Jun. 25—EB Fuel stop owner Marc Erwin is interested in bringing a small truck stop to Vandalia as city leaders want to reduce commercial truck traffic downtown.
Vandalia city council reviewed during a study session an application requesting to rezone almost 9 acres of land at 2700 West National Road from Highway Business to an Industrial zoning to build a truck facility with 10 to 12 spaces for overnight parking, a convenience store, fueling facility and a small restaurant area. Erwin also has requested a conditional use permit for the site.
"It's a place for truckers when they come in in the middle of the night, they have a place to park so they can make a delivery or pick up the next morning," Erwin said. "So they're not sitting on the streets or along the off ramp. It's really a good thing for the town."
The application comes at a time where the city is getting stricter on commercial trucking through its downtown area. The city is working with the police division as well as the Ohio Department of Transportation to develop plans to keep truck traffic low to decrease complaints and safety hazards on the road.
Erwin said the development could help with those concerns.
"What I've been hearing is you guys have a truck problem. This would keep the trucks out of your area, some of them, but not all of them," he said. "They wouldn't be downtown trying to find a place to park and then they can leave out Access Road to 70 and be gone."
If the land is rezoned to industrial, it won't automatically mean that the proposed development will move forward because the conditional use permit still would need approved as well.
The rezoning request is consistent with the city's comprehensive plan and future land use map, Assistant City Manager Amber Holloway said.
Councilmember David Lewis said while he believes that the project wouldn't add traffic to the area, the size of the development is "problematic" due to the size and numbers of trucks the facility would allow.
"They are hard to turn around and you have 10 or 12 folks crowded in there trying to find a space to sleep and then you've got other people coming and going. I think it's going to be a tightly packed operation," he said.
In addition to the size of the property, Lewis said it sets the wrong precedent as they continue to fight an uphill battle with the current truck traffic.
The first reading of the rezoning request will be at council's July 19 meeting, with the second reading in August, when a decision will be made.