An Ottawa County, Michigan court has dismissed a lawsuit filed by a group of opponents seeking to block construction of a new truck stop at I-196 at Adams Street.
The 171-member group, which goes by the name One by One and mostly made up of residents, filed the lawsuit in April after failing to persuade Holland Township trustees and planning commissioners to overturn the townships decision to build a Love’s truck stop on the 13-acre site at the southeast corner of the interchange.
One by One maintains the operation would harm surrounding neighborhoods, claiming the truck stop would bring in crimes like sex trafficking, increase the risk of car crashes on Adams Street, and prevent people from enjoying the nearby Hawthorn Pond Natural Area.
The Ottowa Country Circuit court denied their appeal, saying they don’t have any legal standing to pursue the case since the opponents did not live close enough to the truck stop to qualify as “aggrieved parties,” nor will they will suffer personal damages, but rather, “alleged general damages of the kind experienced by other community members.”
Township officials contested that opponents also could have spoken out at a public hearing a month before the site plan was approved, but members objected that most residents were unaware of the project until after the hearing, denying opponents a chance to speak out against the truck stop before its March vote.
The truck stop would also include two restaurants, a tire store, truck scale and 69 parking spots for trucks, most designated for overnight use. The township has already granted a series of variances related to lighted signs for the site.
In the ruling, judge Jon Van Allsburg reminded opponents of other ways to try and stop the construction, including their right to peacefully assemble or the option to “remove or recall” township officials at the ballot box. But a ballot box effort couldn’t happen until after the truck stop is built.
The group has less than 30 days to decide whether to ask Michigan’s Court of Appeals to overrule Van Allsburg’s opinion.