CONYERS — The Rockdale Board of Commissioners unanimously approved the second and final reading of a new text amendment to the Unified Development Ordinance (UDO) that better defines what a truck stop is and states that truck stops are a prohibited use.
The clarification at their Nov. 10 meeting comes 23 months after the BOC unanimously vetoed another text amendment to the UDO that would have allowed truck stops/travel centers in the county.
The issue of trucks stops/convenience centers arose in the fall of 2018 after William Corey and U.S. Enterprises Inc. wanted to build a Quik Trip (QT) Travel Center on a 35.5-acre lot located at 2527 Sigman Road SW. The property abuts the corner of Sigman Road and Iris Drive at Exit 78 off I-20 East.
The planning and zoning staff developed a text amendment to the UDO allowing truck stops/travel centers and presented it to the BOC. After more than a month of discussions and referrals, the commissioners unanimously denied the text amendment in December 2018.
The issue came back to life a year later in December 2019 after the developer tried to get a land disturbance permit for the site. Then-Planning and Zoning Director Kc Krzic denied the permit application based on the use of the property being classified as a truck stop and, therefore, prohibited by code.
The developer appealed her denial to the Rockdale County Board of Assessors (BOA), claiming the proposed use was not for a truck stop.
The main issue of difference appeared to be the developer’s plan to have separate tractor-trailer diesel fueling and gas/diesel fueling islands for cars and light duty trucks, and parking spaces and a weighing scale for the tractor-trailers, which the county insisted made it a truck stop.
After several hearings, the BOA voted in December to uphold Krzic’s decision to deny the permit.
The new amendment changes Section 106-1(c) in the UDO from prohibiting truck stops to defining truck stops as gas stations or gas stations with convenience stores that include one or more of the following prohibited uses:
♦ A parking area designed for use by heavy trucks.
♦ Weight scales designed for use by heavy trucks.
♦ A raised canopy for use by heavy trucks to dispense truck fuels and that is separate from the canopy or area used to fuel cars.
♦ A restaurant including dine-in or drive-through window or both.
♦ Facilities for maintenance and repair of heavy trucks.
♦ Facilities for overnight storage of heavy trucks.
♦ Shower facilities for the crews of heavy trucks.
♦ Graded hard surface areas designed to accommodate the wide turning radius of heavy trucks.
♦ Specially designed entrances and exits for heavy trucks.
♦ Any other specialized facility or amenity for the use of heavy trucks and their crews.
♦ Fueling stations cannot have an MPD (Mobile Petroleum Dispenser) flow rate greater than 5 gallons per minute.
It concluded by stated that truck stops are prohibited.
The text amendment was unanimously recommended for approval by the Planning Commission, went through a public hearing by the BOC on Oct. 27 without any negative comments, and was approved by the commissioners at their Nov. 10 meeting.