H-E-B asks to delay rezoning request on proposed second Leander store

H-E-B has asked the City of Leander to delay a rezoning request for a potential second grocery store until Jan. 17.

The Texas-based chain was scheduled to go before Leander City Council on Dec. 6 to request rezoning on the southwest corner of FM 2243 and Ronald Reagan Boulevard, where they have tentative plans to build a second store.

During a Nov. 8 Planning and Zoning Commission meeting, at least three dozen nearby residents—mostly from the neighboring Ridgmar Landing subdivision—came to protest the proposed location or rezoning of the mostly undeveloped corner. There were also 11 speakers who voiced support for the proposed H-E-B.

The commission voted unanimously to support the rezoning, leaving final hearings and City Council approval as the only remaining hurdles before the contract to purchase the property can be finalized, said Stephen Drenner, an Austin lawyer who spoke on behalf of H-E-B at the Nov. 8 meeting.

But H-E-B requested Nov. 30 to delay the hearing planned for Dec. 6 so store officials can consider some of the issues raised during the Planning and Zoning Commission meeting. They asked to have the request placed back on the agenda for the meeting scheduled for Jan. 17, city officials confirmed.

Drenner could not be reached for comment to confirm H-E-B's plan for the location or if any plans have changed since the Nov. 8 commission meeting.

The proposed grocery store is tentatively planned to be 65,000–80,000 square feet in size and would include approximately 100 feet of natural buffer to separate the store from any nearby residential development, Drenner said during the Planning and Zoning Commission meeting. Construction would not begin for at least a couple years, he said.

By Joe Lanane
Joe Lanane’s career is rooted in community journalism, having worked for a variety of Midwest-area publications before landing south of the Mason-Dixon line in 2011 as the Stillwater News-Press news editor. He arrived at Community Impact Newspaper in 2012, gaining experience as editor of the company’s second-oldest publication in Leander/Cedar Park. He eventually became Central Austin editor, covering City Hall and the urban core of the city. Lanane leveraged that experience to become Austin managing editor in 2016. He managed eight Central Texas editions from Georgetown to San Marcos. Working from company headquarters, Lanane also became heavily involved in enacting corporate-wide editorial improvements. In 2017, Lanane was promoted to executive editor, overseeing editorial operations throughout the company. The Illinois native received his bachelor’s degree from Western Illinois University and his journalism master’s degree from Ball State University.