Even as the Texas Legislature considers a law to severely restrict San Antonio's ability to annex unincorporated Bexar County, City staffers have unveiled a new annexation plan which will be formally considered by City Council later this month, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
Unlike the annexation plan now in the works which would gobble up some 17,000 residents of unincorporated Leon Springs in northwest Bexar County, many of the areas on Deputy City Manager Peter Zanoni's new target list are what are called 'commercial corridors and enclaves,' which contain mainly businesses and unincorporated areas, and few residences.
Zanoni stressed that annexation makes sense for the entire city."84% of the people live in unincorporated Bexar County actually come into the city every day during the work week to work," Zanoni said. "So if there is an accident they are using our public safety services, they are probably using our parks and our libraries, and yet they pay no city property taxes."
The areas set for annexation include the 'commercial corridor' along Interstate 10 from Ralph Fair Road to the Fair Oaks Ranch city limit, the area along Babcock Road north of UTSA, and a commercial area along Culebra Road in Alamo Ranch.
Zanoni said without the annexation ability it has now, the City of San Antonio would not be the same sort of place that it is today.
"Our poverty rate would be almost twice the metro average, inside the geographic limits of the city, our household income would only be 63% of the metro area."
Because of laws regarding 'commercial corridors and enclaves,' the newly annexed areas can move more quickly toward annexation, with a City Council vote expected later this month. Public hearings will be held to allow affected individuals to speak out.
The measure now being considered in the Legislture covers only areas to be annexed which include more than 200 residents, so many of the newly announced areas would not be affected by it.
The Legislative proposal, which is being fought hard by the City of San Antonio, would require that before annexation of residential areas takes place, the people who live in those areas must first have the opportunity to approve it in a public vote.