RAMSAY, Mont. — Love’s is pulling the plug on a planned truck stop complex off Interstate 90 near Ramsay, Montana, following years of objections by residents and clearing procedural and regulatory hurdles.
The Montana Standard reports that Ramsay residents opposed the project from the moment it was announced in January 2017. Many residents believed that the truck stop would bring traffic, noise, pollution, transients and crime to their community of 40 houses and five square blocks.
Despite their opposition, the many battles ended in favor of Love’s.
This included July 21 when the Butte-Silver Bow Zoning Board determined the truck stop was allowed under zoning laws. The 5-0 vote backed an April 29 decision by county planning staff to issue final building permits.
Residents then appealed the Zoning Board ruling to the state District Court in Butte.
That appeal was pending when Love’s announced on Aug. 15 that they would not move forward on the project.
“Love’s recognizes that some Ramsay citizens and leaders took exception to bringing a Travel Stop to the area,” Love’s External Communications Manager Caitlin Campbell said in a statement to KXLF. “A core tenet of our company’s values is that our locations maintain strong connections to all communities we serve through local job growth, career development, positive economic impacts and philanthropic support. We will continue these local commitments and support our valued customers and employees in communities across the United States.”
The truck stop’s plans included a convenience store, Arby’s restaurant, casino, tire shop and spaces for 111 semis. A lagoon system was planned to handle sewage.
Love’s said the truck stop would bring jobs and commercial activity as well as provide truckers and motorists with 24-hour access to products at a clean, safe place to rest and fuel up.
Residents resisted the project at every stage, including the state environmental permitting process. They even tried to get the Montana Department of Revenue to deny a liquor license needed for the casino.
County planning officials issued final building permits for the project on April 29. They said that Love’s had completed all regulatory and procedural requirements.
Residents then appealed the decision to the Zoning Board, contending the truck stop was not permitted under Ramsay zoning boundaries and provisions that were added to Butte-Silver Bow’s ordinances in 1993.
Zoning Board members said they understood why Ramsay residents opposed a truck stop but said the only issue before them was whether zoning allowed the development.
They concluded it did, and residents appealed to district court.
Courts in Montana generally give great deference to decisions by local zoning boards.
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