Ever since it was reported that the mega convenience store Bucc’ee’s had submitted a preliminary application to develop their next store off World Commerce on the southwest corner of I-95 and International Golf Parkway there has been quite a reaction, both negative and positive. The news spread over social media within hours triggering a petition with currently over 1,700 signatures, local news segments and neighborhood disagreements. The prospects of a business such as Bucc-ee’s coming to the World Golf Village would bring with it more commercial and financial development but also the negative impact of heavy traffic and what some see as a negative impression of our quiet golf and family oriented community.
For those of you that haven’t heard let me give you the details. Bucc-ee’s is a gigantic convenience store/gas station originating from Texas. One of their locations in Texas is over 70,000 square feet. The one in planning for our area is reported as being 52,600 square feet with 120 gas pumps! That’s bigger than your average grocery store. How do they turn a profit in a small community like the World Golf Village? Bucc-ee’s keep their pumps busy by advertising their store as far away as over 200 miles using billboards with advertisements such as “You Can Hold It”, “Are We There Yet?”, “Ever Had Beaver Nuggets?”, “Our Aim Is To Have Clean Restrooms, Your Aim Will Help” and “It’s Potty Time!”. This use of road signage has one store in Terrell, TX reporting as many as 20,000-25,000 visitors every day with even bigger numbers during travel holidays.
When I first heard that plans were in the works for one of these stations in our area I called the county planning department. At that time the pre application had been filed only. I was told that the land is zoned for a gas station with no specification on size. In other words the size of the store is of no consequence to the approval process. However it was noted there was one variance on that application, their use of signage was above and beyond what’s appropriate according to the zoning restrictions. If they choose to proceed with their original business plan and proposed use of signage it would prompt a public hearing relating to the issue.
The most recent development is their submission of an incremental Master Development Plan (MDP 2017-44 Buc-ees at St Johns) to the county which is under review. If an incremental Master Development Plan meets all of the provisions of the area’s Planned Unit Development (PUD) and the provisions of the Land Development Code and Comprehensive Plan it will be administratively approved with no public hearing on the matter. However, if variances are found on the plan a public hearing would more than likely be held. At this time a construction plan has not been filed with the county.
If approved this project will dramatically change our small community. How do you feel about it? Comment below.
Jon Evans, Realtor
Florida Homes Realty & Mortgage
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