San Antonio codes for recycling yards could soon be re-written, but some businesses wonder if it will make a difference

SAN ANTONIO – A Council Consideration Request that would create a committee to review two codes for metal recyclers is pushing through the city. But business owner Daniel Hack said he’s wondering if it will result in change.

“It’s not a bad thing as long as they enforce it equally upon everybody,” Hack, the owner of Texas Auto Salvage, said.

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The CCR would review Chapter 11 on Fire Prevention and Chapter 16 on Licenses and Business Regulations to address used automotive recyclers and metal recycling entities.

KSAT started investigating these city codes late last year when neighbors reported concerns about Monterrey Iron and Metal on Frio City Road. Multiple code violations nearly prompted the city to revoke Monterrey’s recycling license. Monterrey is now in compliance, but questions about code enforcement came up during the investigation.

Michael Shannon, the director of the city’s development services department, sat down with KSAT reporter Avery Everett to answer some of those questions. Shannon said two full-time employees are tasked with inspecting more than 70 metal recyclers, ideally monthly.

“How often do you think that’s actually accomplished?” Everett asked.

“It’s not an exact science,” Shannon said.

“Is budgeting a concern when it comes to the number of inspections that happen in a given month?” Everett asked.

“Right now I think we’re we’re okay,” Shannon said.

But Hack said that, from his perspective, it’s a sporadic process. That’s why, as these codes could change, he wants the inspection process to get a second look, too.

“When the city doesn’t enforce them equally upon everybody, it hurts,” Hack said. “The city has total control over what they want to give you and what they don’t want to give you.”

Everett asked Shannon about those direct concerns.

“What is your response to that?” Everett asked.

“Well, I don’t think that’s true at all,” Shannon said. “If we find violations, we give notices of violations.”

No timelines have been set for the review process, as District 5 said the CCR is waiting to be put on the agenda for the Planning & Community Development Committee.

A district spokesperson said the expected trajectory for this CCR after that meeting is going to B Session. That spokesperson said the subcommittee likely will be created to provide feedback and recommendations before the Council votes on the actual ordinance.

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