The new owner of the store on the southeast corner of Lebanon Road and Preston Road needed a variance from the city because of the store’s proximity to Hunt Middle School.
The store began selling beer and wine as a Shell convenience store before Hunt Middle School was built. After the gas station property was purchased by Wills Investments Texas LLC last year, city staff denied the new owner’s alcohol permit application because the store’s property line was within 300 feet of the school’s property line. Attorney Matt Bracy, who represented the item before council July 7, explained that the portion of the school’s property closest to the store is outside of a fence. He said the front door of the school is more than 1,200 feet away from the planned 7-Eleven.
“The store was purchased in December, and we've now been doing some renovations and transforming it into a 7-Eleven,” Bracy said. “We've been spending about half a million dollars on that transformation. It's going to really, drastically change that intersection and really improve it, in my opinion.”
Bracy also submitted records from the Texas Alcoholic Beverage Commission that showed the store had only two complaints during its 18 years of operation as a Shell station and the most recent was in 2004.
Council unanimously approved the variance, though Council Member John Keating was absent from the meeting.
In addition to the 7-Eleven store planned at 5032 Preston Road, Bracy said Wills Investments is also building another location at the corner of Rockhill Parkway and Preston Road.