Chariho School Parents’ Forum

June 1, 2009

Exit 1 truck stop

Filed under: Hopkinton Town Council — Editor @ 10:37 pm

There is a meeting Wednesday night with the planning board to discuss the possiblity of placing a Love’s Truck Stop at Exit 1. Meeting will be at 7 at the Town Hall.

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28 Comments »

  1. I don’t have any clue where most residents or the town council stands on development in Hopkinton.
    I sense a general bias against commercial development(especially around exit 1),and I see policies pushed that want to limit residential development(open land bond). I see nothing about the rights of the landowners involved in these cases.

    Is there a comprehensive plan for the town that makes economic, environmental, and smart growth sense, or is it just a desire by differing groups to have their will imposed on the their neighbors. What is the effect of the development plan on the taxpayer and the town resources. Are these the kind of questions answered at a planning meeting, or do we sit and listen to a plan adopted by the flavor of the day?

    Comment by RS — June 2, 2009 @ 10:08 am | Reply

  2. http://www.hopkintonri.org/Planning/Exit1.htm

    RS, I’m wondering if any of these links will give you some of the answers you are looking for.

    For me personally, I think a truck stop at exit one is a bad choice.

    Some would say that it will increase the amount of traffic onto Route 3. I disagree. Tom and I researched traffic studies for route 3 a couple of years ago to determine the safety of bus stops on route 3. As you can well imagine, our concerns went ignored, but FYI the traffic studies recorded just under 10,000 vehicles a day near Crandall’s Field. Most of the trucks going to Westerly already travel up route 3. Trust me I hear them and see them, therefore, what would change. So, this is not a concern of mine.

    My concern is the amount of light shining from the parking lot lights, noise around the area, and the complete lack of high paying jobs. Considering we have a truck stop just one exit south and another one at exit 5, I’ve asked myself why build at exit 1. Well, my thought is that the gas tax is less in RI (greater profit for the truck stop people) and just like the new one at exit 93, it would be a brand new facility (very attractive to some people these days).

    So, what does Hopkinton gain from a facility like this…. Very little in increased property tax revenue.

    How does this help our existing businesses? I’m guessing lost revenue as competition would increase. Though competition is good, for such a small community, anymore gas businesses would be detrimental to at least 1 of them. Plus, there is likely be a food service area within the truck stop. How does this help our existing businesses?

    And, what about the acquifer? Oh, what a frightful thought.

    Anyways, that is my opinion. And I will state that I have always been for development at exit one, but I guess I reserve the right to be picky about the kind of businesses our community has to offer. This is just not one that fits with the kind of development I had in mind.

    Well, I hope the link helped. Have a nice day! And please, if any Hopkinton residents can attend Wednesday’s meeting, please, please, do!

    Comment by Lois — June 2, 2009 @ 6:19 pm | Reply

  3. What kind of follow up or oversite does the board do? I hear there are messes in other projects in Town as their is no oversight which should put the Town of Hopkinton on the Hook for the malfeasance/liability,lawsuits of this board.

    Comment by Rico — June 2, 2009 @ 8:43 pm | Reply

  4. Rico,
    Could you provide some details? We, at least I, do not micromanage or have oversight on the day to day operations so we only know of issues when they boil up to us needing action or someone (resident) brings them to our attention. If you are not comfortable sharing here, pick one of us you trust and give a call.

    RE: Love’s – Everyone knows I’m a big fan of personal property rights, but also acknowledge the stages of federalism such that the Feds have rules but leave many of the decisions to the states (ie how to spend welfare money), and I would hope that states leave even more decisions to the municipalities (i.e. removing education mandates). And then of course, I would hope that the towns leave more power with the individual. That being said, nobody wants a rendering plant in the middle of their neighborhood.

    I think the Wednesday meeting will have more information answering RS’s questions. Obviously we have zoning issues and environmental issues that people will want addressed. What I don’t get is why they would want to do it with competition 1 mile away. But they know that business better than I do. We wouldn’t want government running businesses – oh wait, we are (GM, AIG, etc).

    But we do live within a community and expect some control – that’s what zoning, planning, et. al. are. But maybe someone can fill me in on the process (TS?)? If this plan meets zoning and environmental requirements can it be stopped? Could a town council take away someone’s property rights just because the majority in town wants them to? Isn’t that the difference between a Democracy (which people mistakenly think America is) and a Republic (which we really are). This reminds me of a video I need to post, but I digress.

