Another expansion for the Alamo City–with Council voting to annex the so-called “U.S. Highway 281 Commercial Corridor” in North Bexar County.
With the move, the City adds about 1.6 square miles of territory, which will be afforded various City of San Antonio services once the annexation takes effect on December 31st.
“We have added seven police officers in the 2017 budget to service this area” said the City’s Peter Zanoni, adding “Other City services include residential solid waste services that could be offered to the 18 homeowners that are in the geographic area. Street maintenance–including street lighting–is included in the budget for this area.”
About one-mile of the annexed area covers portions of the Edwards Aquifer–which has raised questions among some environmentalists, who believe the Council rushed in taking a vote.
“The rush is only for the benefit of vested interests who will prosper for unfettered high-density development in this environmentally sensitive area” said Madeline McGuire with the Sierra Club.
Mayor Ivy Taylor raised a strong objection to the notion the process was rushed–pointing to the discussions that began before she moved in to the Mayor’s Office.
“A number of people on this dais have had their views evolve and change over time… which I think is good” Taylor said ahead of the vote.
Most Councilmembers believe this is the right move at the right time for San Antonio–who said they have seen too many other cities fail to exercise enough control over their future growth–only to regret it.
“We’ve watched that occur in the City of Dallas–where they’re now completely surrounded. They have all kinds of problems they wouldn’t have had before” said Councilman Mike Gallagher, who is convinced the annexation will better protect the Aquifer in that area.
“Believe it or not, by doing this we do protect future resources. We also can protect our transportation, and how we plan for that” Gallagher said.
However, not every member of Council is convinced the annexation will better help the Alamo City guide it’s future.
“The age old argument about being landlocked to me does not hold water–at all–anymore” Councilman Ron Nirenberg told his colleagues–pointing specifically at Dallas.
“You look at Dallas… they’ve figured out something there that’s driving the kind of high-wage jobs that we want to see” Nirenberg added.