SITLA, be a good neighbor, don’t sell to Love’s

Editor,

Last week a group of Spanish Valley residents asked the School and Institutional Trust Lands Administration board of trustees to reconsider its planned sale of 13 acres for development of a Love’s truck stop.

The residents emphasized the health, safety and welfare concerns of the growing community.

What will be no surprise to Utahns who have come up against SITLA in the past. The SITLA board members, with no discussion after the presentation, essentially dismissed the residents’ concerns. David Ure, the executive director, said “Sorry” to their request asking SITLA to withdraw that particular parcel from sale for the 24-hour truck stop.

The site directly borders an established rural residential area with homes only 25 feet away. The residents, part of a newly-formed bipartisan grassroots group focused on preserving Spanish Valley’s rural character, wanted to help the board understand the impacts that a 13-acre Love’s truck stop, including 90 parking spaces for cars, 53 slots for semi truck overnight parking and idling of trucks, fuel pumps, a store, and restaurant would have on their community. Why would SITLA think this is an appropriate location for such development?

The group asked the board to consider their concerns regarding the noise and 24-hour per day diesel exhaust that will invade the unpolluted, narrow valley, and be hemmed in by the canyon walls. Diesel exhaust is a Class 1 carcinogen causing cancer, birth defects and sterility. Noise from trucks’ air brakes, acceleration and idling would be nonstop, 24 hours each day, seven days per week, with no effective way to mitigate that noise in the narrow valley. These are facts, not mere whimsy!

Would the board like this type of development thrust onto their homes and families?

Selling this parcel of land to a Love’s truck stop is not something SITLA can do in good conscience. Although SITLA’s mission is to maximize profits from land sales to benefit public schools, as a state agency SITLA should protect the welfare of local communities in its quest to fulfill its mission. It would be so easy for SITLA to do the right thing. Why doesn’t SITLA reconsider this land sale to Love’s? There are many other SITLA parcels along I-70 or Highway 191 where a truck stop would be appropriate.

Our message to SITLA is: This is our home! Please be a good neighbor and withdraw the sale of your land for the proposed truck stop. There are many other uses of this parcel that would benefit the community, rather than be a detriment. Why not be a good neighbor?

– Carolyn Dailey
Northern San Juan County