‘Protect Paloma’ | Neighbors fighting new development next door that would house a truck dealership

Doggett Freightliner wants to build a truck dealership on another property they own near I-10 east and 1604.

BEXAR COUNTY, Texas — Neighbors on the far east side of San Antonio are pushing back against a proposed plan to build a truck dealership next door.

Near I-10 east and 1604, just south of Converse, is an empty 35-acre piece of land owned by Doggett Freightliner. They’re a Houston-based full-service truck and trailer group with two San Antonio locations, one of which they hope to relocate to the property in-question.

The land is adjacent to the Paloma neighborhood. Some neighbors oppose the idea of the new facility, saying it would do more harm than good.

KENS 5 went to the Paloma neighborhood Thursday afternoon and gathered different perspectives on the proposed plan.

“You’re gonna have all that diesel everywhere, all that loud noise,” said Jo Most, who lives in Paloma. “I’m not opposed to you making money, but you shouldn’t be making money at the expense of our community.”

“It’s just an issue with safety, really. Noise, smog, all of that,” said neighbor, Dustin Andres. 

Doggett Freightliner wants to move out of their smaller Daimler Mercedes-Benz truck dealership and move about two miles down the road, sharing part of a fence line with the Paloma neighborhood.

Andre Delaunay, Real Estate Manager for Doggett Freightliner, says the company wants to rezone the entire property as commercial zoning to run the new dealership. 16 acres of the property, however, is unzoned and not part of city limits. 

As the company is working to zone the entire 35 acres as commercial for future development, Delaunay says the City of San Antonio wants to annex the plot of land.

“What I want to do is be as open as I can so that [neighbors] truly understand what we’re what we’re proposing here, because I think a lot of that has gotten lost, frankly,” said Delaunay.

Most says this is a fight neighbors have fought before. Last year, the same matter was brought before zoning and denied, District 2 representatives confirmed.

“June, July of last year and they withdrew because there was too much opposition,” said Most. “They have another lot where they can build this facility…which is right next to the Whataburger…at I-10 and 1604. Doggett has another choice and in my mind it’s a better choice.” 

Neighbors believe the large facility will cause traffic jams getting to, and driving through Paloma.

“If we get a lot of trucks coming through [the neighborhood], that’s gonna be a problem,” said Andres. “There’s a lot of kids that play out here, a lot of elderly folks who like to walk early in the morning.”

While some neighbors are asking Doggett Freightliner to reconsider their plan and move elsewhere, others are hearing the company out.

“You don’t know what you’re gonna get if they don’t get there. Not that I’m for, not that I’m against it. I want to know the facts. I don’t want to go off of hearsay,” said Paloma resident, Joseph Hudson. “Let’s make an informed decision.”

Doggett Freightliner hosted their third meeting Friday evening to answer residents’ questions. Roughly 50 homeowners attended.

“There was a lot of things the resident asked for that showed up in [the plan] and I think that was progress,” Hudson added. “Everybody wants a big box in front of their house, a strip mall. With what? Another nail shop? Another restaurant? Another Starbucks? Wow. That’s really not impressing me.”

In a website created by those opposing the new development, one of the claims is the facility would cause property values to dip. Delaunay says if the new facility is built, it will create 150 jobs and benefit the community.

“It’s not a truck depot. It’s not a gas station. It’s a new truck dealership. This is the equivalent of bringing your car in to get it worked on,” said Delaunay. “The amount of property taxes and sales taxes we put in there increases the general worth of the neighborhood. That will help drive property values up.”

Delaunay says the company agreed to restrict all commercial traffic on Weichold Road, one of the streets with an entrance to Paloma.

He also assures residents that any noise at the facility will be contained.

“It’s not an 18-wheeler with the big trailers and stuff and idling trucks sitting out there,” Delaunay explained. “Noise is is not going to be a problem. We specifically promised them that there will be no intercoms on the outside and no loudspeakers and none of that.” 

Wednesday, San Antonio’s Planning Commission decided to table the conversation about annexing the property.

The matter will be up for discussion again at their May 22 meeting.

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