    I think the first step is to come to the meeting on Wednesday and get informed.

    Comment by Bill Felkner — June 2, 2009 @ 11:13 pm | Reply

  5. Property rights are a tricky thing. While there needs to be appropriate town planning and rules to protect other people’s property from being adversely protected by actions on one, it is a slippery slope. We (as the town) can’t “take” (including unreasonable retrictions) property just because we feel like it.

    Maybe there’s lots of money in truck stops and these people know there business, maybe the other truck stops don’t service their customers very well?

    It does seem odd that another truck stop is useful between exits CT93 and RI5, but then we will soon have 3 pharmacies at exit 3 …

    I understand you don’t want the gov’t running businesses, what was your opinion? Let them fail and let the cards fall where they may? I don’t have a position … other than very troubled that it appears a bunch of greedy people took advantage of the system and the boards of directors weren’t paying attention, not to mention the SEC, et al.

    Comment by Gene Daniell — June 3, 2009 @ 11:47 am | Reply

    • OK, thats twice or is it three times folks have mentioned the business plan of having 2 travel plazas within several miles of each other. Anyone who has travled via interstates and used these plazas can testify that it is not uncommon to see 2 or 3 of these(Love’s, TA, Flying J, etc) at the same exit. Simply more banter as to why some do not want a “truck stop” at their exit. There exist a simple solution to having control over the development of land…………by it yourself or buy the development rights, oh yeah, that costs money.

      Comment by RS — June 3, 2009 @ 12:46 pm | Reply

  6. RS … You’re being unfair, I said that I didn’t know that business nor should property rights be unfairly restricted. It is reasonable for an average person to think that the need for additional truck stops is low.

    I have also spent years travelling the country. While there are many areas with lots of trucks and lots of truck stops, there are plenty of areas that are just the opposite. I don’t see the volume of trucks on 95 that implies to me that more truck stops are needed.

    With that said, if someone in the business thinks it makes sense then they have the right to do it …

    Comment by Gene Daniell — June 3, 2009 @ 1:09 pm | Reply

  7. I wasn’t singling you out, just tried to keep context by replying to the last post mentioning multiple travel plazas. Travel plazas(unlike the truck stop on RT102) denote more than just a “truck stop”, if you visit any of these, you will see they cater to automobiles, RV’s, and the dreaded dirty nasty trucks that carry goods throughout this country and keep commerce rolling.

    If I had my way, I would rather have something besides a travel plaza at exit 1, but every time something is proposed, it is labled as “not the right thing for Hopkinton”…..the right thing to all doesn’t exist, and the right thing to most may never come along. Put a bond vote(tax increase) on the ballot to buy all the remaining property at Exit 1 and see how much the taxpayers really care about what is proposed there then. I know if I owned the land there, and commercial developers wanted to buy it from me, I wouldn’t like the neighbors saying I can’t sell it. I liken this to buying property next to an airport, then complaining about the noise or next to a gravel pit and then complaining about the dust.

    Comment by RS — June 3, 2009 @ 2:14 pm | Reply

  8. Gene,
    In reference to your post #6, I don’t know what time of day you may travel along I-95 but it seems to me that early in the morning, I’m out about 6AM, there’s a whole heck of a lot of trucks out, not counting the ones that have pulled off into the rest areas on both sides of I-95 at the Richmond/Exeter line. Given that there is already a truck stop on either side of the rest area, it would seem like there would still be a need for another place to give the truck drivers another stopping place to rest and refresh themselves. JMO (Just my opinion)

    Comment by CharihoParent — June 3, 2009 @ 3:15 pm | Reply

  9. CP … Possibly, my experience is that the loading of trucks out on I80(PA), I70 (KS) has more trucks than you can shake a stick at. In these areas it is common for several truck stops in close proximaty.

    RI is infamous for the State Police being tough on truckers and consider the Pawtucket bridge situation. The vast majority of trucks will not go through RI unless the have to. I dealt with a lot of freight in my last job, so while not an expert, I do have more than a passing familiarity. BUT I don’t know if another truck stop is needed. Of course that’s all academic, real issue is to what level should a community fight development they don’t like?

