Alamo Heights Council Discusses Strategic Action Plan
Alamo Heights City Council was briefed on June 5 city staff on the city’s strategic action plan, which will inform the city’s upcoming fiscal year budget.
City staffers highlighted various initiatives that have either been completed over the current 2018 fiscal year or are ongoing.
In the administrative and finance department, the implementation of Automatic External Defibrillators at City Hall and the study of local governments that conduct salary surveys have both been completed.
Other completed initiatives are enhancements to the city’s online employment application process, a revamp of the city seal, a redesign of the newsletter and website, a logo for community events, and social media archiving.
The department is spending the summer scanning council meeting minutes from 1922 through 1977 for digital archival. The department is also exploring furniture and artwork purchases for City Hall public areas.
The city is looking for a possible bond project to improve Broadway, in coordination with the state, Bexar County and the Alamo Area Metropolitan Planning Organization.
The AAMPO in April approved $10 million on a Broadway project. Funding is slated to be spent between 2020 and 2022, but could be extended until 2024.
The state has verbally committed to an additional $4 million, and the city expects to request drainage funding from Bexar County. Utilities remain the city’s responsibility, but those costs could be shared among local utilities.
Upcoming initiatives include renovations to the Judson nature trails, a community recycling event next spring and a city centennial celebration in 2022.
The public works department has been doing street maintenance on more than a dozen city streets, and has identified needed work at Abiso, Inlay, Oak View and North New Braunfels Avenue.
The department has completed the purchase of a new rear packer for the garbage truck, and has finished updating traffic signals at three intersections along North New Braunfels.
Upcoming initiatives include water main improvements ahead of street work on Alta between Columbine and Arbutus, and Corona between Columbine and Imlay, as well as new pavement on four streets and two alleys.
The community and development department has completed development of an interactive map, which keeps track of zoning changes, special use permits and city utility infrastructure. The map, easy for staff and residents to use, was integrated into the city’s website at the end of June.
The city also plans to beautify gateway areas, such as Basse and Jones Maltsberger roads, and Austin Highway at North New Braunfels Avenue.
The police department is working with Terrell Hills and Olmos Park police departments to develop a new dispatch service agreement and explore models to establish dispatch service rates.
Police will also work more with the Alamo Heights Independent School District to help minimize community impact of displaced student parking during AHISD bond projects, particularly high school improvements.
Additionally, police will work with the fire department to explore the feasibility of a joint purchase of a drone, which could help with searches, evaluating emergency response areas and fire scenes, and with high water rescue incidents.
The fire department purchased a third cardiac “thumper device, and a new self-contained breathing apparatus (SCBA) compressor.
During the next fiscal year, the fire department will continue training AHISD students and residents on hands-only cardiopulmonary resuscitation; buy ballistic vests and helmets for active shooter threats; and keep implementing the Texas Fire Chiefs Association best practice recognition program.
The fire department is also looking five-year strategic action plan priorities, such as evaluating capital replacement funding for resources such as a new fire truck, new SCBA units, and replacing ambulances, radios and a support truck.
Alamo Heights Completing Sign Ordinance Revisions
Alamo Heights City Council has been meeting to finish reviewing a repeal and replacement of the city’s sign regulations ordinance. As of press deadline for this edition, the council had voted June 11 to table final action.
City staff has spent the past year reviewing the city’s sign code and getting feedback from residents and business owners.
City officials have said the main thrusts behind the sign code revisions include: providing a more reasonable system for sign control; encouraging well-designed, aesthetically pleasing signs; and reducing possible traffic and safety hazards.
Overall height of signs would be reduced from a maximum of 16 feet to 12 feet. The city’s architectural review board recommended prohibiting window signage except for in special circumstances.
Enforcement would become effective immediately for new sign applications. A six-month grace period would go into effect for window signage.
The council meets again June 25, after deadline for this edition, possibly to reconsider the new sign ordinance.
Matinee Café Opens
Matinee Café just opened a new location in 78209. They feature Lebanese food, a little Italian, a little North American, deli sandwiches, fresh salads and homemade desserts. It was established in 2004 by then-owner, Brian Mason. The original location was in the old Texas Theater, just down the street from the Majestic Theater in downtown San Antonio. The restaurant was decorated with a fun theater theme and a jazzy Broadway feel. In 2006, locals Trey and Debbi Brooks bought the café from Mason.
Trey Brooks has 40 years of experience in the restaurant business. He started out waiting tables, then moved to cooking, then managing and on to owning his own restaurant. His experience working at different restaurants has given Brooks the expertise and knowledge to put together this wonderful concept and make it successful.
Matinee Café has two locations, one in Northwood Tower on N.E. Loop 410 and one at Village on the Green, 555 E. Basse Rd., Suite 113.
San Antonio Planning Commission Amends Area Plan
The San Antonio Planning Commission on June 13 approved amending one area land use plan. The commission amended the San Antonio International Airport Vicinity Land Use Plan from “community commercial” to “regional commercial” for property at 430 W. Sunset Road.
Also on June 13, the commission passed a resolution supporting closure and abandonment of two improved alleys bordered between Broadway, Brooklyn Avenue, Avenue B and 8th Street.
Green Heights, finished in May of 2018, provides the perfect blank canvas for any home buyer. This brand-new community is nestled in the heart of Alamo Heights, conveniently located off of Highway 281 and W. Sunset Road. Certified by Build San Antonio Green, every effort went into making each home environmentally conscious, leaving the smallest possible environmental footprint. Sealed concrete and European oak floors as well as abundant natural light enhance the soothing interior palettes. Each home contains a gourmet kitchen featuring custom cabinetry with soft-close hinges and quartz counters, the perfect setting for creating and savoring culinary delights. All of the luxuriously spacious master suites offer a private bath with dual vanity, rain forest glass shower and a generous walk-in closet. Outside every home within the community, a gorgeous cedar deck offers a peaceful exterior living space to enjoy the outdoors all year.
By Edmond Ortiz