LUBBOCK, TX -- Some North Lubbock residents went to Lubbock City Council Thursday to speak up during a public hearing about a proposed Love's Travel Center, which has area residents split on whether or not they are welcoming the development.
The area in question for the travel center is at the northwest corner of I-27 and Regis Street. Some people who live in the neighborhood just south of there said they had not been made aware of this development until the last week or so.
The Planning and Zoning board already approved the zoning change for the area, now it's up to City Council to pass the change. Part of that process includes a public hearing.
"I'm begging you, please, don't," one long time resident of north Lubbock said Thursday. She said she only recently found out about this change right across from her home on Owen Street and was not happy about it.
She, and a few others who spoke at City Council, sited concerns about crime and their safety.
"You know, three, four miles further north, and they could put a truck stop in and be out of the way of all of this," Another man, who lives on Country Club Drive, said. His home is directly south of the proposed Love's Travel Center location.
Others told City Council they were happy to see development coming to an area one woman called the gateway into Lubbock, partially because of it's proximity to the airport.
"I think my little area is the first thing people see when they come into town, and it really need, it really needs some development," she said.
John Spence lives on Country Club Drive. He too spoke at City Council, and said for now, he can support Love's coming into the area, basing some of that off of his experience as a truck driver.
"One of the main concerns is the panhandling and the prostitution that goes with trucking, but the neighbors don't realize that truck stops of today are not the truck stops of the 40's and the 50's," Spence said.
"What this is, is a first class operation," Rick Sheffield, the Love's representative at City Council on Thursday said.
He said they are very willing to work with the residents who live nearby and do what they can to make the residents feel like it will be a safe area, as well as do what they can about any additional noise or light.
"We want a very safe, a very clean, and a very effective operation. and I think we can provide that," Sheffield said.
The Lubbock City Council passed the first reading of this change in a 6-0 vote, with Councilman Victor Hernandez being absent. A few council members said they reserved the right to change their votes, urging Sheffield or anyone else from Love's to work with the residents during the next two weeks before the next vote.