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Neighbors in Louisa County raise concerns about Love’s planned rest area

LOUISA COUNTY, Va. (WWBT) – A neighborhood meeting was held in Louisa County on Wednesday to discuss the possible opening of a Love’s rest stop in town.

Many people who live and work in the area believe this would create significant infrastructure problems, pollution and risks that the community would not be able to cope with.

The proposed Love’s Truck Stop and Travel Center will be located on Cross County Road and Route 522, respectively. Several neighborhood meetings have been held about this project, and some residents believe it should be relocated elsewhere.

“Can you guarantee me that this will not have a negative impact on the health and safety of my family?” said John Barger of Louisa County.

Barger lives just a few miles from the proposed Gum Spring site and said the county does not have the infrastructure needed to accommodate it.

“We’re talking about thousands of gallons of wastewater being treated every day and the potential for tens of thousands of gallons of fuel to leak,” Barger said.

An application for rezoning was submitted in January 2023, and two neighborhood meetings have been held since then.

If approved, it would be located opposite “My Three Chambered Heart,” a reptile museum.

“What we are particularly concerned about is the impact that a noisy, busy and busy rest area will have on the outdoor activities and events we regularly organize,” said co-founder Jake Pugh.

Pugh and his wife started running the Reptile Natural History Science Museum in December and believe the rest stop could be a major distraction.

“If there’s a loud, souped-up car or a big semi-truck driving down the road right in front of us a little too fast and a little too loud, it disrupts everything we’re doing outside. You can even hear it in here. If that became a recurring issue every day, it just gets in the way of what we’re trying to do here,” Pugh said.

In a statement, Christopher Coon, Louisa County’s deputy district administrator, said:

Louisa County understands that residents have concerns about the Loves project. Our Community Development Department is responsible for guiding businesses through the application process, and this application process provides a platform for residents’ voices to be heard.

Our established procedures require project developers to hold neighborhood meetings prior to submitting applications for rezoning or conditional building permits to ensure that residents have an opportunity to hear from the applicant about the project and raise any concerns they may have.

Following these meetings, all applications will be reviewed by the Planning Commission and Board of Supervisors. We are currently in the initial stages and staff will include recommended conditions in the staff report to address potential impacts and resident concerns.

If the public has questions, they can contact the Louisa County Department of Community Development.

Char Bruner, Love’s real estate director, made this statement:

Love’s prides itself on partnering with the communities we join from day one. In Gum Spring, we have attended several community meetings, listened to resident feedback, and incorporated suggestions into our design plans. Some examples include creating landscape buffers and improving on- and off-ramps to improve traffic flow.

We look forward to becoming part of the Gum Spring community, with the clean spaces, friendly faces and amenities like fresh food, dog parks and more that Love’s is known for. I will be at the meeting tonight to speak with attendees.”

Before this plan becomes a reality, further steps must be taken. The planning commission must vote on it and the decision ultimately goes to the supervisory board, which either accepts or rejects the proposal.

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