Georgetown City Council approved a rezoning request for a property located at 701 Westinghouse Road, paving the way for commercial use in the area—and nearby residents are not in favor of what could be planned.

What’s happening?

The QuikTrip Corporation, commonly referred to as QuikTrip, is looking to rezone the 6.5-acre property from its current industrial zoning to general commercial.

Nearby residents, however, voiced opposing views against the company’s end goal of selling fuel at the site.

Some context

Planning Director Sofia Nelson said the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission recommended the rezoning request be denied at its Oct. 17 meeting. Since then, over 60 residents have spoken against the decision with none in favor.

However, Nelson said with the general commercial zoning, fuel sales are not allowed without a special-use permit. The request is solely for the rezoning of the property, not to allow fuel sales.

“It seemed like there might have been some miscommunication with some of the people that spoke on what we’re actually here for,” a QuikTrip representative said at the Nov. 28 City Council meeting. “It's just a request for zoning. This is obviously one step of many.”

The company representative said the reason for the rezoning is due to commercial and retail services lacking along the corridor, and the need for more commercial development due Georgetown’s growing population.

Those opposed

Many nearby residents were opposed to the idea of a QuikTrip at the aforementioned site for a variety of reasons, including traffic congestion and possible increase in crime rates.

“An additional convenience store with fuel sales doesn’t provide any benefit for this community or the area. This is already well served by the businesses that are there,” Michelle Weiser said.

“[There’s] too many gas stations here around this area—it will cause a lot of traffic and crime,” Eduardo Ramirez said in a written comment to the city.

“We are in need of more restaurants, healthy food stores [and] dry cleaners, not another gas station which will cause more heavy traffic in the vicinity,” Jawed Panjwani said in an email statement to the city.

What officials are saying

While council approved the rezoning despite residents' concerns, they clarified that the request does not allow a gas station or fuel sales.

“This is a zoning to change what the land is allowed to be used for and what it's not allowed to be used for,” council member Kevin Pitts said. “Fuel sales is not something that it’s allowed to be used for with this zoning request. The best way to get more services is to have more commercial zones.”

Council member Amanda Parr said she was in favor of the general commercial zoning for the property rather than industrial.

“People need to look at what they can currently put there with industrial zoning, and I don't think that those are great for the neighborhood as well,” she said. “One thing that I hear often on the southeast side is the lack of amenities. We aren’t here to talk about what amenity is going in that property.”

What happens next?

Because the rezoning was approved on first reading, council will consider the request for final approval at a later date.