    What if the truck stop was coming to exit 3??? (Assume the obvious exit ramp issue was fixed). Would you support it?

    Comment by Gene Daniell — June 3, 2009 @ 3:25 pm | Reply

  10. Hi!
    Exit#3 is clearly not comparable to Exit#1 and Exit#2,. Exit#3 is clearly a commericial area very unlike the other two exits. Development at Exit#3 has for decades now, well established.
    Regards,
    Scott

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — June 3, 2009 @ 3:46 pm | Reply

  11. Generally speaking, interstate exits are developable areas, it’s where you want to contain development. Just because exit 1 is not currently developed should not imply it will never be developed.

    Comment by Gene Daniell — June 3, 2009 @ 3:58 pm | Reply

  12. A major issue with Exit One is not development – we have excellent new businesses in this location and will, hopefully, get many more. No one is saying this land shouldn’t be developed. It has been and will continue to be developed off Exit One north and south.

    I believe the primary issue with the truckstop at this location is that this will entail the storage of 10’s of thousands of gallons of diesel and gasoline fuels stored in the ground 600′ from a primary underground aquifer with deliveries many times a week (they have even said, perhaps three times a day – There are three underground tanks.) No spills, perfect underground structures, no human mistakes, a brave new world. Right.

    It’s your water.

    Comment by Barbara Capalbo — June 3, 2009 @ 4:43 pm | Reply

    • Do we have any data on leakage from these underground tanks and contamination data at similar sites around the country? I’ve heard similar complaints all too often with the operation of seaplanes, boats, etc on bodies of water which double as a resevoir and/or flow into the aquifer. When the data was compiled, the numbers just didn’t bear out the “crisis”. I’m not saying the problem doesn’t exist, but I would expect this is a fair question bound to be answered in the application process for the approvals on such a development.
      I would be interested in the contamination potential of fuel depot vs a housing development of septic fields, I bet the differences aren’t that far apart, but purely conjecture on my part. Go to any of the ponds and rivers in Hopkinton and look at the age of the septic fields abutting these bodies of water and the criteria used when they were designed and you will definitely be concerned about your water downstream.
      As a side note, how many of you have your water tested on a regular basis, and I mean tested for contaminates, not just by your local well driller, but a certified lab? Yes, we should be very concerned about the quality of our water, but how serious do we take it on a regular basis.

      Comment by RS — June 3, 2009 @ 5:12 pm | Reply

  13. Scott,
    Referencing your post #10. Look at the VERY narrow roadway there and the sharp turn off of the highway, would that be conducive to any kind of rest stop for the amount of trucks that would be coming on and off of the highway?

    Gene,
    I know what you’re talking about, I’ve frequently travelled I-78 in NJ and PA and I-81 in PA through VA and into TN. The number of trucks I see on the I-95 in not as high as those highways but it’s a significant amount. I’ve had many mornings where there are 7 to 10 trucks going up the incline towards exit 4 in front of me. Trust me, I don’t cherish those morning because I know there won’t be much getting around them until the incline going towards the rest area.

    Comment by CharihoParent — June 3, 2009 @ 6:25 pm | Reply

    • Do you think the constant proposals for a container port at quonset might have an increase in truck traffic?

      Comment by RS — June 3, 2009 @ 7:47 pm | Reply

  14. The aquifer is a problem, it defintely requires additional attention. As do many other businesses, those that pay big tax bills.

    If you take away the right of the land owner to build a facility that conforms to legal restrictions then you need to PAY them for the effective taking by emminent domain.

    Comment by Gene Daniell — June 3, 2009 @ 11:07 pm | Reply

  15. #12 Ms. Capalbo your on the ball with that message. I hear the gravel bank issue has been a real problem with your bordering neighbors in that development/Maple Court area. Where has it gone? What kind of fill has been trucked in there and have the rules been followed as to what was proposed. I’ve heard from some that some people have water pressure issues and water pressure has gone down. Has anything that was promised been delivered regarding that project?

    What is the oversight of these projects? Don’t get a good vibe from Mr. Felkner based on his comments above.

    Comment by Rico — June 4, 2009 @ 10:06 am | Reply

  16. Hello Rico,

    Bill has been concentrating on school issues and is getting up to speed on municipal issues. He is very smart and his points of view have merit (even if one doesn’t always agree with him).

