Watkins Terminal Hits Another Roadblock
July 26, 2000
Protesting residents this week persuaded community leaders of Lake County, Fla., to stall a trucking company’s plan to build a massive truck terminal, claiming it would bring noise, visual pollution and dangerous road conditions to the area.
According to the Orlando Sentinel, residents who live near the proposed site of west Lake Boulevard on State Road 50 said Watkins Motor Lines’ huge trucking facility would not be a welcome addition to their community. Commissioners sided with the protestors.
Watkins may have to give up on building the 150-bay facility. A Watkins executive warned the City Commission that they would pull out of Lake completely if the land-use change they are seeking was turned down.
It was a statement area residents were thrilled to hear, since they would have lived directly across the busy highway from the proposed terminal. Watkins has estimated that it would have generated 1,700 daily truck trips.
Watkins officials tried to convince commissioners that the possibility of another commercial endeavor coming to the area could bring even more traffic problems. The company also reminded officials that they planned to install a new traffic light and to provide buffering to lessen any visual blight from the facility.
However, the tactics didn’t work, and the commission voted 5-0 against the trucking company. The vote was actually about whether to keep an old road network in place that is now occupying vacant land. Watkins needed the road plans vacated in order for the project to go through.