Does Loudon Really Want A Truck Stop?

The application of Pilot Oil Company to open a truck stop on Hwy. 72 in Loudon has generated a lot of concern in the Loudon area. Planning Director, Russ Newman has determined that a truck stop is not an appropriate use for the zoning on Hwy. 72. Pilot is planning to ask the  Loudon City’s Board of Zoning Appeals to reconsider Newman's opinion and allow the truck stop to be built.

On Wednesday July 11, 2007 at 12:30 pm, Loudon City’s Board of Zoning Appeals BZA will meet to determine if a proposed travel center is a permitted use under current zoning regulations.

Anyone concerned about the addition of a truck stop on Hwy. 72 should let Loudon officials know.

Local activist Pat Hunter has written a good article  on the matter with contact information. Also below are a few blogs submitted pertaining to the proposed truck stop.

Hi everyone,
It has been brought to my attention that Pilot Travel Centers, LLC wants to build a 6-acre Pilot Travel Center/Truck stop at the Loudon exit between McDonald's and the exit ramp.  This land is currently not zoned for a truck stop, but Pilot has applied for a special exception
You can voice your opinion in person at the Loudon Board of Zoning Appeals Meeting on Wednesday July 11, 2001 immediately following the Loudon Regional Planning Commission Meeting, which begins at 12:30.  The meeting will be held at Loudon City Hall (same building as the utility board).  If you are not able to attend the meeting, you can voice your opinion via phone or e-mail and ask that your opinions be made part of the minutes of the meeting.
Loudon County Office of Planning and Community Development
Phone:  865-458-3880
Fax: 865-458-3792
Planning director:  Russ Newman
Administrative Assistant:  Debbie Hines
A pilot travel center would greatly increase the volume of traffic at the 72 exit of Interstate 75 (think Watt Rd or Lovell Rd).  The increased emissions from the extra trucks stopping is also inconsistent with Loudon's non-attainment status for fine particle pollution.  Pilot's new truck centers generally offer space for 100+ trucks.  Is this what we want for Loudon?
Please, time is of the essence.  Please contact the planning commission and advise them that you "oppose" re-zoning of this land for this truck stop or Loudon, as we know it, will no longer exist!
Have a good day!
Wendy  7/9/07

Wendy is correct and I am so pleased she brought this to our attention.....I happen to like the Loudon area the way it is. we do not need to step out our back door onto a strip mall or in the door of a travel center....You all should listen to the police department some night or go and look at the call records for the Travel centers A.K.A TRUCK STOPS that are in our county. this would be the T/A and Perkins restaurant at Watt road. yes...they are in Loudon County. these places draw the some undesired patrons and feed some unwanted crime. if this happens then the Hwy 72/I-75 area will see an increase in vagrants that frequent truck stops ( I will use the phrase truck stop a lot so I am sure not to sugar coat the issue). This will bring in prostitution A.K.A. Lot lizards. these are women and men who hang around truck stops to trade sex for money or drugs. and lets not mention the drugs that will roll thru that place. The traffic would  be horrific...I am sure this would be a good selling approach for people wanting to buy property at the National....the description could read like this.
Live in a pristine golfing community in beautiful Loudon County, This uniquely designed golf community built near the land fill ( if not on it) is located a hop, skip and a jump from a shopping Mecca. you can visit the quaint shops of the Pilot Truck stop while enjoying the outside aroma of mushrooms in growth. If you seek to meet other cultures I am sure you will bump into some our friendly Hispanics as the commute to and from work.
We do not need this travel center. We need to stop thinking about the almighty dollar and think about what this place is and why some of us call it home.
P.O.ed in Loudon

I won't be in town to make it for the July 11th meeting.  However, I wanted to raise an additional point in the Truck Stop saga:

One need only TRY to exit the interstate at Watt Road or Lovell Road where said "travel centers" exist and see yet ANOTHER reason we don't want this development in our residential community.  Traditional traffic lights allow 2 trucks AT BEST thru a single green light.  Your time getting off on 72 has just tripled!  (assuming a light is installed - if not, add more because we've all seen truckers take the "I'm bigger" right of way liberty.)  And if you live off of Sugarlimb and think it won't affect you?  Think again.  How many residents will purposely jump off on Sugarlimb just to avoid the truck harangue down the road?  I know I jump off anywhere BUT Watt Road to hit Dixie Lee Junction.  We will feel the 'ripple' effect on both sides of this exit.

And, to someone else's point…. How long after we have a 'travel center' do we have some 'adult only' bookstores, video stores, and novelty shops?  Again - see Watt Road?  See Lovell!!!  Bees flock to their honey.  These establishments know where to strategically locate a business, don't they?  I'm not trying to 'generalize' about truckers - I'm looking at historical evidence.  Not all are sex starved porn addicts… but I don't want even 1 or 2 or 3 planning their layover / fix in my backyard.  Do you?

J.S. Lenoir City

The Loudon County Air Quality Task Force has sent a letter to the Loudon (City) BZA expressing a concern over air emissions and asking for data in this area before voting on Pilot's appeal. Trucks generate the majority of NOX in Loudon County and NOX generates Ozone. Trucks also generate fine particulates (PM2.5). EPA has designated us as non attainment for both Ozone and PM2.5.

Both Ozone and PM2.5 can cause respiratory and heart/circulation problems so this is not just a zoning issue but also a health issue -- particularly if trucks will be parked there overnight and idling all night long.

Don MIller
Air Quality Task Force
County Commissioner

Loudon Board of Zoning Appeals                                                                    July 2, 2007

274 Blair Bend Dr.

Loudon, TN 37774

Dear Board Members:

At the last meeting of the Loudon County Air Quality Task Force, we became aware of the Travel Center proposed by Pilot Travel Centers LLC to be located at Exit 72 of I-75. Although the Task Force has not taken a position on the proposed project, we do have some concerns.

As you are aware, Loudon County is part of an area which has been designated “non-attainment” for both ozone and small particle air pollution. This means we do not meet federal standards for air quality with respect to these pollutants. Both of these pollutants are known to aggravate breathing and cardiovascular problems,

Since the proposed Travel Center is meant to attract and serve both heavy duty diesel trucks and other vehicles, we would expect this would increase emissions of nitrogen oxides (which form ozone) and small particles. Heavy duty diesel trucks are already the largest source of nitrogen oxide emissions in our county. If diesel trucks are permitted to idle for extended periods, such as overnight parking, a further increase in these emissions would occur.

These pollution effects could be somewhat mitigated by providing biodiesel and ethanol blend fuels. Pollution from extended idling of diesel trucks could be virtually eliminated by using Truck Stop Electrification (TSE), such as the IdleAir technology.

In our opinion, an assessment of the air pollution impact of the proposed Travel Center should be a factor to be evaluated in your decision making. We respectfully request that you ask Pilot for quantitative information on air emissions which would result from this project. Thank you for considering our comments on this matter.


Loudon County Air Quality Task Force

Loudon, TN 37774

Michael J. Crosby, Chairman

Copy to:

Loudon City Mayor

Loudon City Council

Loudon County Mayor

Loudon County Commission

Mr. Russ Newman