City of New Braunfels officials approved a proposed modification to the city’s truck-stop regulations that staff said will help ease traffic congestion, reduce excessive diesel fumes and mitigate the rapid degradation of public infrastructure.

The approval came during City Council’s Dec. 14 meeting, at which Maddison O’Kelley, assistant city planner for New Braunfels, told officials that among the modifications in the new ordinance, certain vehicles at truck stops may idle for a maximum of 10 minutes, and overnight idling is prohibited unless an applicant is granted a special-use permit to do so.

Officials clarified during the Dec. 14 meeting that the new rules would not apply to the three existing truck stops but rather to new truck stops that may come to New Braunfels.

During the public comment section of the agenda item, some residents noted their disapproval of the new rules for several reasons, including the possibility of encouraging more truck stops to come to the city.

New Braunfels resident Amy Gusman said she felt the ordinance not applying to existing truck stops was counterproductive to the spirit of the new rules.

“I don’t quite understand why the city would even entertain yet another truck stop in this beautiful, pristine city that we have,” she said. “I don’t think adding another truck stop—or more than another truck stop—within city limits is good for this city.”

City staff pointed out there are protections within the new rules that could stave off an influx of new truck stops.

Chris Looney, the city's director of planning and community development, confirmed during the meeting that if there is at least 20% opposition from neighboring residents of a proposed truck stop, council may only approve it with a super majority, which would be six out of seven affirmative votes.