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Buc-ee’s gets economic incentives

Profile image for By Peggy Heinkel-Wolfe and Christian McPhate / Staff Writers
By Peggy Heinkel-Wolfe and Christian McPhate / Staff Writers

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CORINTH — The developers of Buc-ee’s travel plazas were back before city leaders Monday night, this time for consideration of economic incentives, including a 1 percent sales tax rebate for the next 15 years.

The economic incentives were approved as well as a separate resolution for a $250,000 grant to build a “Texas turnaround” for the northbound side of Interstate 35E at Corinth Parkway.

“This will help allocate some of the traffic off Corinth Parkway,” said Guy Brown, the executive director of the Corinth Economic Development Corporation.

The request made to the CEDC board of directors was the second part of a deal that could bring the largest Buc-ee’s travel plaza yet to Denton County. The company proposes a 60,000-square-foot colossus with 96 gas pumps, 603 parking places and a daily traffic of 5,000 vehicles, which could generate more than $15 million in annual sales.

Economic incentives felt like rubbing salt in the wound for some residents who aren’t happy about the deal. Most of the opposition for the project is coming from residents in neighborhoods close to the proposed plaza.

“I have no doubt this will become ‘the black eye of Corinth,’” said Haven Hendrick, 2014 Miss Teen Denton County, one of more than a dozen residents who showed up to voice their concerns.

The Planning and Zoning Commission recommended last week that the city approve a zoning change with conditions that reflected neighborhood concerns. They include additional requirements to reduce light pollution, increase planting of evergreen trees around the property and providing detailed plans where accessory structures would go on the property.

Developers proposed the project for a 20-acre lot on the west side of I-35E and south of Corinth Parkway. Its western edge is near a quiet neighborhood.

The City Council has the final say on both the zoning change and the economic incentives. The project is expected to go before the council on Aug. 14. If the council approves the deal, the travel center would be the first Buc-ee’s in North Texas and possibly the largest.

Arch “Beaver” Aplin III, co-owner of Buc-ee’s, addressed the Planning and Zoning Commission last week, saying the company has held town hall-style meetings to get and incorporate feedback from Corinth residents.

Developers first came to Corinth in March to see whether the proposed travel center would be a fit for the community.

The developers presented the project to a joint special meeting of the commissioners and the City Council. More than 100 residents attended that meeting, as well as last week’s Planning and Zoning Commission meeting.

Consultants will meet with city leaders on Thursday night before the City Council votes on the measure Aug. 14.

PEGGY HEINKEL-WOLFE can be reached at 940-566-6881 and via Twitter at @phwolfeDRC.

CHRISTIAN McPHATE can be reached at 940-566-6878.