PENDLETON – Homeowners living in a quiet subdivision in Pendleton are fighting the construction of a truck stop in their backyard that they claim would threaten their way of life.
Now, they’re gathering signatures on a petition hoping to be heard, but it may be difficult because the land doesn’t belong to their city but rather the town of Ingalls.
“(The community) was built for families, and we’re not going to feel safe letting our children out in that environment,” said Dawn Kopf, a concerned homeowner and parent.
Kopf said they are concerned about a possible increase in crime, pollution, noise and traffic. In addition, they fear the truck stop will decrease property values.
Next door neighbor Melissa Dixon said truck stops bring their share of problems.
“There’s prostitution and there’s drugs (associated with truck stops),” Dixon told Fox 59.
Oklahoma-based Love’s Travel Stops has plans to open a location in a large commercial lot that separates the homeowners’ subdivision from the interstate next fall.
Project developer Frank Ille said it’s the ideal spot for one of their stores and the property is zoned accordingly. He also said, while most of the neighbors’ concerns are unfounded, he will address them at a public hearing scheduled next week. The Ingalls Planning Commission will likely vote on the initial drawings and plans.
Ille said the truck stop would employ 80 people if the plan succeeds.
“It does make sense location-wise for the truck stop. However, I don’t think when you typically see truck stops, you do see a huge residential neighborhood adjacent,” said Erin Jones, another concerned homeowner.
The homeowners have collected more than 500 signatures online and on paper.
”We feel like we’re standing out here all alone. Nobody will represent us or help us or back us up or anything,” said Amanda Eikenberry, a homeowner who’s concerned about how much say they might have in the final decision.
The Ingalls Planning Commission president said the proposal is under review. Otherwise the commission had no comment. The town board will have the final say on the truck stop proposal.