An Oklahoma City-based chain of truck stops and convenience stores proposing to build a new facility on the north side of I-35 along the access road between Oak Creek Way and Alligator Creek in New Braunfels has asked city officials to postpone action on it until at least September.
According to David Ferguson, the city’s media and communications coordinator, Love’s Travel Stops and Country Stores requested to postpone the item to the Sept. 8 meeting of the city’s Planning Commission. City council members are tentatively scheduled to consider the request on Sept. 27 for the first reading.
Love’s is required to submit an approved traffic impact analysis to the city’s planning staff no later than Aug. 9 for placement on the September Planning Commission agenda, Ferguson said.
Ferguson added that mailed notices of the new dates had been sent to property owners within 200 feet of the proposed development regarding the postponement, and a new newspaper notice will go out in August.
Planning Commission members last month voted to postpone action on the truck stop after a request from Love’s representatives. Commission members had also expressed concern at that time about making a recommendation to the New Braunfels City Council after learning that the traffic impact analysis of the site had yet to gain approval from the city’s Public Works Department and the Texas Department of Transportation.
Maddison O’ Kelley, assistant city planner for the city, told commission members during last month’s meeting that Love’s would need to obtain those approvals before city council members could consider the special use permit request.
The proposed Love’s location is the first truck stop proposal under consideration since city council members approved an ordinance amendment in December removing the proximity restriction between truck stops, adopting development and operational standards to minimize potential negative impacts on surrounding property, and adding the requirement for approval of a special use permit before the development of any new truck stop.
According to O’ Kelley, the application for a permit allowing a truck stop requires submission of a site plan, landscaping plan, traffic impact analysis and feasibility study indicating the anticipated demand for truck fueling and overnight parking.
Under city ordinance, required development standards for truck stops include a minimum setback of 300 feet from any property line used or zoned for residential use, including single-family, two-family, multifamily or manufactured home park use, as well as a 6-foot to 8-foot tall masonry wall, one 3-inch caliper shade tree per 15 linear feet and one 24- inch tall shrub every five feet.
Plans submitted to the city for the proposed truck stop includes a convenience store with one attached restaurant with a drive-thru and one attached restaurant without a drive-thru, a Speedco Truck Care Center, passenger car fueling and parking areas, diesel truck fueling and parking areas, recreational vehicle parking areas and holding tank unloading facilities, a dog park, a Caterpillar truck scale and a propane tank.
Overnight truck idling is prohibited unless requested as part of the permit application. Love’s is not requesting the allowance of overnight idling, however. The ordinance would require the company to provide signage indicating overnight idling is prohibited.
Before December, the city’s zoning ordinance allowed truck stops as a use permitted by right in specific zoning designations, but its definition of “truck stop” included a provision that they could only be located outside a two-mile radius of another truck stop.