Wednesday, November 19, 2003

Flying J Travel Plaza steers toward Dixon horizon

November 19, 2003

Travel plaza steers toward Dixon horizon

By Barbara Smith/Staff Writer

A Utah-based developer of truck stops who has poked around Dixon for years intends to submit within weeks a formal application to build a travel plaza.

In an unscheduled presentation Tuesday to the Dixon Planning Commission, Terrence Bride, project director for Property Development Group Inc., and the Flying J Travel Plaza, announced the firm's plans to develop an 18,000-square- foot plaza on 16 acres at the southeast corner of Pedrick Road and Interstate 80.

The facility would serve both the professional driver and others, and include a full service restaurant, convenience store, laundry facilities, showers, a rest area and "all the amenities drivers would expect," Bride said.

The firm will hold a couple of informal, community meetings within the next two weeks to gather input, he said.

"We just want to make certain we are not surprising the community," Bride said. "We want to move quickly, but do not want to miss any steps."

Dixon Mayor Mary Ann Courville said Flying J's refreshed interest in Dixon is not surprising because it's been going on for years.

"This has been going on since 1996," she said. "Every once in a while, they come along and start asking questions again, so we think they are coming back with a proposal, but never do."

Courville said the land owned by the developer is included in the northeast quadrant, annexed into the city in 1996.

"There was some preliminary discussions about it, back then, but there wasn't real interest in having them do the project."

About a year ago, they resurfaced and did a parcel split on their map, she said. When the public got wind of the possibility of a truck stop coming, there was quite a bit of opposition, Courville said.

"I think that's why they backed down for awhile in presenting their proposal."

Bride said the project would include a great deal of landscaping, more than would be expected for a travel plaza, and offer a residential appeal and modern design.

Flying J's latest interest in Dixon comes at a time when a racetrack has been proposed for the southwest corner of Pedrick and I-80. Also, the Solano County Transportation Authority is narrowing options for relocation of the Cordelia truck scales. The STA's preferred option includes a truck scales along I-80 on the Vacaville-Dixon Greenbelt.

Courville, who vehemently opposes a truck scales on the greenbelt, said she has no idea if there is a connection.

"They've been in and out of city hall for years now, so I can't begin to say what I think of it. I'll welcome their proposal, and we'll take a look at it," she said.

If Flying J develops the travel plaza, it would be the only large-scale truck stop in Solano County. In September, the Terminal Station Truck Stop, located near the Cordelia truck scales, closed down. It was purchased by a developer and the city of Fairfield Redevelopment Agency.

The truck stop had serviced 400 to 500 truckers per day for 35 years.

Barbara Smith can be reached at

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