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Truck stop wins rezoning nod

County OK tied to screening, landscaping upgrades

– The Allen County commissioners Friday added new landscaping and screening requirements to appease neighbors before approving rezoning a site near Woodburn to make way for a truck stop.

The property near the southwest quadrant of the interchange of the newly aligned U.S. 24 and Indiana 101 (Fahlsing Road) was rezoned from agriculture to commercial.

The site will house a Love’s Travel Stop – including a McDonald’s and a Chester’s – along with fueling areas, expanded parking for trucks and a tire center, with space for future commercial development, said Michelle Wood, senior planner for the Department of Planning Services.

Neighbors across the road from the proposed development who had initially opposed the rezoning sought legal representation.

As a result, Maumee Center Road, between the proposed truck stop and residential neighbors, will be relocated 170 feet north, providing more of a shield for neighbors, Wood said.

Mounds, screening and landscaping were also required to help subdue the noise, lights and activities of the development from neighbors, she said.

Woodburn Mayor Richard Hoeppner supported the commercial development, saying it would mean growth for the city and was part of the overall strategic plan, Wood said.

Although none of the neighbors who had opposed the development in the fall showed up at Friday’s meeting, Commissioner Nelson Peters questioned whether they were actually appeased by the added accommodations.

“Sometimes there’s no more remonstrance because people are tired and think it won’t make a difference,” Peters said.

Wood did not think that was the case.

“We really turned a page (with the neighbors) when we added the additional screening and mounds,” she said.