Residents object, but new truck stop OK’d

HOLLAND TOWNSHIP, Mich. (WOOD) — The Holland Township Planning Commission Tuesday paved the way for a new truck stop, but that decision does not sit well with some area residents.

One resident got up near the end of a Tuesday evening planning commission meeting, walked to the back of the room at yelled at commissioners because there was not time allowed for public comment.

People at a Holland Planning Commission meeting to discuss a proposal to build a truck stop off M-40. (March 4, 2014)“You think there are accidents on M-40? That’s going to be ugly over there on 16th. I guarantee it,” resident John Petroelje shouted.

The chair of the planning commission said there was time for public comment at last month’s public hearing.

“We had a public hearing last month that public hear was published in the papers,” Jack Vandermeulen explained.

The new truck stop will be built on Adams Street, just off I-196.

The site off M-40 where a tuck stop may be built. (March 4, 2014)
(The Adams Street site where a tuck stop will be built. March 4, 2014)

“The planning commission is approving our use as a travel center,” Frank Ille, the development manager for Love’s Travel Stops, said.

He said in addition to a gas station, there will be a convenience store and restaurant.

There are still a few things to do before the truck stop is built, but with the green light from the planning commission, it would take something major for the plan to stall. But some residents raised concerns at Tuesday’s meeting, saying the truck stop wasn’t needed.

“There is another truck stop three miles down the road on M-40. There really is not a need for another one,” John Petroelje said.

And some were also worried about safety — a fear that stems from a nearby truck stop that has had deadly crashes.

“Look at the deaths there have been on M-40 by that truck stop in the last five, six years. It’s a shame,” Petroelje said. “It’s terrible when someone gets killed.”

Just one exit away on M-40, a Hamilton High School teacher was killed in December 2013 when a semi-truck leaving the Tulip City Truck Stop pulled out in front of him.

And in 2007, a father and two of his children were killed also after a semi-stuck pulled out in front of them leaving the same trucks top.

“I’m against it. I live a mile from it. When I walked in tonight I was under the assumption that the public would have a chance to talk,” Petroelje said.

Love’s Travel Stops said it hopes to have the new truck stop built and open by October 2015.

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