2017-2018 Truck Stop Campaign
Throughout 2017-2018, SFGA conducted a campaign opposing construction of a truck stop at the proposed location. The basis of opposition was that the proposed location ran counter to the vision and goals of the County’s plans espousing local, sustainable and green industry coupled with preservation of the character of local communities.
SFGA conducted a successful petition drive that engaged communities and neighborhoods, as well as a media campaign to inform and educate the public through radio and local news outlets. State and county politicians were approached to gain support to the campaign.
Following a series of public hearings and County meetings to review the truck stop application, in an order filed on August 28, 2018, the Santa Fe County Board of County Commissioners (BCC) denied in part the conceptual-plan application of Pilot Travel Centers, LLC, and Exit 278, LLC, to build a truck stop and other facilities at the intersection of NM Highway 14 and I-25.
The 48-page order made final the decision that the BCC announced at its May 8, 2018 hearing on the application. In the order, the BCC denied the part of the application that proposed certain truck-stop uses, but it approved in concept the remaining proposed uses, including: a gas station, convenience store, and three fast-food restaurants. The BCC also approved two additional development phases in the application, including two hotels and a restaurant, all of which would require further submissions and approvals. Currently, the status of any future plans to develop these phases is unknown.
Importantly, the BCC’s decision was based on two major findings: 1) the proposed “truck stop uses” are not materially similar to any allowed land use in the SLDC and 2) the proposed truck stop was inconsistent with the growth management vision set forth in the County’s Sustainable Growth Management Plan and the Community College District Plan. See next section for archive of truck stop campaign.
TRUCK STOP UPDATE - September 6, 2018
BCC Issues Final Order Denying Pilot Travel Centers’ Proposed Truck Stop
In a thorough and well-reasoned order filed on August 28, 2018, the Santa Fe County Board of County Commissioners (BCC) denied in part the conceptual-plan application of Pilot Travel Centers, LLC, and Exit 278, LLC, to build a truck stop and other facilities at the intersection of NM Highway 14 and I-25. (Exit 278, LLC, is the local entity that owns the property.) The 48-page order made final the decision the BCC announced at its May 8, 2018 hearing on the application. Specifically, the BCC denied the part of the application that proposed certain truck-stop uses, but it approved in concept the remaining proposed uses, including: a gas station, convenience store, and three fast-food restaurants. The BCC also approved two additional development phases in the application, including two hotels and a restaurant, all of which would require further submissions and approvals. Currently, there are no specific plans to develop these phases.
The BCC’s decision is based on two primary determinations. First, the proposed “truck stop uses” are not materially similar to any allowed land use. Second, the proposed truck stop is inconsistent with the County’s Sustainable Growth Management Plan and the Community College District Plan.
The BCC found that the term “truck stop” correctly describes Pilot’s proposed “truck terminal.” Because “truck stops vary substantially in scale and the number and types of services provided,” applications for truck stops must be decided on a case-by-case basis, considering the specific uses proposed. Looking at the specific uses proposed by Pilot – a 75-lot tractor-trailer parking area, a truck weigh station, and truck fueling stations – the BCC noted that these uses are distinct from what is typically considered a gas station. It held that as a matter of law, these truck-stop uses are not materially similar to any land use allowed in the Community College District Plan.
The BCC also found that the proposed truck stop is inconsistent with the Sustainable Growth Management Plan (SMGP) and the Community College District Plan. The truck stop, “which would be of generic character and cater primarily to transient interstate truckers, is antithetical to the core values expressed in the SGMP” because nothing about it would be “innovative, unique, historic, or traditional….” It would also violate the SGMP’s mandate that industrial uses should primarily serve the local community. The proposed truck stop would provide services that cater primarily to interstate truckers who have no connection to the community and would not primarily serve the district or the Santa Fe region.
Board of County Comissioners Final Order from the May 8th, 2018 Hearing:
On Sept. 6, 2018 we learned that Pilot Flying J and Exit 278 LLC filed a Notice Of Dismissal without prejudice for their appeal of the truck-stop. NO APPEAL!
THANK YOU! Thank you to those who have supported SFGA’s mission which is to preserve and protect the gateway to Santa Fe for the health, safety and enjoyment of all.
Press Release May 16, 2018
Santa Fe Gateway Alliance (SFGA) is a grass-roots group of concerned citizens whose mission is to preserve and protect the southern gateway to Santa Fe, as well as the beauty of the Turquoise Trail.
Santa Fe Gateway Alliance (SFGA) is a grass-roots group of concerned citizens whose mission is to preserve and protect the southern gateway to Santa Fe, as well as the beauty of the Turquoise Trail. A volunteer organization, SFGA affirms Santa Fe County’s land use and sustainable growth management planning processes as expressions of our valued democratic principles.
Over the past year, SFGA has provided a voice for neighborhoods and communities on the County’s south side, and on the NM 14 corridor, to express their opinions about the construction of a Pilot Flying J truck stop at the intersection of NM14 and Rancho Viejo Blvd.
SFGA applauds the May 8 decision of the Board of County Commissioners (BCC) as an example of County and community commitment to realization of the shared vision for sustainable growth and development codified in both the 2015 Sustainable Growth Management Plan and the 2016 Sustainable Land Development Code. In alignment with the unanimous March 15 recommendation of the Santa Fe County Planning Commission against a truck stop, the BCC, in its 4-1 vote, affirmed that three proposed semi-truck-related uses are not allowable land uses within the Community College District Plan (CCDP) Employment Center because they are inconsistent with both the Sustainable Growth Management Plan and the CCDP.
SFGA’s position regarding truckers and the trucking industry has consistently been to recognize their important contribution to American life through transport of goods that benefit our lives. Over the past year, SFGA has consistently communicated for the public record that it’s opposition is not directed to truckers or their industry. SFGA truck stop opposition has focused on the mis-match between the proposed truck stop location and the character, and well-being, of local, impacted communities.
SFGA expresses sincere thanks to the many individuals and organizations who support sensible County economic development, balanced against the need to protect and preserve the unique beauty of the gateway to the City Different. We especially appreciate the efforts of our many allies in this effort, among them the Turquoise Trail Regional Alliance, Institute of American Indian Art Associated Student Government and administration, Santa Fe Community College Governing Board, Amy Biehl Community School Parent Teacher Committee, San Marcos Association, villages of Madrid and Los Cerrillos, and others.
The voices of the League of Women Voters of Santa Fe County, and the Old Santa Fe Association, in encouraging the County to follow its sustainable growth and land development plans to protect the character of Santa Fe are also appreciated. The support of Senator Elizabeth ‘Liz’ Stefanics and Representative Brian Egolf was invaluable to SFGA’s truck stop opposition campaign.
A big thank you to the many volunteers, technical experts, and donors whose personal dedication and generosity have provided needed resources. We recognize that much work still needs to be done to realize our mission.
SFGA looks forward to continuing to work with SF County Growth Management/Land Use Department, our many community allies and supporters, and developers to ensure that the spirit of the Sustainable