Almost from the moment the phrase “planned truck stop at Cotton Properties” was uttered at a fall city council study session, Litchfield Park and Waddell neighbors consistently howled a unified response: “No Love’s!”
At Glendale City Council and Planning Commission meetings and at a neighborhood meeting with the developer of 160 acres at Cotton Lane and West Bethany Home Road, scores of neighbors insisted a Love’s Travel Stop would bring noise, crime and congestion to their rural neighborhood.
As the city moved ahead, first with annexation of the former Maricopa County land, then with rezoning approval, it seemed the protests were in vain.
Until last week, when the truck stop hit a stop sign.
“The city of Glendale has been informed by representatives of Cotton Properties that they have officially canceled the sale agreement with Love’s Travel Stops and have entered into a deed restriction agreement with the Montana Farms Property Owners Association and Protect Neighborhoods Now,” said Jay Crandall, a city spokesman.
“That agreement will prohibit a truck stop from being built as any part of the development.”
The national truck stop company confirmed this in an email to The Glendale Star.
“Love’s is not moving forward with building a travel stop at the location we were previously looking at in Glendale. We are open to building at another location in the future but do not currently have plans to build in Glendale or on the 303 corridor,” said Caitlin Campbell, a Love’s spokeswoman.
While C.J. Unzen rallied her Litchfield Park and Waddell neighbors for months to attend meetings and fire off angry emails to city council members, it took a legal effort led by Kathryn Cooley-McKinney to slam the brakes on a truck stop.
Cooley-McKinney said a threatened referendum on the issue did the trick.
“Our lawyer, Tim LaSota, has been negotiating with the property owners regarding the referendum. If we pulled the referendum they would pull the truck stop. The reason being they had a buyer and our little referendum stood in the way,” she said.
“The community came together and collected signatures from Glendale residents, and the one thing I can tell you, the Glendale community did not want that truck stop anywhere on the 303.”
She noted her father, James Cooley, developed the area. “He (wanted) to give families a country feel and feel safe in our little community. The truck stop would have taken that away.”
Councilwoman Joyce Clark, who represents the Yucca District that includes Cotton Properties, was often the target of angry emails for months as she defended the development.
In a city press release, she said, “I want to thank the owners of Cotton Properties for their constant communication throughout this process. I appreciate their patience and willingness to listen to the many different voices in our community.”
But, in response to a Facebook post by The Glendale Star on the truck stop being stopped, Clark posted a cryptic comment:
“While the citizens are to be congratulated for their tremendous effort, someday I will tell the back story of how the truck stop decision came about.”
Asked to clarify her statement, Clark did not respond by press time.