By Stuart Hirsch
The Herald Bulletin
INGALLS, Ind. —
Residents of the Summerlake addition were not feeling love Monday night for a proposed truck stop at Exit 214 on Interstate 69.
Oklahoma-based Love's Travel Stops & Country Stores wants to invest about $9 million to build one of its travel stops at the interchange of I-69 and Indiana 13.
The Ingalls Advisory Plan Commission was considering the company’s preliminary plat — the first of three detailed reviews that will occur for the proposal.
In addition selling gas and convenience items, the store would feature a McDonald’s and Chester’s Chicken as well as catering to the needs of long-haul truckers.
But more than 100 Summerlake residents made clear that the last thing they want is another 24-hour truck stop at the interchange with its traffic, noise, odor, environmental hazards and the potential dangers created by transients.
It isn’t that residents of the addition are against development, many who testified said.
Substitute a grocery store, medical buildings or retail shops at the interchange and their reaction would probably be a lot different.
“I’m very concerned about this truck stop,” said Summerlake resident Jeff Pokone. More than 3,000 people live in the 850-home development. Many of them use Indiana 13 during rush hour in their morning commutes to jobs in Indianapolis or Hamilton County.
Pokone said he’s stopped at Love’s store before and most aren’t nearly as close to housing developments.
Many mothers who testified said they worried about the safety of their children.
“We are just starting our family. My concern is for their security,” said Karen Hood. “What kind of security am I going to have for my child?”
Others, however, asked if another travel stop was what Ingalls wanted to be known for.
Dennis Ashley said the Exit 214 interchange could be the cornerstone of Ingalls’ future growth as development continues to move north from Fishers and Noblesville.
“Love’s is not the cornerstone you want,” he said.
Members of the Plan Commission listened closely to concerns raised by community residents, and decided to recess instead of voting on whether to move the project on to a technical review committee where detailed building, economic, engineering and environmental matters would be evaluated by planning commission consultants.
Instead, the commission agreed to hear more testimony on the proposal next Tuesday at the Ingalls Town Hall.
Plan Commission President Tonie Caraway said “a lot of information and thoughts were given this evening that we’d like an opportunity to discuss.”
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