Feature Photo: The frontage road lot owned by Bert Pence where an Airgas station is proposed. Image: Google Streets.
by Art Benavidez
Buda (Hays County) — The Buda City Council denied a light industrial rezoning request and asked the property owner to reapply with a specific use permit (SPU) in a meeting earlier this week.
The property is approximately 2.9 acres and is located on the southbound Interstate 35 frontage road, north of Rodriguez Street, at 16290 South I-35, in the northwest portion of the city.
The developer of the property is Bert Pence, who has created the special entity P&L Equities LP, to own the land. Pence has retained the Austin based Griffin Engineering Group for civil engineering services.
Pence was seeking light industrial zoning because it does not require a SPU permit.
Pence told the council that light industrial rezoning was needed because under business Interstate 35 zoning, the cost of obtaining an approved site plan could cost him $30-50,000, on top of having to apply for a SPU, which he felt was “too costly.”
Pence felt that a SPU required for equipment sales, with a warehouse component and outside storage, was a risky proposition as the council may not approve the required permits.
However, the council said it was in the city’s best interest to view specific site plans regarding any building that would go on the property before granting approval.
Given the development constraints of the site, and the large drainage easement, about all that the property will support is possibly two buildings that are approximately 6,000 to 10,000 square feet, Pence wrote to council members in city documents.
Pence said that he has been approached by Airgas, a leading single-source supplier of gases, welding equipment and supplies and safety products, as a potential tenant.
According to city documents, Pence wrote that Airgas required the light industrial zoning classification due to its need for 3,000 square feet of warehouse space, and a small storage yard that will be located on the backside of a 3,000 square foot showroom.
Pence stated that a potential Airgas facility could also house:
A 6,000 square foot building, with 3,000 square feet of office space, along with the showroom.
The building would have two private offices, an open bullpen for three sales associates and men’s and women’s restrooms.
The 3,000 square foot warehouse for storage of hard goods inventory.
Two overhead doors located on the side of the building.
20 parking spots.
The property has 375 feet of frontage on the southbound IH-35 access road and a drainage easement along the northern boundary.
The property was annexed by the city in 2004 and was recommended by Buda Planning and Zoning in September.
Art Benavidez (Construction News Reporter, Central Texas) is a seasoned journalist with over 15-years of experience in writing breaking news and in-depth features at the local level. He honed his research and reporting skills in newspapers and magazines throughout South and West Texas along with expertise in crafting digital content as Managing Editor of New Image Marketing Research Corporation. Benevidez is a Texas native and graduate of UT-RGV.