As I read the Blanco County News last week, I saw that the Blanco I.S.D. school board considered a variance for a convenience store to be built at Hwy. 281 and 13th Street.
Out of curiosity, I began to dig a little deeper to better understand just what was being proposed, especially given how close to our square this new establishment would be.
The proposal is for a 4,800 sq. foot “big box” convenience store with gasoline and food service.
The company is Susser Holdings which is a publicly-traded wholesale petroleum corporation currently operating over 500 of these stores in Texas, New Mexico and Oklahoma. I was initially very concerned about what this kind of store would mean located so close to our town square.
I am sure there will be arguments for and against and that is what I am proposing. Something this large should be carefully vetted not only by our city officials, but also by our citizens in general.
The City Council was very responsive to concerns expressed over the renaming of Blanco Avenue and should be commended for their willingness to “hear” the people they represent. It is time for them to hear from you again.
Will this store bring in new money or simply redistribute the dollars that are already spent here? Will the building and design codes make the store attractive and representative of the small town “feel” we want for Blanco, or will it look just like every other big convenience store strung along our highways? Will the signs and lighting be attractive and dark-sky compliant or an eyesore for the community? Will any new revenues make up for the additional city services needed for such a large structure?
These are just a few things to consider. I don’t know the answers to these questions, but I know that these and many other questions should be answered during the approval process to ensure that we make the best decision for Blanco’s future.
Talk to your City Council members and Mayor, attend the Planning and Zoning Committee meetings (July 5) as well as the City Council meetings considering the Susser proposal.
Make yourself heard and let’s all be actively involved in the direction of our community’s growth.