Flying J passes first hurdle
Planning Commission Update
On Monday, March 13, the Tehachapi Planning Commission was presented with three resolutions regarding the proposed Flying J Travel Center which will be located at the corner of Tehachapi Blvd. and Steuber Rd.
Travis Crawford, Principal Environmental Planner for Crawford & Bowen Planning, Inc. of Visalia, made a visual presentation of their Environmental Impact Report to the Committee. He said that the project will encompass 12.44 acres with 2/3 being devoted to the Flying J Travel Center and 1/3 for diesel truck parking. The Travel Center, which will include a Wendy's, is designed in earth tones and stone in keeping with the surrounding area. Signage will be kept to a minimum. A mural is planned for the center, perhaps of the windmills, which will be maintained by Flying J. The project will also include "dark sky" lighting technology. Crawford said that they tried to keep the spirit of Tehachapi.
The EIR presentation covered impacts involving air quality, area biology, cultural resources, water uses, noise and traffic and how they plan to address these issues. The entire CEQA document that they prepared is 600 pages in length and is available on the city website. The commission had been provided with a 30 page synopsis with reference to the full report.
Commissioner Mick Williams moved for a continuance based on the fact that the Commission had only four days to review the report. The motion died for lack of a second. The rest of the commission felt that they had enough information in their packets to make a decision. The EIR was approved with a 4-1 vote.
Available to answer questions regarding the site plan and design was Patrick Deptula, Director of Design and Construction for Pilot/Flying J. Both the site plan and design were approved by the commission with Commissioner Williams abstaining.
Commission President Daryl Christensen cautioned City Developmental Services Director Jay Schlosser that while four days is normally sufficient to review most projects that come before the commission, it would be appreciated if they were allowed more time to review projects of this magnitude.