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Final plans still pending for Love's Travel Stop

by CHERYL SCHWEIZER
Staff Writer | January 8, 2021 1:00 AM

MOSES LAKE — Final plans for the new Love’s Travel Stop should be submitted to the city of Moses Lake within the next few weeks.

Moses Lake City Manager Allison Williams said company officials told the city plans would be submitted this week, but none had been filed as of Thursday.

“We’ve not had a formal submittal (of plans),” Williams said.

The business will be at the intersection of Idaho and Prichard roads, behind Chevron. The 14.6-acre development is to include a convenience store, truck stop and fueling station. Company representatives told city officials construction is expected to start by April, Williams said. How long construction will take is uncertain.

The company submitted a preliminary site plan Sept. 17, 2019, and Williams said the final plans should be substantially the same. The preliminary plan was the basis for the company’s proposals to mitigate the project’s environmental impact. Any changes to the final plan would have to ensure it still met the environmental conditions. Company officials also did a traffic analysis, Williams said.

But the project has generated some opposition, including a petition against it with about 1,500 signatures.

Moses Lake residents were invited to comment on the proposal for 20 days, beginning Oct. 8, 2019, and comments were accepted through Dec. 10, 2019.

“The city received minimal public comments in response to the public notices,” Williams wrote.

City planning manager Vivian Ramsey said the public comment was sought in connection with the “mitigated determination of nonsignificance,” which was in relation to the environmental impacts and proposed mitigation.

According to the city’s zoning map, the property is zoned C-2. Most commercial uses are permitted in the C-2 zone, including gas stations, restaurants and grocery stores.

Once the final plan is submitted, the next step will be a property short plat, a process Ramsey estimated would take about a month. Approval of the building permit is a separate process.

The building permit application will be checked to ensure the project is meeting city standards, and any conditions that have been attached. Ramsey said the company applied for a variance for a taller sign, which was denied.

The development will be accessible through Sage Road, from westbound Interstate 90, and from Prichard Road, from the eastbound I-90. The preliminary plan includes major traffic revisions to Prichard Road and Laguna Drive.

Chris Keifenheim, assistant regional administrator for engineering for the Washington State Department of Transportation, said the traffic revisions will lengthen both the on-ramp and off-ramp for the eastbound lanes. Westbound traffic will access the site and return to the freeway through the Hansen Road overpass.

“Neither one of them (the eastbound on- and off-ramps) meet current standards,” Keifenheim said. The proposed traffic revisions would lengthen both.

Pritchard Road, currently two lanes east and west, will become one way, heading east. Laguna Drive, also currently two lanes, will become one-way, going south. Traffic could access the Love’s facility from Idaho Road, which would stay two lanes north and south, or from Prichard Road.

Sage Road, which provides access to homes on the lakefront and to the sand dunes, would stay as two lanes, going east and west. The Sage Road-Idaho Road intersection will be modified.

photo

Cheryl Schweizer/Columbia Basin Herald

A car rolls past a sign announcing a previous public hearing for the Love's Travel Stop project on Idaho Road. The building permit for the project hadn't been received as of Jan. 7.

photo

Cheryl Schweizer/Columbia Basin Herald

A sign announces a previous public hearing for the Love's Travel Stop project on Idaho Road in Moses Lake.