    The project at Maple Court has slowed down. It will be three homes which I think is appropriate for the area. Bethel Village next door – my neighborhood – is on a Community well servicing 52 homes. We sit on the primary aquifer so I would assume any water pressure issues will be solved by technology. Certainly in the summer we still try to conserve.

    The gravel bank on the opposite side is an ongoing project. Certainly it would be good to reclaim that land, but I don’t know if any project applications or approvals have been requested. As Gene said in #14 the owner has a right to develop or re-create his property, but I think the community has a say too. Which is why we have Use Tables for zoned property. That gravel bank is RFR80 and it sits on the aquifer – thousands of people depend on it. Look at the land off Rt. 95 south that has been clear cut. The neighbors may now have problems with erosion flowing into their properties or onto state land. Does a landowner have the right to affect your neighboring property for ill, let alone for good? It is a matte of scale sometimes and makes curiosity an important attribute.

    Oversight is an interesting question however. Once approvals have been granted by the Planning and Zoning Boards (and that’s only if projects have come before them before work is done) we would need to depend on the building and zoning inspectors within the town. Although nearby citizens generally keep a much closer watch on their neighborhoods and should document and report any problems they think may have occurred.

    Thanks to everyone who came out last night concerning Love’s Truck Stop. The meeting has been re-scheduled for Wednesday, July 1st at a place to be determined. Please remember to attend – all local citizens are important to the process and final decision.

    Comment by Barbara Capalbo — June 4, 2009 @ 11:08 am | Reply

  17. Hi!
    I need to read all the posts since my last post but some quick comments:
    1. Live at 20 Maple Court, Ashaway; and our property, was owned by my parents, my brother and I were put on as owners by my mother. The gravel bank behind our house is a pit. There is another pit further up High Street near that housing development, not to say other consider excavation in that area.
    2. I think better use of the property where Love’s is to be located. Regardless of that or other development, the issues remain:
    A. Do owners of the property have the legal right to have a truck stop there, as well as does it fit with current zoning on that site, as well as follow the Comprehensive Plan?
    B. Since places where historical cemeteries exist have laws to protect them, will the laws regarding them be followed? Will government authorities for once and for all try to ascertain where Hopkinton Historical Cemetery#80 exist? It is a strong probability development of this site may disturb this cemetery. To my knowledge no removals of this cemetery existed after the closing of the town asylum.
    While I got to the meeting last night when it was all over, it will be on July 1ST,. at Ashaway School, because too many attended because of the truck stop proposal. I plan to be at that meeting.
    C. I have brought my concerns about the cemetery to Michael Healey of the Rhode Island Dept. of Attorney General mhealey@riag.state.ri.us as well as the Rhode Island Medical Examiners office http://www.health.ri.gov/contact.php ,. The first is an e-mail address the latter a place where you can e-mail your concerns. I don’t know if it is a general Dept. of Health message area or a Medical Examiner’s message area.
    3. My remarks about Exit#3 was historically that has long been a place of development,. Congestion of trucks and other concerns, would exist at Exits#1,2, and 3,. Take Exit#93 for example. My late uncle’s dairy farm existed there, in fact where McDonald’s and surrounding area is. He lost his farm to Eminent Domain when I was small, for building of Interstate#95,. I am not impressed how that exit developed.
    4. The Hopkinton Historical association, which I am a board member and past president has an active interest in the Exit#1 Love proposal.
    In closing, my name is in for an alternate member position for the Hopkinton Zoning Board of Review. I fully realize if I get appointed, I must apply the zoning ordidnances of the town to the facts presented. In some cases I will have ro recuse especially on the gravel pit issue on Maple Court.
    Regards,
    Scott

    Comment by Scott Bill Hirst — June 4, 2009 @ 11:30 am | Reply

  18. I wouldn’t think that the current owners around a ‘re developed’ property who have been ‘harmed’ due to a lack of oversite should be put to an expense for what you propose or feel can be corrected by technology by the surrounding land owners by someone elses mistakes.

    Some have said that your neighborhood and that of Maple Court are left to their own devices since the Town can’t or won’t do anything. I here that often and all over Hopkinton. What is being dumped in there? Clean Fill? I’m glad I don’t live around your mess where someone’s swimming pool is alleged to be ten feet (rougly) on the other persons property in Bethel?

