The Orange County Board of Commissioners has yet to reach a final decision on the Buc-ee's Efland Station project, which would bring the world's largest gas station to rural Efland.
The project — which, if passed, would be 104 acres located along the Interstate 40/85 corridor off of Exit 161 — has received opposition from Orange County residents and social media. It would be built in two phases. The first phase would include a Buc-ee's travel center, and the second phase would include a hotel, restaurants and commercial space.
The board voted 5-2 to continue the discussion on Feb. 16, which would give Buc-ee's time to consider scaling the project down, with commissioners Jean Hamilton and Renee Price dissenting.
No members of the public spoke at Tuesday night's meeting, which followed three weeks of public hearings about the project.
Some commissioners expressed concern that the project may be too large for the Efland area and be in direct conflict with the county’s Comprehensive Plan.
Commissioner Jean Hamilton said she has concerns about how the project would affect the small town of Efland and the preservation of its community character.
“In our comprehensive plan, we want to be a sustainable community that meets the needs of the present without compromising the needs of the future, and I don’t think this project does that,” Hamilton said.
This would be the first Buc-ee’s location in North Carolina. Beth Trahos, an attorney representing Buc-ee's at the meeting, said it is a good fit for Orange County.
“The travel center will create activity and interest at the Efland exit and these businesses are more likely to come to Efland because of that activity,” Trahos said.