WAXAHACHIE

Waxahachie might be soon home to a beaver sporting a red ball cap. The planning and zoning commission will hear from Buc-ee’s representatives at its Tuesday night meeting.

The convenience store chain is just one of three significant projects on the Waxahachie commercial horizon. The meeting will take place at 7 p.m. in the council chambers located at 401 S. Rogers Street.

Buc-ee’s is known for its clean restrooms, Texas-themed items, and a cartoon mascot. The proposed location is on the southwest corner of Interstate Highway 35E and Butcher Road. The site is caddy-corner to the QT, located on the northbound side of I-35E at Butcher Road.

The representatives are requesting a zoning change from industrial to a planned development.

Kassandra Carroll, Waxahachie Economic Development Coordinator, stated Buc-ee’s is still in the early stages of the zoning process.

“They do have the property under contract, but it has not been closed on yet," Carroll said. "The surrounding property owners have been notified about the potential zoning change.”

According to documents filed with the city, the building would have a footprint of 53,254 square feet with 450 parking spaces. Buc-ee’s is also requesting a 600-square foot pole sign with a height of 100 feet. The current maximum size for a pole sign allowed by the City of Waxahachie is 300 square feet with a height of 75 feet.

Shon Brooks, Waxahachie Planning Director, stated the design proposed by Buc-ee’s meets the city’s established standards.

“The proposed building looks good, and the landscaping looks strong. There were not many deviations from the city ordinance,” Brooks said. “They are going to want a taller sign then what is allowed by right, so I think that is going to be a discussion item."

Brooks added a development like Buc-ee’s has the potential to bring other businesses to the city, creating a ripple effect.

Buc-ee’s officials first considered a site located at the southwest corner of Interstate Highway 35E and U.S. Highway 287 – across I-35E from the Waxahachie Civic Center.

Plans are also underway to open a $30-plus million-travel center that totals 52,000 square feet in Ennis. Construction on the Ennis location is anticipated to take 12-18 months with an opening in May or June 2019.

Jeff Andalo, general counsel for Buc-ee’s, stated the company is hoping to obtain all of the necessary approvals for the project to move forward.

“We think that it is a great location and we have had a very warm welcome from the local government there,” Andalo said. “They have been very helpful and have done a great job to lay a foundation for us to come here.”

Andalo stated the Texas Department of Transportation is doing a lot of road work necessary for the store to open. The store hopes to open in three to four years. He noted a typical store employs between 150-225 employees.

Forbes magazine estimates revenues for the privately held company were over $275-million in 2016. Owner Arch “Beaver” Apin III and Don Wasek opened the first Buc-ee’s store in 1982 in Lake Jackson.

NEW APARTMENTS PLANNED

The Waxahachie Planning and Zoning Commission will also consider a request for a zoning change from multi-family-two zoning to a planned development-multi-family-two for the Mark on 287 apartment complex.

Builder Chis Acker stated the complex is similar to the Mark on Solon, which is currently under construction. City council members continued the item at the June 4 meeting.

The complex will have 140 units spread out over five buildings and will feature an amenities center and a pool. Construction is anticipated to begin in six months. The complex will adjoin the new Waxahachie High School on the US 287 service road.

Acker said the project is going back to the planning and zoning commission to dedicate right away for new thoroughfares to the new streets.

Zoning documents indicate staff recommends that additional considerations may be required due to development exceeding the maximum density allowed, and having a minimum of 50 percent of the units requiring an enclosed garage.

FOOD TRUCK YARD

P&Z commissioners will also consider a request for a zoning change from commercial to a planned development-commercial zoning district for a proposed Eastside Food Park from Verlin Taylor with VKT Associates.

The location of the park is at 1501 Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. Boulevard.

According to documents filed with the city, the Eastside Food Park has a mission is to provide a variety of foods such as seafood, barbeque, pasta, chicken, sandwiches and bakery items with complementary prices. The developer hopes to open the park between late September and Oct. 15. The park plans to be open three days a week if approved by the city council.

According to zoning documents, city staff sites several concerns about the development and recommends denial.

The concerns include a lack of parking for customers, vehicular circulation within the site, and the use of trash cans instead of dumpsters.