Development talks surround unused land off I-91
By Jennifer Holloway - Staff Writer
Enfield - posted Fri., Apr. 15, 2011
A piece of land that has been difficult to develop may be on its way to finding use. The property, off I-91 exit 46, is located directly across from the southbound exit ramp, across the street from Bernie’s on King Street. Love’s Travel Stops & Country Stores, headquartered in Oklahoma City, has filed a petition with the town of Enfield for a text change to the zoning regulations as a first step in the development process.
According to Director of Planning Jose Giner, the petition asks for a text change to create a Highway Service Zoning district.
“There’s no such thing as an HSZ district in our book right now,” Giner said.
A public hearing will be held to discuss the text change. If approved, Love’s would then need to apply for a zone change. The land is currently zoned for industrial use and would require the highway service zoning to be used for Love's purpose. A subsequent hearing would be held to discuss the zoning change.
Giner said Love’s is interested in developing a travel stop with a gas station, potential fast food restaurant, convenience store, parking and a rest area for truck drivers instead of a full-fledged truck stop.
“When they explained it, [truck drivers] could stay for a few hours,” Giner said.
Jenny Love Meyer, director of communications for Love’s, said the company could not comment on the proposal until a final agreement has been reached.
Though it is early in the process, Giner spoke positively about the development. In addition to providing economic growth, a travel stop would give truck drivers a safer alternative to parking on the ramp. Doing so creates ruts on the shoulder and is a potential safety hazard for other drivers.
The location should not impact any residential areas, create excess noise or add traffic to local streets as both northbound and southbound travelers can easily access it from the interstate.
The public hearing on the text change petition will be Thursday, April 21 at 7 p.m. at the Enfield Town Hall. Residents are encouraged to attend and ask questions or speak in favor or against the petition.