Neighbors push back against truck stop on Sardis Church Road

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MACON, Georgia (41NBC/WMGT)– After several complaints from neighbors along Sardis Church Road, Macon-Bibb Planning and Zoning is delaying their decision on a proposal for a new truck stop.

Since Love’s Truck Stop on Sardis Church opened in 2017, Tom and Shelley Stahl say a number of issues started in their neighborhood.

“We’ve seen a lot of non-residential foot traffic in the neighborhood which raises some safety concerns,” Tom Stahl explained. “We’ve also seen the potential for an economic impact where our property values are going to be impacted because of the increasing commercial and industrial use in the areas around our neighborhood.”

The new proposed truck stop would be less than a mile away from Hooper Hill Estates.

“We moved here 26 years ago and that’s not what we ever hoped to have behind our house,” Shelley Stahl said.

In a Monday meeting, Planning and Zoning discussed the proposal and what it could mean for the area. The creators of the proposal at Foresite Group and Carter Engineering say their idea could help make up for a lack of available truck parking at Love’s.

The proposal seeks to put the new truck stop in an agriculturally zoned area.

“We’re asking for rezoning to an M1 to accommodate a truck stop facility as well as additional commercial use,” proposer David Stoniecki said. “The 31-acre property is larger than what we need for the truck use.”

Commissioner Bill Howell and a resident spoke against the proposal. Planning and Zoning decided to delay moving forward until the groups perform a traffic study. Planning and Zoning also want to see more of an agricultural buffer placed at the back of the neighborhood.

“Seems like if we can get that traffic study done and a commitment on a portion of the property to stay agricultural that would help mitigate some of the angst.”

Macon-Bibb Planning and Zoning commission will meet again on March 22 to look at the traffic study and the new plans.

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Peyton Lewis is a 20-year-old reporter from Stockbridge, Georgia. She graduated in December of 2019 with her Bachelor's Degree in Journalism from the University of Georgia. She found a love for reporting after receiving a video camera for her 8th birthday. She and her friends would make mock newscasts in her backyard other creative content. Peyton's love for writing and creating videos pushed her to pursue journalism. In order to kick-start her dream of being a reporter, she left the traditional high school experience at the age of 16 to attend Gordon State College as a full-time student. She graduated with her Associate's degree two weeks before graduating from high school. Previously, Peyton worked as a news intern for 11 Alive in Atlanta, a radio intern for the Joy FM, and a reporter/ technical manager for Grady Newsource. Peyton dreams to become an investigative reporter that leaves a lasting impact on the world around her. She loves Disney, dogs, spicy food, musicals, and her family. Peyton also enjoys reading, watching movies, cheering on the Dawgs, and going on new adventures.