At their meeting this week, the Lubbock City Council heard a push from a citizen to allow off-leash hours for days at a local park, opposition and support for a new truck stop, and approved an expansion for the City’s three-year-old animal shelter.

During the citizen comments portion of the agenda, Jon Spears spoke to the Council and requested off-leash hours for dogs at Tech Terrace Park.

Spears said “There are a lot of good people that are getting really expensive fines just for having Labradors off their leash. Second thing, there are a lot of wasted tax dollars that the police are spending to patrol that park.”

He continued, saying “The fact that it’s such an easy solution, and that’s just simply to have off-leash hours.”

Spears asked that the City allow a few hours per day for dogs to be allowed to be off-leash at the park.

Lubbock Mayor Glen Robertson weighed in, saying that the Lubbock Police presence in the area is higher lately due to neighborhood complaints being made to police.

“This was in response to neighborhoods calling in and demanding response,” said Robertson.

District Three Councilman Todd Klein, who represents the Tech Terrace neighborhood, did not agree with Spears, saying “For many years, I’ve had seniors that have called me saying that they no longer feel comfortable walking around the perimeter of the park…I think what this hopefully becomes, is a catalyst for a dog park.”

Klein continued, saying “I’ll be off the Council very soon, so I’m happy to help as a private citizen, but we need an enclosed dog park at a different location…I’m all about animals, but humans come first.”

The Council also held a public hearing regarding a zone change request to allow a Love’s Travel Stop and Country Store to begin construction off of Interstate 27 and Regis Street, near the Lubbock Preston Smith International Airport.

The company is requesting for the zoning to change from R-1, which is residential, to Interstate Highway Industrial.

One citizen that lives in the area gave an emotional speech in opposition to the zone change request.

“I don’t want it! I don’t want it there. I don’t want the drugs, I don’t want the prostitution. Somebody’s daughter has run away? You know where they are? They’re up at a truck stop somewhere, and I don’t want it there,” said the citizen.

Rick Shuffield, director of real estate and development for Love’s Travel Stop, discussed the issue, saying that their main issues at other stores are truck lockouts, fender benders, and gas drive offs.

“We don’t have any more problems than any other business would have that’s locating there, and statistically, we have much less from a robbery standpoint than what you would have with a convenience store…mainly because there is activity there throughout the evening,” said Shuffield.

Some Council members told Shuffield that Love’s Travel Centers should discuss the potential location with nearby residents and businesses before the Council takes a second vote on the zoning change at their first meeting in early April.

The Council approved the first reading of the zoning change request 6-0, with District One Councilman Victor Hernandez absent.

A new addition will be made to the City of Lubbock’s Animal Shelter, located at 3323 Southeast Loop 289 following a vote from the Council.

The expansion is to allow the City more room for strays at the three-year-old building.

The Council voted 5-1 to approve the $946,000 addition, with Robertson dissenting.

The contract was given to Collier Construction Company of Lubbock. Robertson said he believed that the City should have solicited bids for the construction, instead of just delivering the contract to Collier Construction.