    . . .Welcome my friends to the show that never ends . . .
    Hopkinton
    I do appreciate you responding however.

    Comment by Rico — June 4, 2009 @ 12:21 pm | Reply

  19. I do not know all the issues surrounding any particular neighborhood, but I do know that all the complaints and allegations(with the exception of fill for reclamation) are coverd in the building codes adopted by the town. Specifically the runoff issue is addressed within the “codes” and is the responsibility of the contractor. To hold the building inspector to knowing exactly every issue on every job site would require him to be at all sites during a rain event. I think we can all agree the resources allocated by the town for this effort makes this impossible, nor is it economically feasible.

    There once was a very proactive building inspector in this town that I had the pleasure of working with on a residential property whom many thought of as hard to work with. Keep in mind most of these “he’s hard to work with” types were actually saying “he expects me to abide by the code when I’ve always done it this way” types. A contractor who is doing his job will make sure the excavation doesn’t dump runoff onto neighboring properties and a building inspector who is doing his will see that the contractor is developing and building within the codes(law).

    If all else fails, then thre is a venue called the courts where a judge will make sure the law is followed. Oh yeah, that costs money.

    Comment by RS — June 4, 2009 @ 1:06 pm | Reply

  20. The neighborhoods will appreciate knowing that they can depend on be **** on and paying for someone else mess as they’re is no oversite just pissing on the people that elected them. Make sure to wash your hands when returning to work. I think its in the Town Hall bathrooms. You should run for GOV. If you want to hose the entire state maybe you will take on the joke known as Bill Murphy, the speaker.

    Comment by Rico — June 4, 2009 @ 1:41 pm | Reply

  21. Are you speaking from just hearsay? Do you know if the problems were brought to he attention of the Building Inspector? Other than here, has anyone spoken to the Town Council? Has anyone brought this to the attention of anyone in the Town Government? If not then same applies to what I tell my users at work, I can’t fix what I don’t know is broke!

    Comment by CharihoParent — June 4, 2009 @ 3:02 pm | Reply

  22. Thank you RS,

    Codes and ordinances are an ongoing creation. Some are too strict and some are too lenient; some advance the cause of ‘unintended consequences’ and some need more muscle. Land problems often occur when the damage is done without any proposal before the boards and without approvals. No Building or Zoning inspector can be everywhere and it is difficult for a citizen to document an issue – time, date, place, photograph, video, call when/during it happens – not after.

    I think it is OK to have in-law or student apartments. I don’t think it’s OK not to follow the fire and building codes to keep these tenants safe. Two different sets of engineering boundaries for the same piece of property is either resolved by the parties involved or the civil courts. There are paths to appeal – and someone always comes out with the short stick. In my neighborhood with a community well, we solve (and pay for) water problems that occur – an individual house may need to determine whether the issue is local to themselves or part of a common problem. But generally, we are all part of the solution.

    I do understand Rico’s frustration with the process and with the difficulty in being heard. Often the processes are overly long, the law and lawyers must allow for continuances and postponed court dates, and the issues get worse before they are concluded. Private property rights are easier with land in the middle of nowhere, much more difficult with close neighbors.

    Comment by Barbara Capalbo — June 4, 2009 @ 3:11 pm | Reply

  23. The Town of Hopkinton should start a Realty company. Instead of the ‘LAND TRUST’ lets sell our property to the Town and the town can hire an AD HOC realtor who will get a % to get rid of and resell the fleeing neighbors properties. Should be a pipe line to New York and New Jersey for these coast line summer home 15 minutes to misquamicut, 25 to point judith, narragansett town beach, etc.

    I see the addisson realty sign all of hopkinton may they could be your company.

    Comment by Rico — June 7, 2009 @ 2:51 pm | Reply

  24. If you have a number Rico maybe we can get some Jersey/NY people to relieve your pain. I have a few friends that have relatives in RI and though they are dying from Warwick up, they know you guys (Southern RI people) need to go down the road (at your own mercy/price). You can’t hope for more than 60-75% on your property dollar however. The $300,000 is $180,000 to $225,000. You do the math on the rest.

    People should have sold 5 or 6 years ago. The song “Happy days are here again,” aren’t coming back if your over 50 in your area in your life time.

    Comment by Tim — June 10, 2009 @ 6:35 pm | Reply


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