Gas station work

Work on a planned gas station bumps up against homes in a Missouri City neighborhood. (Contributed photo)

A growing number of Missouri City residents have voiced opposition to a planned gas station near the Hunters Glen subdivision, arguing it would cause environmental problems and decrease home values, but city officials say there’s little they can do to stop the project from moving ahead.

Missouri City held a community meeting late Tuesday in response to more than 66 residents who had signed a petition opposing the gas station, according to Stacie Walker, spokesperson for the city.

But the project meets all of the city’s regulations, she said.

“The planned project is in accordance with the site’s retail zoning designation,” she said.

Calls and texts to numbers connected to the developer went unreturned as of Monday afternoon.

Walker did not respond to several follow-up questions about the specifics of the project.

If constructed, the business would be the fourth gas station within a mile’s radius, and would also cause safety concerns for children playing at the nearby Hunters Glen Park, among other issues, according to the petition.

“We’re of the opinion that it will negatively affect property values,” said Kenneth Goode, a Missouri City resident who lives in the nearby neighborhood and has spearheaded the petition.

Ever since starting the petition, several residents spoke out against the project on social media and the petition picked up a growing number of signatures over the last week.

“I ask that we send these petitions out to our communities to help the landowners and city staff know that not only do we not want the gas station built in our community, we will not patronize the gas station if it is built,” said Leslie Mack, another Missouri City resident.

Residents first learned about the project when construction crews started moving dirt at the site, which is near the intersection of Independence Boulevard and Grand Park Drive, Goode said. But much about the specifics remains unknown, he said.

“That’s another part of my aggravation,” he said. “That no one thought enough to at least let us know what was coming down the chute.”

The land in question was always zoned for retail commercial business, Walker said. This means the developer won’t have to ask for a variance – something that would require the city council to sign off on the project.

Goode and Mack are far from the only residents with concerns about the project, however.

“We do not need another gas station,” one resident wrote on social media.

The petition is not the first instance of Fort Bend County residents opposing the construction of a gas station. Residents in Katy, for instance, in July voiced opposition to a planned project near a new development called the Haven at Seven Lakes.

Developers in Texas have relatively free reign when it comes to building gas stations, so long as the projects meet city regulations.

The Texas Health and Safety Code provides some requirements for gas stations, such as limits on how big storage tanks can be and ensuring they are at least 100 feet away from a school, hospital, nursing home, day-care center or nursery, among other requirements.

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