Rockdale BOC.jpeg

Left to right are District 1 Commissioner Sherri Washington, Commission Chair Oz Nesbitt Sr., and District 2 Commissioner Dr. Doreen Williams.

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.

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Senior Reporter

Born and raised in Decatur, Ga. Graduated from Shorter College in Rome, Ga. in 1979 with B.A. in Communications. Worked in community newspapers for 26 years. Started at Rockdale Citizen/Newton Citizen in January 2016.

(1) comment

LongtimeRez

This has been going on for decades with that property, but with this clarification and any luck, Billy will finally get the message.

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