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6/18/2013 10:58:00 AM
Love's Travel Stop eyes location at Grand Canyon Boulevard and I-40 in Williams
Owner requests sign size variance at Williams City Council meeting, council members table discussion
Tevis Reich, a Flagstaff lawyer representing local gas station owner Chuck Sandoval, addresses the council. Clara Beard/WGCN
Tevis Reich, a Flagstaff lawyer representing local gas station owner Chuck Sandoval, addresses the council. Clara Beard/WGCN

Clara Beard
Williams-Grand Canyon News Reporter

A Love's Travel Stop may be coming to Williams.

But before the second largest travel stop in the country can start building on land located north of I-40, the city must approve a variance for a large free-standing sign advertising the truck stop and displaying current gas prices.

"We think there's a need out here in this area, and would like to be part of your community," said Love's representative Kym Van Dyke during the Williams City Council's regular meeting June 5. He added that Love's would bring tax revenue and around 30 to 60 jobs to the town.

Love's needs the variance for the large high-rise sign so truckers can easily see the sign, have enough time to maneuver on the interstate and know where to stop safely.

"It's critical to our business," Van Dyke said.

Williams has an ordinance in place stating the maximum height for a freestanding sign should not exceed 60 feet and a maximum size of 300 square feet. A typical Love's high-rise sign is more than 1,000 square feet, but the Oklahoma-based travel stop business is reducing the size to 672 square feet to better accommodate the city's ordinance. Van Dyke said that because of the sign's location away from downtown, it wouldn't block visibility from any other businesses.

Tevis Reich, a Flagstaff lawyer representing local gas station owner Chuck Sandoval, told council members the variance would give unfair exposure to Love's.

"I'm sure that every business in Williams would love to have a billboard sign for their business for visibility and advertising, but the reason that the code exists is to give everyone the same equal playing field," Reich said. "If you start allowing people to have larger signs, what you have done is essentially raise the bar."

Reich went on to say that Love's wants the sign to be so big that that's all that motorists see, which is not a reason to give a variance.

Williams City Council has granted sign variances for Olson's Grain, Best Western Motel, McDonald's, Chevron, and Holiday Inn. The Mobil Station has three freestanding signs on site with only one legal street frontage sign.

Because city staff didn't give council members a recommendation in its report, the council tabled the issue.

Related Stories:
• Judge dismisses Love's Travel Stop lawsuit

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Reader Comments

Posted: Wednesday, July 3, 2013
Article comment by: Steve Williams

If it was about fairness then all the signs would be the same. the council has granted exemptions for their friends so why not for the new guys.

Posted: Thursday, June 27, 2013
Article comment by: it isn't about competition

It is about fairness. Why should they be allowed to build a sign that does not conform to the city ordinance? Come to town if you want, just follow the same rules and regs that other businesses have to follow. Any one who thinks that gas prices are going to be $3.00 per gallon at the truck stop are retarded. They will charge as much as they can get, just like any other business. The only way to drive down prices is to not buy.

Posted: Wednesday, June 26, 2013
Article comment by: Tom Kemp

Completion is good. It's the American way. If gas prices go down, more tourist will stop on by. Plain and simple.

Posted: Saturday, June 22, 2013
Article comment by: Jeremiah Sheward

I hope they are allowed to come in and do business here I hope they also help pull the price of fuel down as some people believe it will. As a new homeowner in the area I say let them have a large sign and allow the other fuel stations to build bigger ones or like some places back in my home town did allow them to place other signs a few miles up the interstate with remote controlled pricing fixtures. I never buy more than a few gallons of fuel here because I can go to flag (by)weekly buy almost everything I need including fuel then come back for less than i would pay here Including cost of fuel burnt getting there. I love this town but, when shops are not even competitive enough that I can pay fuel to drive 80 miles round trip and still save there is a problem.

all that said I still buy all my hot sauce here, and drag all my out of town family around the local shops because its an experience.

Posted: Friday, June 21, 2013
Article comment by: Williams Resident

While I am a Williams resident I am not a Williams shopper because of the pricing and attitude of local store owners...It would be great if our local Chamber had some discussions with their member about them ripping off locals

Posted: Thursday, June 20, 2013
Article comment by: Pat E Smith

I can't wait for the new truck stop to come to town. My only concern is the type of people that hang around these truck stops. Some of my old habits die hard..........

Posted: Wednesday, June 19, 2013
Article comment by: blah blah blah blah

Maybe you should just move to Flagstaff!!

It isn't about "competition", it is about rules and regulations that are in place and it is UNFAIR to change them just because a big corporation wants to come here.

They can come all they want, just follow the rules and don't ask for special favors!!!!!!!!!!!

Posted: Tuesday, June 18, 2013
Article comment by: Local Resident

Local gas station owners are scared they may have to reduce the price of the over priced gas in Williams in order to make any sales if the truck stop even goes in at all. If a Truck stop goes in, most of their business will be trucks, not cars.
A little competition is good for the local gas stations anyway. Maybe a person would not have to go to Flagstaff to get gas 0.40 Cents cheaper per gallon. And if we had another Grocery store we would not have to go to Flag for Groceries at almost half price and Medications at the pharmacies in Flagstaff for $0.00 Copay If we had a Walmart here. Every one says at Christmas Shop local, Who wants to spend $40.00 for a Rt 66 sweat shirt for their teen for Christmas when they can go to Flagstaff and buy them some Jeans and a nice Shirt or blouse for the same money at Walmart. And have a nice outing with their Family to shop for other family member gifts also at much lower prices. Williams needs to get real and learn that not all of life is always going to be competition free and If they want to act like a superb community then start acting like one.

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