Anger and frustration spilled out of Tuesday morning's Wichita City Council meeting over a vote to adjust the zoning of a planned Love’s truck stop on the northwest side of 21st and I-135 to allow for a large display sign and RV parking.

Syeeda Echols who lives in the homes on the other side of I-135 and came to speak at the council meeting says “I feel really deflated because we weren't allowed to speak and just the way the whole situation was handled.”

Several people joined Echols to speak against the truck stop but were unable to. The public hearing on the issue was held in a previous planning commission meeting.

Mayor Brandon Whipple says because of the city code doesn't allow the council to re-open it at their meeting. “Anything that comes through the MAPC, which is a joint board with the county and with the city, that public hearing happens at their board. So we actually are really, our hands tied really by law.”

Planning department staff say it sent out public notices to businesses and homes within 750 feet of the development with more than enough time for people to come to that meeting. 

The problem, residents say, is that the zone only touched a few homes in that area and most of them are rented, so the notice went to the property owner and not the person living there. Echols says most people found out about the project in the last week. "Had they communicated properly, they probably would have got a bigger response in protest.”

City leaders share the resident's concerns over the communication process when it comes to zoning issues.

Councilman Brandon Johnson says “That notification process is not good. State law says 200 feet, we have an escalating notification area depending on development size but I've continually said that we should be notifying 1000 feet minimum.“ Both Councilwoman Maggie Ballard and Mayor Whipple shared similar sentiments on the process.

Residents do not want the truck stop near their homes for several reasons, one of them is the neighborhood is already dealing with the 29th and Grove contamination site.

“We're already dealing with the environmental injustice of the last 30 years for them not telling us about the 29th and Grove contamination," Aujanae Bennett told KAKE Tuesday.  She added, “I am afraid or concerned that we're going to have prostitution, we're going to have drugs, we're going to have transient travel, we're going to have sex trafficking."

The planned truck stop did not have to go through city approval since the land is already zoned for industrial use from previous business there. Tuesday's vote was just about allowing Love's to build the sign and RV area.

Johnson added to the zoning request to have WPD work closely with Love's to combat any crime issues there as well as have the business inform residents if any contamination issues pop up.

Those at the meeting say they plan to fight the stop any way they can.

“It really feels like a slow genocide of our neighborhood between the water pollution and now with truck stops the air pollution," said Echols.

“I'm a native Wichitan, I'm asking all my Wichitans, which says, would you want lives in your backyard? Would you?” added Bennett.