By: Ron Aaron Eisenberg
Neighbors Up in Arms Over Planned Development on Katherine Court
Trebes Sasser Jr., Ridgemont Properties, is proposing to build a three-story, multi-family-apartment building on properties his firm acquired at 111, 119, 131, and 135 Katherine Court in Alamo Heights.
The initial proposal called for more than 60 rental units. Several neighbors claim the project is totally out of character for the neighborhood. One neighbor, whose property would be adjacent to the apartment complex, says it would dwarf her home. Other neighbors say the building will generate too much traffic on their street, while some neighbors suggest the proximity to Incarnate Word University will attract students who will be disruptive to the neighborhood’s tranquility.
The developers and their architects have met with neighbors and have proposed a new use for the property — a three-story multi-family building with on-site parking located in the rear. The new development will follow the planning standards for character, height, setbacks, planting, and impervious cover. It will feature fewer rental units.
Alamo Heights city council member Lynda Billa Burke told 78209 Magazine that she thinks the project could be good for the neighborhood, although she has some concerns. Bottom line, council member Billa Burke said, “Thanks to the Texas State Legislature, local governments have no authority whatsoever to intervene in projects like this one. And the developer doesn’t have to talk with the neighbors, although Ridgemont Properties has chosen to do so.
She added, “Neighbors should understand that ‘no’ is never an answer. They should develop a plan A and a plan B to present to the developer as a constructive way to discuss their concerns and ideas for the neighborhood.”
But just opposing a project – saying “no” – is counterproductive.
Low Hanging Branches Damaging AHISD School Buses in Olmos Park
He urged homeowners to make sure trees and branches comply with city ordinance 18-67, Prohibition (d): Overhanging limbs. It shall be unlawful for any person or his agent, owning, renting, or having under his control any lot or premises, whether vacant or improved, within the city to permit trees to overhang Olmos Drive, Devine Road, and McCullough Avenue any less than 15 feet as measured above any drivable portion of the roadway. All other streets must maintain, measured as above, a minimum clearance of 13 feet.
The public works director also reminded residents, “When Ordinance 28-4: Collection of garbage, brush, and other waste materials. d) Trimming by Commercial Tree Services: A commercial landscaping service, whether an individual or a company, shall remove all branches, cuttings, or debris produced by their work. City employees shall not be required to collect or remove limbs or cuttings left in the city by commercial tree trimmers, regardless of the amount.
“All brush and large trimmings not in containers shall be prepared, placed along the curb line, and city hall notified that it is ready for collection. Trees or limbs to be collected by the city cannot exceed three inches in diameter or six feet in length, with all lateral branches trimmed. This service shall be provided at least once weekly. The removal of a large volume of brush and trimmings exceeding 250 cubic feet in volume shall be the responsibility of the owner.”
Oak Park Northwood Neighborhood Association Sets NeighborFest
Oak Park Northwood Neighborhood Association (OPNNA) is holding its first-ever NeighborFest on Sunday, November 14, from 2–4 pm at the Northridge Park Pavilion. The event will feature music, food, city resources,
and more. There is no charge to attend, and all OPNNA residents are welcome. Local public and elected officials are expected to attend. Plus, the Association says food trucks will be on hand as well.
The Neighborhood Association has also scheduled its Fall General meeting for Wednesday, October 20, at St. Andrew’s United Methodist Church. The meeting will begin at 6 pm. The Board will provide updates on OPNNA activities. The meeting will also feature a D-10 Road Show featuring Councilman Clayton Perry and San Antonio City Department Heads, including San Antonio Police Department. Attendees will be treated to free food provided by the Councilman.
Alamo Heights Rotary Volunteers Help Build Beds for “Bedless” Kids
Alamo Heights Rotary President Kristen Salazar recently told 78209 Magazine, “We’re putting more of a focus on doing work in the community by volunteering at least monthly.”
She said Rotary members have recently volunteered at the Texas Diaper Bank. In October, they are volunteering at Sleep in Heavenly Peace (SHP) to make bunk beds for children who are don’t have a bed.
SHP staff told Salazar there are hundreds of kids in Bexar County who go to bed every night without beds. SHP is a group of volunteers dedicated to building, assembling, and delivering hand-made bunk beds to children and families in need. Founded in Iowa in 2012, the organization now has over 240 chapters nationwide, including San Antonio.
The Texas Diaper Bank states that one in three families don’t have access to an adequate supply of diapers.
The Bank recognized this need and has been working since 2013 to change the lives of babies, children with disabilities, and seniors in the Greater San Antonio Area and 12 surrounding counties.
Salazar told 78209 Magazine, “We are looking for other non-profit agencies that need volunteers, especially those agencies that work specifically with women and girls. There’s a focus from our current Rotary International President to do more to empower women and girls.” And she added, “Service is the number one reason I joined Rotary, and I’m pushing my club to do more service projects this year which is helping to engage our new members.”
For more information, check out the Alamo Heights Rotary website at alamoheightsrotary.org.
Alamo Heights Rotary Sets Alamo Heights Night for April 2022
Alamo Heights Night 2020 and 2021 were canceled due to COVID-19. But AH Rotary Club members are now busy at work planning for Alamo Heights Night® 2022. It will be held at the University of the Incarnate Word on Friday, April 1, 2022. This event will be the club’s 34th Alamo Heights Night dubbed “Party Time in ‘09.” Rotary calls the evening the best family-friendly event during Fiesta, which starts on March 31, 2022.
The night will feature live musical entertainment courtesy of Hotcakes, Skyrocket, Finding Friday, plus plenty of great food, drinks, and games/rides for kids of all ages. They can always use volunteers to help out at the event. Volunteer opportunities are available for sign-up on the event website at alamoheightsnight.org.
Coyote Sightings in Terrell Hills
Generally, coyotes are reclusive animals who avoid human contact. But in recent months, neighbors in Terrell Hills have reported seeing coyotes in their neighborhoods. The Humane Society of the United States (HSUS) notes, on its website, “Coyotes have adapted to urban and suburban environments. They realize there are few real threats and they may even approach people or feel safe visiting yards when people are present.
HSUS adds, “These coyotes have become habituated (lost their fear of humans), probably owing to the bounty of food that they have become accustomed to feeding upon in our neighborhoods. These bold coyotes should not be tolerated or enticed, but instead given the clear message that they should not be so brazen.”
HSUS recommends hazing as a method that makes use of deterrents to move an animal out of an area or discourage an undesirable behavior or activity. Hazing can help maintain a coyote’s fear of humans and deter them from backyards and play spaces.
Using a variety of different hazing tools is critical so coyotes don’t get used to a single stimulus device, sounds,
• Yelling and waving your arms while approaching a coyote or Yelling “Go away, coyote”
• Noisemakers: Voice, whistles, air horns, bells, “shaker” cans full of marbles or pennies, pots, lid or pie pans banged together
• Projectiles: sticks, small rocks, cans, tennis balls or rubber balls – but do not try to hit the animal
• Other: hoses, water guns with vinegar water, spray bottles with vinegar water, pepper spray or bear repellent
There are several tools that you can carry with you while walking your dog that can be used to repel coyotes. These include:
• Homemade noisemakers – like banging pots and pans together
• Whistle or small air horn (you can purchase small air horn “necklaces”)
• Squirt guns
• Pepper spray
Visit humanesociety.org/resources/coyote-hazing for more on keeping coyotes out of our yards.