Published September 7, 2022 at 5:47 PM CDT
Developers can now proceed on construction of a large apartment complex off Highway 16 in the Helotes area.
The Ranch Creek Apartments received the go ahead from Bexar County Commissioners on Tuesday despite more than 1,000 resident signatures on paper and online against it.
Commissioners approved of the apartment’s plat.
Residents of the Triana subdivision spoke out against the project over concerns about the destruction of wildlife habitat, flood runoff, and how exactly vehicles will come and go from the 300-unit complex between Bridgeport and Triana Parkway.
County Public Works Director Rene Green told commissioners vehicle access is not an issue.
“The owner of the lot within the Bridgeport subdivision did grant an access easement to the apartment complex owners,” she said.
The complex sits in unincorporated Bexar County and outside the immediate jurisdiction of the City of Helotes. Under state law, counties can only delay but not stop such developments after they meet basic engineering requirements, Green said.
Commissioners did vote to delay approval of the plat at their prior meeting to give homeowners and the developers a chance to talk more about the project. Precinct 3 Commissioner Marialyn Barnard, who represents the Helotes area, told disappointed residents the county’s hands were tied.
Similar complaints can be expected in the future as a building boom continues in unincorporated areas of the county.
According to figures from the Helotes economic development office, the city had a total population of 3,772 in 2000. It doubled in size by 2010 with 7,411 residents. City data projects Helotes will grow to 10,203 by 2023.
County Judge Nelson Wolff said last month counties need to be granted more zoning powers by the Texas Legislature to prevent squabbles over developments outside of cities.
Helotes is one of the fastest-growing areas of Bexar County in recent years, according to information from the San Antonio Board of Realtors.
Highway 16, also known as Bandera Road, enters and departs the southernmost Hill Country at Helotes. “Scenic Hill Country views” are often used as a part of local sales pitches by realtors to potential buyers.