The proposed ordinance amends the text of the Unified Land Development Code, to add a non-residential use for travel centers, to define such use, to establish conditions for such use, and to distinguish such use from other uses defined in the Unified Land Development Code.
The applicant is seeking to add a new land use for developments in between the intensity of a truck stop and a regular gas station. The proposed travel center land use classification offers more robust facilities and services that differ from those provided at a gas station or gas station minimart, as defined in the ULDC. Travel centers are larger facilities and accommodate both commercial and non-commercial travelers, but do not offer the full range of services that are associated with commercial Truck stops. The applicant is proposing the following amendments:
- Add non-residential land use and districts permitted for Travel center;
- Establish conditions for Travel center;
- Location restrictions within a 1,500-foot radius of specific intersections on designated truck routes;
- Acreage and frontage requirements for potential sites;
- Parking restrictions for commercial vehicles;
- Requirement for separation of commercial and non-commercial vehicle fueling areas;
- Minimum building size requirement; and
- Screening requirements when adjacent to single-family residential.
- Define travel center; and
- Amend definitions for gas station, gas station minimart, gas station minimart with limited food preparation, and truck stop.
The Planning and Zoning Commission (the "Commission") does not believe that travel centers are a necessary land use for the City. The Commission expressed concern over: the potential secondary impacts of the proposed locations; distress on surrounding neighborhoods; traffic generated by prospective travel centers; and the impact on the city’s image in relation to scenic gateways. With the market yielding large gas station concepts that provide an array of amenities, the Commission did not identify the need or purpose for travel centers in the City of Baytown. They expressed that conventional gas stations and truck stops are sufficient in addressing the needs of all travelers. After lengthy discussion during the first and second public hearings, with no comments from the public, the Commission unanimously voted to not recommend the text amendment application as presented.
The Planning and Zoning Commission Report is attached for your review.