Seminole County commissioner weighs in on truck stop

Seminole County Commissioner Lee Constantine

Seminole County Commissioner Lee Constantine

“This is not about Seminole versus Volusia.”

— Seminole County Commissioner Lee Constantine

 

Seminole County Commissioner Lee Constantine defends calls to relocate a truck parking area along Interstate 4 in Longwood to a site northward, perhaps in Volusia County.

“At the [Florida] DOT [Department of Transportation], they need to put together a long-term solution,” Constantine told The Beacon, following the newspaper’s publication of an article on the controversy. “I’m in the middle of it. This is in my district. I think they need to have private-public partnership.”

Proposals — or demands — to move the truck rest area have annoyed and angered Volusia County’s leaders and officials in West Volusia cities, and they have gone on record with their opposition. Objections to the relocation of the truck rest area involve fears of large numbers of semi rigs spread over a wide area, the noise of diesel engines in the night and early-morning hours, and fears the truck site would attract drug activity and prostitution.

The issue has come up for discussion in the East Central Florida Regional Planning Council and MetroPlan, the transportation-planning agency that serves the Central Florida region.

Part of the debate involves confusion between a truck parking area and a truck stop. The Longwood site is a rest area along I-4 just north of State Road 434. A truck stop is a complex with a restaurant, hotel, fuel sales and repair services, as well as parking. A truck stop is a private business that may conceivably be developed at or close to an interchange.

The ”private-public partnership” Constantine mentioned would involve an agreement between a truck-stop owner and the FDOT.

In any event, Constantine says, the Longwood truck parking site, which has been there for about 40 years, should be moved because it is no longer suitable for the area.

“Regardless of whether this should have been built there, the area has redeveloped,” he noted, referring to the neighborhoods and shopping centers nearby. “We here in Seminole County believe it is in the wrong location. This is not about Seminole versus Volusia.”

Constantine even suggested Flagler County, served by a long stretch of Interstate 95 and relatively close to I-4, may be a good place for a truck stop.

- Al Everson, al@beacononlinenews.com

 
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