continued Town Senior Planner Rob Leslie advised the developers they could embark on trying to have the parcel rezoned.
“If you can make a case for tourism... that's going to only help your case for a rezone,” he said.
The rezoning process will require a lot more details to be worked up, however, and Saunders expressed trepidation about putting a lot of work in.
“We'd hate to spend $75,000 to $100,000...then get turned down,” he said.
A proposal for a similar project in 2009 never got off the ground. The developers said if a travel plaza doesn't move ahead they might just sell the land to the highest bidder or donate it to the town rather than pay the taxes on it. They've owned the land for eight years, they said.
Members of the Design Planning Committee, an informal group that takes a first look at projects before the formal planning process gets underway, also advised the developers to reach out to nearby residents and schedule a meeting in Selkirk to open a dialogue with the community.