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Section A: General News


Elmendorf wrestles with growth issues


Elmendorf wrestles with growth issues
Elmendorf city councilmen Richard B. Rodriguez (left) and R.M. “Andy” Anderson discuss a proposed zoning ordinance amendment during their April 10 meeting.


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WCN Correspondent
April 16, 2014
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The city of Elmendorf will annex property now belonging to the city of San Antonio, adding the Dollar General store site to the Elmendorf extraterritorial jurisdiction.

The Elmendorf City Council took swift action during its April 10 meeting to acknowledge its willingness to enter into an agreement with the city of San Antonio on the release of extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ), and its intent to annex the property once it is released by the city of San Antonio. A resolution stating this was unanimously approved.

City Administrator Cody Dailey called this a simple matter of housekeeping. He also referenced another possible annexation issue.

“Alamo Junction [Rail Park] wants to be annexed [by Elmendorf],” he said. “The front half is in Elmendorf, the back half in San Antonio’s ETJ.”

Alamo Junction came up again later in the meeting. Dailey said Elmendorf must secure a fourth master meter for the San Antonio Water System (SAWS) to provide water to the development under SAWS’ “take or pay” system.

“We have to come up with the amount of water we’re going to use in a year in acre feet,” Dailey said. “We also have to consider what Alamo Junction will bring in -- that’s a guess.”

Under “take or pay,” he said, SAWS will charge the full wholesale rate for whatever water Elmendorf doesn’t use. If Elmendorf needs more water than it estimates, it will have to pay a higher rate for that water.

An alternative would be to build an elevated water storage tank, which would cost $1.2 million to $1.6 million, but would provide long-term benefits.

“Then we wouldn’t need another master meter,” Dailey said. “The problem is that Alamo Junction is ready to begin construction.”

No formal action was taken on this item.

The meeting also brought zoning issues, with council members discussing a possible exception to their recently enacted zoning plan, to allow 37-year resident Darla Moreno to keep her new mobile home on property zoned for a “site built” home.

“You have the opinion letter from the zoning committee,” Dailey said. “... The [Elmendorf planning and zoning] committee recommends against rezoning.”

Moreno said she had contacted the city five months before about moving a new mobile home onto her property and was told she could. However, this was before the new zoning ordinance went into effect. The city attorney said she also failed to go to City Hall for a permit; had she done so, she would have learned how the ordinance affected her property.

Existing mobile homes -- categorized as “manufactured” homes under the new ordinance -- are “grandfathered,” but new mobile homes are not.

Councilman R.M. “Andy” Anderson advocated for the exception.

Councilman Richard B. Rodriguez disagreed.

“To start making exceptions, we’re going to throw the whole thing out,” he said.

Though Anderson and Councilman Jesse Garcia supported the exception request, Rodriguez -- along with councilmen Thomas Hicks and Linda Ortiz -- voted to not grant the exception.

The council also considered a variance request regarding a mobile home on property owned by Jose Esquivel. The mobile home does not meet the city’s standards for manufactured homes.

Hicks offered a motion not to grant a variance, but to grant Esquivel 30 days to comply with the ordinance, which passed unanimously. Esquivel will have to move the mobile home or face penalties.

Also addressed was Anderson’s suggestion for the city to purchase golf carts for the water department to use to read meters; this gained little traction. Feasibility issues were discussed, but no action was taken.

Rodriguez urged the council to consider a new police car first and have that placed on the agenda for the next council meeting.

In other matters, the council approved planning for a community movie night at the city park in the late spring, to make up for the Christmas in the Park in December, canceled due to bad weather.
 

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