City Council tabled a request from Quick Trip Corp. for a special-use permit to allow for a convenience store in the northern part of Lakeway.
The motion effectively buys time for council—60 days—to work with Quick Trip Corp. and conduct a traffic study that officials hope will answer more questions about uncertainties on an already problematic intersection.
Charlotte Hodges, Lakeway building and development services director, said the traffic impact analysis conducted within the next two months will be underwritten by Quick Trip Corp.
“Our code requires that a full traffic impact analysis is completed by the developer if there is more than 2,000 trips [per day]generated by the developer,” Hodges said.
Council’s decision April 15 was a clear signal that while they would like to see the Quick Trip brand come to Lakeway, they want to get the decision right.
Should council vote to allow the special-use permit in 60 days, there would still be many steps to take before the store is operational, according to Hodges. Council’s approval would simply start the process of replacing the existing business, an automotive repair shop on the 2.14-acre plat at the southeast corner of the intersection of RM 620 and Debba Drive.
Quick Trip Corp. representative Robert Costello presented a slideshow to council during the April 15 meeting and said he wanted to address some resident concerns that have come up recently.
“Seems like there is a lot of concern about traffic. I get it.” Costello said, adding 75% of people visiting convenience stores are already on the road, constituting what he called pass-by trips, so traffic impact should be minimal.
A letter from representatives of Quick Trip to the city of Lakeway states the lot is surrounded by similar commercial businesses, and “the economic impact of the development will more than likely be beneficial to the surrounding area.”
Costello also said the Texas Department of Transportation has extensive improvement plans for RM 620, and Quick Trip representatives would work with the department to do what they can to help create the least impactful schematic concerning traffic.
Still, officials on the dais remained guarded. Mayor Sandy Cox said Lakeway officials met with TxDOT representatives to discuss potential traffic issues for the store, and she still had concerns. Council Member Louis Mastrangelo asked for further clarification on why a Quick Trip location on RM 620 and Debba would not significantly increase congestion at the intersection.
Council Member Ron Massa drove home the point that automobiles headed westbound on Debba wanting to turn into the store could potentially cause lengthy backups while waiting for eastbound traffic to clear along the two-lane road.
Stephanie Fitzharris, a resident living near the proposed convenience store, said during public comment she does not see the urgency in approving the project right now. Along with several other residents, Fitzharris urged council to postpone approval of the special-use permit until more is known about what can be done to assuage traffic concerns.
Another concern for several residents involved a Circle K store that was granted a special-use permit at the same intersection by council that has since been invalidated. Residents stated if Circle K representatives request another special-use permit, potentially placing two convenience stores at that intersection, traffic management could become even more dubious.
Despite Costello’s several efforts to convince council to go ahead with the special-use permit approval, ultimately, those in favor of a delay got what they wanted.