A highly-debated proposal to build a full-service truck stop in Santa Fe has won, in concept, the approval of the Santa Fe County Commission.
But the part of the plan allowing for semitrailer trucks to park at the site in question was rejected by those same commissioners who said area land use rules prohibit such use.
For the last year, the Knoxville, Tennessee-based Pilot Flying J company has been trying to secure the county’s approval to build a combined truck stop and travel center at the interchange of Interstate 25 and Cerrillos Road in southwest Santa Fe.
A conceptual plan submitted several months ago to the commission said the project would encompass 26 acres, with 10 of those acres being given over to the truck stop itself, while the remaining 16 acres would see the later development of two hotels, and retail space.
In response, area residents have packed both County Commission and Planning Commission meetings, saying that the project is too large for the immediate vicinity and would create too much noise and traffic.
In a series of votes, members of the County Commission agreed that the overall plan to develop the 26-acre site was in keeping with county land use requirements.
But commission members also voted in opposition to the truck stop aspect of the project, which would include a gas station, and 13,600 square-foot building housing restaurants, restrooms, and a convenience store, saying such developments were prohibited under the Santa Fe County’s Sustainable Growth Management Plan.
It is not certain if this most recent commission action will mark the end of Pilot Flying J’s effort to build at the site.
Although representatives of the Pilot Flying J have not yet indicated what course of action will be taken in the wake of the commission decision, the company could appeal that decision before the First Judicial District Court in Santa Fe.
By Garry Boulard
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