Denison City Council will soon be taking up an ordinance that would add travel centers to the city’s approved uses.


The planning and zoning commission approved changes to the city zoning ordinance that would define a travel center. The updates come after Denison has seen a number of developers expressing interest in bringing modern convenience stores to the city.


Denison Planner Bill Medina said the ordinance will allow travel centers to be zoned under local retail or regional retail.


“We’ve been working with a developer for a little bit,” Medina said. “Currently our ordinance lays out a truck stop which doesn’t fit the business model this potential developer is requiring. Our truck stop requirements allow for showers, sleeping quarters, long term parking for trucks but that is not what the proposed site, or potentially proposed site would be.”


In an email asking for clarity on which developer the city was referring to, Denison City Manager Jud Rex replied, “We have been approached by several different individuals interested in developing travel centers along US (Highway) 75 in Denison. However, the city has not received any formal applications for approval of a travel center.”


On Monday, Rex said the landscape of the highway convenience store has changed in recent years and mentioned mentioned a shift towards a business model that doesn’t cater to just automobiles or trucks. He said the ordinance would attract a business with a model similar to a Buc’ee’s or a Loves Truck Stop.


The ordinance set to go before the City Council will define a travel center as “a highway-oriented facility that provides services to the travelling public, primarily focused on automobiles, to include fuel pumps, food and beverage services, retail shops, restaurant(s), and other similar convenience facilities. Travel Center does not include truck or automotive repair services, sleeping quarters, or vehicle or truck parking for a period greater than 12 hours.”


Under current ordinance, a travel center isn’t clearly defined and a business would fall under either a truck stop or a convenience store with each designation having its own limitations on where in the city the business would be permitted to operate. If approved, the new designation will make it easier for those types of businesses to locate to Denison.


The next meeting of the council will be Monday at 6 p.m. in City Hall.


What travel centers would you like to see come to Denison if this change is approved? Let Denison area reporter Richard A. Todd know by email rtodd@heralddemocrat.com He can also be reached on Facebook and Twitter @RichardAToddHD.