North Bend, Wash., permanently bans future development of truck parking

By Tyson Fisher, Land Line staff writer | Friday, April 22, 2016

Two years after the city of North Bend, Wash., passed an interim ordinance banning future development of truck parking, the city council has made the regulation permanent.

Councilmembers voted unanimously on Tuesday, April 19, to make permanent the controversial ordinance banning new truck parking spaces, including any expansions to the lone truck stop in town. The original ordinance, which was meant to be temporary, was signed in April 2014 and has been extended several times since, the latest occurring on March 23. The latest ordinance takes effect May 2.

At the beginning of the council meeting, State Senator Mark Mullet recalled a face-to-face meeting with Chair of Senate Transportation Committee Curtis King, North Bend Mayor Ken Hearing and City Administrator Londi Lindell. After the meeting, King and Mullet agreed to help out the city. They kept their promise and set aside $100,000 for North Bend in the latest state transportation package.

Gina Estep, community and economic development director of North Bend, introduced the truck stop ordinance to the council.

“The city found it’s not in the best interest of the city to expand the existing truck travel center beyond its existing site or the allowance of new without a freight mobility plan that would address and mitigate the potential adverse impacts,” Estep said.

Ten citizens voiced their opinions before the ordinance was put to a vote. Seven of ten supported the amendment, citing air pollution, the city’s mission and the issue being regional rather than local. The attorney of the owners of the truck stop property and a former trucker were among the dissenters.

Chair of Planning Commission Gary Fancher gave a statement before the council voted.

“Voting in favor does not mean a vote against trucking,” he said. “Voting for this does not mean the work is done, the problem is solved or the industry’s needs are met. It does not mean we have a lack of concern or care for the 6,000 or more daily I-90 truck drivers and their services. Rather, it is a reflection that one city of about 6,500 residents cannot take on the increasing need alone for a region of 2 million people, countless businesses and two ports.”

Council member Jeanne Pettersen echoed that sentiment.

“First I want to emphasize that everyone at this table understands clearly that we are indebted to truck drivers for transport for all the needed goods to our communities,” Pettersen said. “Also that everyone at this table has empathy for the hardships that truckers face.”

Council members said the Puget Sound region has an insufficient number of truck stops, and the region and state needs to step up to the plate. Council member Jonathan Rosen also brought up California’s CARB regulations. Rosen asked the council to consider at a future date adopting CARB ordinances.

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