San Antonio is a city on the grow–and the pace will pick up in spots in a few years thanks to City Council’s approval of several new annexation plans.
“My husband and I work and shop in Boerne, and we don’t want to live in San Antonio” Frances Booker lectured the Council. She, like most of the opponents of the plan–live on the far Northside of Bexar County west of Interstate 10.
“We do not want to live in San Antonio” Vickie Herron told the Council.
The plans start the process of the City absorbing more than 20-thousand new residents West of I-10, as well as a commercial corridor around U.S. Highway 281 on the Northside. Several areas around 281 would also eventually annexed under a deal worked out with the City–but not until 2034.
Several small Southside tracts would also eventually be annexed by the City.
City Manger Sheryl Sculley hinted at the possibility the fire union–which remains locked in a bitter standoff with the City over a new contract–may try to go to court to block the plan from moving forward.
“Specifically, the union may challenge the annexation of the retail area along 281” Sculley told Council.
Supporters said the moves are what’s needed in a fast-growing City like San Antonio.
“San Antonio is a growing City–and a growing city requires infrastructure” said the San Antonio Chamber of Commerce’s Renee Flores.
That sentiment was echoed by Mayor Ivy Taylor, who rejected complaints from opponents who claim the plan is being rushed.
“It’s been since 2014 that we’ve been debating, deliberating and discussing” Taylor said, pointing out the original plan was much larger in scope.
There are critics on Council though. Many raised questions about the process, and how decisions were arrived at. Others said they simply couldn’t support the plans as is.
“These communities can and should continue to thrive on their own tax base–and, we should allow them to do that” Councilman Ron Nirenberg said before following through on a promise to vote “no.”
Councilwoman Shirley Gonzales said she’s not convinced the plans will be a benefit to the City in the long run.
“I haven’t heard a single person in my community… or any other–that’s really in favor of this annexation plan” Gonzales said.
In the end, Council voted in favor of the plans–with both Nirenberg and Gonzales casting votes against the measures.
“One of the things I’ve learned in this job is certainly I can’t make everyone happy” Taylor said.