Thursday, September 20, 2012

Some Body Work for a Gas Station

Texaco station
In this week's meeting, the Richardson City Planning Commission (CPC) considered a request for zoning changes for reconstruction of a Texaco gas station on the northeast corner of Belt Line Rd and Plano Rd. I'm getting weary of whining about the voracious appetite of developers for ever more acreage to devote to cars. Sometimes, it seems as if our city's 28 square miles will soon all be paved.

After the jump, my thoughts on this Texaco station's plans.

Surprise! I'm all for it. The space is already being used as a gas station. The new convenience store will be almost four times as large as the kiosk currently on the site. The automobile isn't being designed out of the business, but its share of the business is getting downsized. What's now a gas station that also sells coffee and cigarettes will become a full-fledged convenience store that also sells gasoline. That's a move in the right direction.

In the end, the CPC asked for changes before they would approve the request. They want the architecture to better match the new construction of the surrounding shopping center. They want the traffic aisles to be modified to improve traffic circulation. Both demands seemed reasonable and should not be a barrier to completing this reconstruction.

The only sour note was when the CPC asked whether the layout of the gas station would accommodate the future construction of a right-turn lane along Belt Line Rd. Sigh. That voracious appetite to gobble up land for cars is never satiated. Ironically, in this case, it's a gas station that will be nibbled away by street widening. Is that act of cannibalism a sign that we're finally running out of land to surrender to cars?

No comments: