Battle to save Palo Alto historic site

It's already a busy intersection, and soon the four-way crossing at Paredes Line Road and FM 511 in Brownsville could soon get even more congested.

The company United Fuel Supply wants to build a state-of-the-art truck stop, on a 13-acre-lot that sits right along the 551 toll road.

Planning and Zoning Director Michael Warrix said the project falls right in line with the city's comprehensive plan and corridor expansion.

Previous plans have generally been supportive of that being a freight corridor, a commercial corridor that provides a linkage directly to the port of Brownsville.

But not everyone is on board with the proposal.

Mark Spier, superintendent of the Palo Alto Battle Field National Park said a truck stop just feet from where the U.S./Mexcio War began back on May 8, 1846, may keep visitors away from this unique historical ground.

"This battle was the opening battle which led to the secession of millions of acres, Spier said. It was all or part of seven states in the western United States and changed the boundaries of two nations."

Palo Alto Battle field was deemed a national park back in 2008, and officials here understand that development around them is inevitable, however, they're asking the city to be responsible with that development to keep this area preserved as a historic site.

"Of course, when you have busy highways or large billboards or noise, all the things that go with development, it's very difficult for us to do that," Spier said.

Warrix understands the concerns but said this property is not city-owned.

United Fuel Supply will have to meet certain criteria on parking, location signage and dumpsters, before moving forward if the permit request is approved. He adds there will be future development along the toll road and the city stands to benefit in property taxes.The Planning and Zoning Commission TMs recommendation to approve or deny the proposal will go before city commissioners at the Aug. 5 meeting, at 5:30 at city hall.