FULTONDALE—A neighborhood meeting will be held this week by a local landowner to hear from residents about a proposed “travel center” that would be located on Walker Chapel Road near Interstate 65.
Numerous residents who live nearby and in the Chapel Hills neighborhood called The North Jefferson News said they were against the idea of a “truck stop” at that location and worried what it would mean for traffic in that area, as well as crime.
The proposed store would be a QuickTrip store, which is not specifically identified as a “truck stop,” although it would have parking for trucks
According to the letter received by some local residents, the proposed building would be a Quick Trip Travel Center with a designated diesel fuel truck area.
Fultondale Mayor Jim Lowery said the city is not involved in the meeting, other than allowing it to happen in the city hall building, but said he will be at the meeting to hear from the developer, land owner and community related to the proposed project.
Lowery said the property is not currently zoned for that type of use and no appeal has been made to the city for exemption or special use for the property that would allow this to be built at this time. He said one application was made by the land owner, but it was not to the correct board.
He also confirmed that the city of Fultondale does have a law on the books that prohibits overnight parking of trucks at commercial locations.
Lowery also expressed concern about the traffic and what has always been a dangerous intersection for the city, the exit of I-65 S onto Walker Chapel Road. The city finally won a long-term battle to gain approval for a traffic light at that intersection after many serious wrecks at the location. At the peak, Police Chief DP Smith said his officers were working numerous wrecks there every week. With the installation of the traffic light, accidents at the intersection have decrease, but opponents of the proposed development and Lowery worry this could make that a dangerous intersection once again.
The community meeting will be Thursday, December 19 at 6 p.m. at Fultondale City Hall.