As North Bend moves Toward Ban on New Truck Stops, One More Chance for Public to Speak out

If you have an opinion as to whether or not the City of North Bend should allow an expansion of Truck Town and/or additional parking for truckers in the I-90 exit 34 area, Tuesday, March 15, 2016 is [probably] your last chance to be heard. The hearing takes place during the North Bend City Council Meeting at 7:00 PM at the Mt. Si Senior Center, 411 Main Ave. S.

According to a public hearing notice announcement: “The North Bend City Council has scheduled a public hearing to solicit input and comments on extending interim development regulations related to prohibition of commercial truck centers and parking as adopted by Ordinance 1523 and subsequently extended by Ordinance 1552 and 1563.”

The permanent amendments would ban new truck stops and prevent a Truck Town expansion, but would not impact the existing Truck Town center from making future improvements.

In late January the North Bend Planning Commission also held a public hearing on the topic, which had many citizens saying the city should not permanently ban future Truck Town expansions, as it is the only truck stop left in King County and is in close proximity to the busy truck freight route of Snoqualmie Pass – and truck drivers need services and safe places to rest.

The planning commission, though, is recommending that the city council make the truck town expansion ban permanent. According to the proposed amendment, the city has determined a truck town expansion is not in North Bend’s best interest.

North Bend currently has had interim municipal code amendments in place that prohibit a Truck Town expansion, or adding new commercial truck centers since 2014 when developers began talks to add another Truck Stop at exit 34.

The interim amendments have to be renewed every six months, but the city council is now considering making them permanent. According to those amendments, commercial truck traffic and parking is often an issue in the North Bend area, “creating unmitigated adverse impacts to the city’s streets and air quality.”

Over the years, city council members have expressed frustration over not being included in area freight planning discussions – on a state, county and Port of Seattle levels – as it is the only remaining Truck Stop in King County and the area often takes on repercussions when Snoqualmie Pass is closed.

In a new development, the state did recently kick in some funds to help with the impact to North Bend streets. The legislature just appropriated $100,000 for local street overlay in North Bend for the 2017-19 biannual state budget, according to State Representative Jay Rodne. The issue of amenities and facilities for truck drivers and workers is not part of that appropriation, though.

There is still interest from developers to add another truck stop at exit 34. According to a letter to the city from to Gary Hall, a real estate advisor and truck stop consultant, a competing truck stop could add beneficial competition for the current Truck Town, possibly resulting in “more facility upgrades, improvements and new construction with state of the art amenities.”

Hall also said there are ways for developers to work with the city to help fund needed improvements to infrastructure like streets and sewer systems, saying “healthy competition makes for modern improvements and progress.”

Truck Town History Dates Back 75 years

The history of Truck Town traces back to 1941 when Ken and Dori Rogers bought the Highway Cafe located along then U.S. Highway 10 – when North Bend was home to about 450 people and a small logging town.

In the late 1950’s, Ken leased a restaurant from men who had built a big truck stop on the eastern edge of the city that had folded – which was the birth of Ken’s Truck Town in 1962.

According to a Seattle Times article, when I-90 came through the Valley in the 70’s, Ken tore down that truck town and rebuilt on today’s 16-acre site in 1976.

Written Public Comments also Accepted

Those who cannot make the March 15th public hearing can also submit comments in writing to the City Clerk at P.O. Box 896, North Bend, WA, 98045, or by e-mail to: soppedal@northbendwa.gov prior to 4:00 PM, Monday, March 14, 2016.

 

trucktownshell

 

 

 

 

Comments

  1. There use to be a Richfield station / truck stop many years ago at High Point. Preston area or perhaps around exit 38 would be good locations for another one.

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