City officials are putting a positive spin on the law approved by the Legislsture and certain to be signed by Gov. Abbott which will block the city's aggressive plan to annex large chunks of unincorporated Bexar County, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.
Northside side Councilman Manny Pelaez, whose district would have included some 16,000 people targeted for annexation in fast growing Leon Springs, says at least protections for the military were included in the final bill.
"I think its a fair compromise," Pelaez said. "I wish they would have listened to us and not interfered with our ability to manage the ETJ."
The anti annexation bill was the one item the City singled out to defeat in the 2017 Legislature. The City's efforts were successful in the regular session but fell short in the special session.
Pelaez pointed out that the final bill includes a five mile buffer where the city can still regulate development. He says that's critical in making sure that development doesn't occur near Camp Bullis that would prompt the military to downgrade the key training missions that occur there.
"We just cannot take the catastrophic effect on our economy that a BRAC would have," Pelaez said, citing the loss of thousands of jobs when Brooks Air Force Base and Kelly Air Force Base were ordered closed in the nineties. "We can't take that lightly."
The bill, which requires cities to first get the approval of people who live in an area to be annexed, is a major setback for a long term plan San Antonio had to expand the city limits as up to 1 million more people move here by 2040.
In addition to the plan to annex the Leon Springs area, long term plans which were in the works to annex fast growing areas along US 281 and in the Alamo Ranch area will now have to go back to the planning stage.