Proposed townhomes could disrupt O.P. Schnabel trails – mySA

San Antonio residents fear a proposed neighborhood could disrupt wildlife and trails at one of the city’s most popular parks, O.P. Schnabel. The developer plans to build 60 lots on the 11-acre undeveloped green space on the city’s Northwest Side. 

While the property isn’t technically part of the city park, nearby resident Kristen Rothstein said the public does use the undeveloped area as it has trails and a popular treehouse for a hangout. The area also seamlessly connects to O.P. and does not display signs about the boundary between the park and the property, Rothstein told MySA during a walk-through of the area last week.

A petition was also started by nearby residents opposing the development that will be generally located in the 7500 block of Prue Road, next to the Leon Creek Greenway and adjacent to a drainage channel.

An exciting non-city trail inside the property that is planned for townhomes. 

An exciting non-city trail inside the property that is planned for townhomes. 

Priscilla Aguirre, MySA.com

“This area is full of heritage oak trees, refuge to multiple wildlife species, and used by the hiking and biking communities as many trails have been created through that tract of land,” the petition stated. It has more than 600 signatures on Change.org as of Wednesday, September 21. 

Parkview at Prue LLC bought the property in February from a private citizen, according to deed records in Bexar County. The zoning commission motioned a continuance on the plans after the developer asked for a change in its zoning on Tuesday, September 20. Continuances allow extra time to prepare for a hearing or meeting.

The developer requested a change in zoning from an “R-6” Residential Single-Family District to a “PUD R-4” Planned Unit Development Residential Single-Family District with a Reduced Perimeter Setback of 10 feet. The change would allow the developer to have flexibility in the planning and construction of its project, as well as add more housing options in the area. 

The proposed site plan for the townhomes.

The proposed site plan for the townhomes.

City of San Antonio

Before the motion of continuance, citizens at the meeting expressed if the City of San Antonio could annex that portion of the property and absorb it into O.P. as many are using the existing trails within the property. Many voiced how they thought the area was already part of the city park.

“There’s been no boundary. Nothing has ever been enforced. There’s no signage. No nothing,” Kate Craig said at the meeting.

Locals also shared how the proposed entrance of the neighborhood and the existing parking spaces are near a very sharp bend that could lead to accidents. The Alamo Farmsteads Babcock Road Neighborhood Association also called in to voice their opposition to the zoning changes.

The treehouse used by the public inside the land that is proposed to be townhomes 

The treehouse used by the public inside the land that is proposed to be townhomes 

Priscilla Aguirre, MySA.com

“We want to encourage the city to rightsize this request as we remind everyone that intentions are now binding but zoning changes are permanent,” Phillip Manna, president of Alamo Farmsteads Babcock Road Neighborhood Association, said. 

Manna pointed out how the current layout shows how homes are planned in an undeveloped area of the property on the back west corner that has a higher elevation than the back east corner. He added how a portion of the property is located with the 100-Year Flood Plain. A 100-year flood is a flood with a 1% or 1/100 chance of occurring in any given year. The floodplain is any land susceptible to being inundated by flood waters.

“Also, there’s a narrow portion of the property that runs behind the Prue Road Bend subdivision that is part of the Recharge Zone,” Manna said. “How are the applicants going to protect any runoff into these areas?”

Alamo Airborne took drone footage of the area of the proposed development adjacent and connected to O.P. Schnabel Park.  

Alamo Airborne took drone footage of the area of the proposed development adjacent and connected to O.P. Schnabel Park.  

Alamo Airborne

The area of the development has been redistricted to District 7. However, District 8 Councilman Manny Pelaez said his office is handling issues until May of next year. He told MySA it’s still very early in the process and he has had neighbors express opposition. He said the developer is communicating with HOAs to gain support and agree to terms. He added that he’s still waiting to see what zoning commission members recommend and what the HOAs will decide. 

The Zoning Commission will vote to approve or deny this zoning application at 1 p.m. on October 18. 

MySA has reached out to the developer but they have not responded as of the time the article was published. 

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