City Would Expand to Kendall County Line Under Ambitious Annexation Plan

Last year, the Texas Legislature approved a bill that prohibits cities from annexing populated unincorporated areas without the approval of the people who live there.  So this week, San Antonio City Council is expected to request that approval from thousands of people in one of the fastest growing parts of Bexar County, News Radio 1200 WOAI reports.

The City's plan would bring northwest Bexar County, from Grey Forest west of I-10 all the way to the Kendall County line, into the city limits.  A similar plan is in the works to annex a large area of unincorporated Bexar County near the Lackland AFB Medina Annex along on on either side of Loop 1604 and Highway 90.

The City says the annexation would allow City government to better regulate growth and development in those two fast growing areas to protect Camp Bullis, Camp Stanley, and Lackland, all of which are critical to the area's economy.  

The military has stated that residential and commercial development, mainly the lights from thousands of new homes and businesses being built along the I-10 corridor outside Camp Bullis Road which potentially could make night time med-evac helicopter pilot training ineffective at Camp Bullis, is the major threat facing the posts as a new round of Base Closings looms.

According to a memo circulated to members of City Council, the plan is to annex residential and commercial areas not currently inside the city  limits within five miles of the military posts.

"The City Council of the City of San Antonio takes this action to protect the areas around Camp Bullis and Camp Stanley military bases, and to preserve the efficacy of the bases' respective missions," the mission statement of the resolution reads.

The language of the ballot measure to be presented to Council on Thursday calls for 'limited purpose annexation' of the affected areas for three years, and city property taxes would not be collected during the three year plan.  But during that three years, the City would have the authority to begin 'planning, zoning, safety, and health ordinances.

'Under the proposal, "upon annexation for full purposes (within three years after limited annexation occurs) the City would begin providing police, fire,  EMS, street maintenance and other services to the areas.

Even a rejection of the annexation would allow the city to "adopt and enforce ordinances regulating land use in the manner recommended by the most recent joint land use study, including the authority to adopt fees and fines and other regulatory charges."

The election would be set for Election Day this November, but the effective date of the limited purpose annexation would be set following public hearings.  

But a budget prospectus included with the annexation memo predicts the City receiving $11.8 million in annual property tax revenue from the Camp Bullis area to be annexed in the 2023 Fiscal Year.  The City also plans to begin collecting city sales taxes from the newly annexed area in Fiscal Year 2022, in the amount of $261,000.

Besides protected Camp Bullis and Camp Stanley, the City treasury will benefit from the annexation as well, according to the study.

It has making $1.1 million net after services are provided to the area starting in Fiscal Year 2023, a number City budget planners expect will rapidly grow to $3 million a year by Fiscal 2032.

The total value of the property in the area to be annexed is estimated by the city at $3.1 billion.

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