Stuart residents upset over proposed truck stop

STUART, FL (WFLX) - Talk of a proposed truck stop has some Martin County residents speaking out.

Hundreds of people, who live near the proposed site of the Stuart 95 Travel Center near I-95 and Kanner Highway, voiced their opposition to the truck stop to the project creator, Robert Stevenson, Monday night.

At times the vocal, frustrated crowd expressed concern over the truck stop bringing noise, pollution, traffic and congestion to the area, as well as crime.

One neighbor, Denise Jagoda, urged Stevenson to find something else to develop on his Marathon gas station property. "I'm worried that it will do things to our environment, to our community, and I don't feel there's a benefit for it," said Jagoda.

Others worried about their property values. The nearest home is 700 feet away.

But Stevenson says it's the prime location for truck drivers to stop. "There's a need for a travel center in this area," Stevenson explained. Supporters say the nearest rest stop is in Fort Pierce.

The facility would be 10,000 square feet, and include more than 80 parking spots for RVs and trucks.

While the meeting drew arguments, Stevenson said he is considering all concerns as he develops his plan. "I asked them in here, and I wanted to hear what their input was, " he explained.

He addressed safety concerns by adding a proposal for a police sub-station in the truck stop facility. He would also include some form of 24-hour security.

He also says he plans on incorporating a hotel and two sit down restaurants.

Stevenson also says the truck stop would bring more than 40 jobs to the area and an economic impact of hundreds of thousands of dollars. "This is a good project for the community, the community as a whole," Stevenson said.

Others, like Jagoda, still say they'd rather see something more fitting to the clean and green Martin County they prefer. "I'm hoping that this does not come in."

Stevenson says he will meet with the zoning department in July.

He plans to have a final draft to present to commissioners in August or September.

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