After getting sent back to the drawing board twice, Kroger had its fuel pumps approved at the 2061 Rufe Snow Drive location May 16.

What happened: The grocery giant submitted a special-use permit application for a fueling center that will include an approximately 179-square-foot kiosk and five fuel dispensers.

As part of the permit, which passed with a vote of 5-2, Kroger will need to install access arms to limit traffic behind the building between the hours of 10 p.m. and 6 a.m. In addition, the kiosk must be staffed during the fuel station’s hours of operation.

The backstory: Residents who live in the neighboring development of Highland Meadows showed up to speak against the fuel pumps.

“I’ve been fighting this since December 2022, and there are a ton of reasons why our neighborhood is not thrilled about this,” Samantha Vargas said. “Kroger’s not proven to be a great steward of their property. I feel like this has been pushed through very quickly [with] not enough time to look at all the impacts that it can have on a town and on a neighborhood.”

The specifics: As part of its application, Kroger supplied a presentation on how the project would conform with underground storage tank regulations by utilizing the following equipment and procedures related to the design, construction, and operation of the fueling facility:
  • Entire tank and piping system constructed with noncorrosive materials, secondary containment and tank monitoring equipment
  • Three methods of certification that the installation has been installed, tested and inspected in accordance with applicable state and federal regulations
  • Daily brine monitoring of tank interstitial space during construction
  • Constant electronic tank monitoring once the site opens for operation
  • Installation at a minimum distance greater than 200 feet from any private, public or commercial water well

Rachel Reynolds, the city’s communication and public engagement manager, said one of the primary complaints from adjacent residents is that trucks deliver to Kroger outside of the allowable hours and/or idle behind the store overnight.

"As part of approving the [permit] for the pumps, council tied it to a solution for the issues of trucks delivering and idling behind the store when they shouldn't be," Reynolds said. "Kroger has been working with the [city] staff on some sort of gate or control arms that would effectively block trucks from driving behind the store when they shouldn't, and those are now required to be put in place before the gas pumps get going."

Reynolds added because some of the adjacent neighborhoods have complained about trash stemming from the Kroger store ending up in the nearby trail area, Mayor Armin Mizani encouraged Kroger to participate in the Trash Bash, a community cleanup event that typically happens twice a year.

In seconding Mizani’s motion to approve the permit, Council Member Ross McMullin said while he promised to listen to the concerns of Keller residents, council must try to strike a balance between resident’s concerns and Kroger’s interests.

“At the end of the day, it’s very important for me to know that you’re heard,” he told one of the speakers who made comments against the installation of the fuel pumps.