After a marathon meeting that ran into the early hours of the morning on Tuesday, the Mebane city council voted unanimously to approve rezoning and a special use permit for the popular travel center Buc-ee’s.
The new location will be at 1425 Trollingwood-Hawfields Road. It will boast a 75,000 square-foot size with 120 gas pumps and 600 parking spots on a 32-acre plot of land.
The city council’s approval was in opposition to a vote by the county planning board to deny recommending the project.
Buc-ee’s is a popular travel destination in many other states, known for their assortment of food items including favorites like banana pudding, beef jerky, corn snacks known as beaver nuggets, and fudge. The brand also boasts of having the cleanest restrooms in the business.
At the meeting, staff for the city of Mebane estimated the new Buc-ee’s would employ a minimum of 225 full-time workers at an average compensation of $45,600 a year. The average total payroll is $9 million a year.
Buc-ee’s will invest $60 to $70 million to build the store, with annual taxable sales of $30 million as a conservative estimate. No incentives from the city or county have been involved.
Currently, the closest Buc-ee’s locations to North Carolina are located in Florence, South Carolina, and in Kodak, Tennessee.
Mebane residents voiced both support and opposition during a public hearing that lasted eight hours earlier this week.
Opponents were concerned that Buc-ee’s arrival would leave a negative environmental imprint on the region. Others worried that it would present new traffic challenges for Mebane.
“We will be looking at traffic like the Saturday before Christmas at Tanger Outlets every day of the week,” said resident Janet Eckelberger. She added that it would “endanger” the mental health of Mebane residents due to the traffic congestion.
“Your decision tonight will affect future generations — your children, your grandchildren, and people that we haven’t even thought about,” said resident Loraine Wartz. “So, please, do not make this decision lightly, and do not make it the bottom dollar as your decision. This corporation came here for one purpose, one purpose alone: They came for their almighty dollar. They do not care for Mebane. They don’t care for our quality of life. They don’t care for us as people. They care for what monies they’re bringing home to corporate.”
Supporters noted that Buc-ee’s would support the local economy and would take advantage of its proximity off the interstate.
“All things considered, [Buc-ee’s] provides a wonderful way to tap into the current amount of traffic already coming through Mebane on the I-85/I-40 corridor,” said resident Jim Shaw.
“Vote ‘yeah’ for beaver nuggets,” concluded resident Robbie Sealy.