HOLLAND TOWNSHIP, Mich. (April 1, 2014) — A meeting at the Holland Charter Township offices became heated on Tuesday night. About 100 people showed up to voice concerns over a new Love’s Truck Stop.
Planning Committee Chairman Marion Hoeve threatened several times to have people removed from the meeting, saying they were speaking out of turn.
The committee approved the plan for the new truck stop last month. The new Love’s Truck Stop is set to be built off I-196 on Adams Street.
People who live nearby voiced their concerns that the business will create similar problems they see at the Tulip City Truck Stop on M-40 south of I-196. That location is known for bad crashes, including a fatal accident that killed a teacher with the Hamilton schools last fall.
Many people at Tuesday night’s meeting were upset because they weren’t notified of the meeting at which the truck stop was approved.
The board told the crowd that Michigan law only requires them to notify residents within 300 feet of the proposed construction site and claimed that if they notified residents outside that area they would be breaking the law.
Children’s safety was an issue for some who said that stretch of Adams Street is a documented public school bus route.
Some people brought up concerns of illegal drug sales and possible sex trafficking. Residents of Holland Township and nearby Zeeland said that adult-themed businesses typically pop up around large truck stops.
But one woman in the crowd, who is married to a truck driver, said she supports the truck stop, because without truck drivers, products consumers buy at stores would never get to retail stores.
Even though the board approved plans for the truck stop, it’s not a done deal yet. The Ottawa County Road Commission and the Department of Environmental Quality still have to sign off on the development.
The Love’s company is paying for both traffic and environmental studies which must be done before final approvals are made.