Community struggles to balance industrial growth, truck parking

By Clarissa Kell-Holland, Land Line staff writer | 9/13/2011

Sumner City Administrator Diane Supler told Land Line on Sept. 8 that there has been a renewed “conversation” about truck parking on the 90 acres in their interchange commercial area, and she and council members have been meeting with property owners about developing the area.

“The lack of truck parking is a regional problem in this area. We realize that we have a heavy industrial area, and we need to find some solutions to address this,” Supler said. “We are trying to think long term about ways that will help the property owners develop their property.”

She said the city council has clarified some of the zoning issues and has added some additional zoning that is more “truck-related.” 

“We recognize the federal regulations for people that are truck drivers and their need to rest,” Supler said. “We are also trying to see if there is an opportunity to do some type of development that is truck-related that provides them with amenities and the necessary things they need when they have downtime, like haircuts, laundry, the dentist or medical exams.

She said council members in Sumner have been asking for examples of how other communities balance industrial growth and added truck parking. The Mustard Seed Truck Stop in Sumner has been trying to expand for years in Sumner and currently charges for truck parking.

“Earlier, I hired a facilitator. Interested property owners met with the city, and we had a conversation about how we can develop a progressive place – because the examples we have around here are 30 years old,” she said.

She said one of the hangups to developing a travel plaza with amenities is that Sumner would receive very little money from the travel-related industry.

“All of the fuel taxes are just simply redistributed in the state of Washington based on population, so if we had all the diesel (pumps) in the world, we don’t get any additional revenue,” Supler said. “The money goes into a pot and gets redistributed.”

Another meeting on this issue is scheduled for Sept. 23.