizens have had a chance to talk with the Love's representative. I don't expect them to hold hands and sing kumbaya but I would like them to say we've talked about it, we've been heard - we don't like it but we think that they're going to address some things that we can live with," he said.

"I really don't see that area being developed as residential. I think just because of its location I don't see it being developed as residential. No one has expressed an interest in developing that as residential property so I think its best usage is going to be commercial."

Gerlt says that's one of the issues the council is dealing with. They have an opportunity to develop North Lubbock, but they also have to listen to the public.

"It's walking a tightrope, there's no question about that. I know the citizens don't want their property values to go down and I don't think that will happen, but they've got a legitimate concern. They've made an investment in that area. They want to have a nice home, a nice quality of life. Several of them have sent emails to me and to other members of the council I'm sure, expressing some concerns about putting a truck stop that close to their physical location."

Many of those complaints have been about pollution, noise, bright lights, prostitution and drugs - among other things. Councilman Gerlt understands their concerns but isn't sure how much one truck stop will change the prevalence of those things, especially the noise problem.

"The noise, you know. they're by an airport, they're by an interstate already. I don't know how much additional noise that will add."

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