A San Antonio developer who owned a lot adjacent to the historic East Side’s Hays Street bridge will get another parcel a mile away. The city will convert his original one into a park. This is what the City of San Antonio council members decided during a public community meeting that was held on June 13.
The developer and the city had long been fighting about the strip of land. The former had wanted to construct a five-story apartment complex on the land near the bridge, but local officials had repeatedly denied his request for a permit to do so.
When asked why they’d denied his application, they directed him to a city ordinance. It stated that a public hearing would need to be called before anyone would be granted a permit to build next to the bridge.
At the public hearing on June 13, one councilman proposed developing the man’s land as a park. Council members then listened for hours as area residents and activists complained about how this part of the city has long gone neglected. They expressed concern that the developer would benefit more than area residents. Ultimately, they approved the park proposal 10-1.
Council members also agreed to provide the developer with a city-owned lot located at 223 South Cherry St. The 2-acre parcel is in the same Dignowity Hill neighborhood where his original property was located.
When asked what he thought about the deal, the developer noted that he was happy to at least have the necessary permission he was looking for to build his apartment building.
Up until the city council’s vote on June 13, the city had been embroiled in a legal fight with historical preservation groups and developers alike. Both had divergent plans for the property. They’re hopeful that lawsuits over the parcel of land will be withdrawn now that the swap has been approved.
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