Council Again Grapples with Annexation

By Bill O’Neil

A wary thumbs up from San Antonio’s City Council on beginning the process of possibly annexing nine additional areas.

“My general sense is we shouldn’t be annexing anymore because I believe we have already more infrastructure than we can handle” Councilwoman Shirley Gonzales said in presenting city staffers with a list of questions she wants answered between now and when final recommendations are due by the end of August.

The areas that could be absorbed by the City include commercial corridors on I 10 West, Babcock Road, Potranco Road near Loop 1604, and in Alamo Ranch. Other areas on the list include a tract of land near Lackland Air Force Base and a now building new neighborhood off of Wiseman.

“They haven’t properly budgeted for the new city taxes to come” developer Brian Otto told the Council–claiming to speak for those new homeowners who he said have been taken by surprise.

Critics are openly wondering whether or not a push for annexation reform during the special legislative session called by Governor Greg Abbott next month might be pushing the City to act as quickly as it can to grow in this way–while it can.

“The timeline in which we are attempting to push this through appears to be in response to the potential legislation out of Austin–I’m just telling you that’s my opinion” Councilman Greg Brockhouse said.

“This wasn’t something that was just thought up over the last thirty days–but rather has been a conversation with our policymakers (and) the City Council over the last three years” City Manager Sheryl Sculley said in directly addressing Brockhouse’s concerns.

Still–the prospect of what might happen in the Legislature has at least one Council Member very concerned for what might lie ahead.

“A city is I believe like a machine our a vehicle. It needs to have fuel… in some cases, it needs to be able to expand its boundaries” Councilman Rey Saldana said.

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