Trending
MOST READ
Beaches Be Trippin\': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Beaches Be Trippin': Five Texas Coast Spots Worth the Drive

Arts & Culture: Let’s face it, most of us Lone Stars view the Texas coast as a poor man’s Waikiki. Hell, maybe just a poor man’s Panama Beach — only to be used... By Callie Enlow 7/10/2013
Best Hookah Bar

Best Hookah Bar

Best of SA 2013: 4/24/2013
How Rebates Have the Texas Film Industry Playing Catch Up To its Neighbors

How Rebates Have the Texas Film Industry Playing Catch Up To its Neighbors

Screens: See if you can spot the common thread that is pulling at the seams of the Texas film industry. On NBC’s The Night Shift, a stock-written staff... By Matt Stieb 8/27/2014

Best Indian Restaurant

Best of SA 2013: 4/24/2013
Free Will Astrology

Free Will Astrology

Astrology: ARIES (March 21-April 19): In the coming weeks it will be important for you to bestow blessings and disseminate gifts and dole out helpful... By Rob Brezsny 8/27/2014
Calendar

Search hundreds of restaurants in our database.

Search hundreds of clubs in our database.

Follow us on Instagram @sacurrent

Print Email

News

H-E-B’s Main Ave. Plans Passed Council, Now Citizens Want Oversight

Photo: Courtesy image, License: N/A

Courtesy image


While some groups like The King William Neighborhood Association initially opposed the street closure, they’ve since changed their minds. The KWA dropped their disapproval after the board of directors voted 7-6 to OK the measure in late November. In a release, the KWA said the board came to its decision based on the mitigation plan. A KWA member voiced the group’s approval at the council meeting, but also pointed to lingering concerns. She recommended the $3.5 million allotted for street closure fees be earmarked for infrastructure improvements, sidewalk and street repair and additional lighting along Arsenal and South Alamo streets for those directly impacted. She also noted inconsistencies surrounding bike paths between the presentation given by H-E-B and the actual development agreement and lastly, she urged the grocer to add an expiration date clause to the gas station, as the grocery store is only guaranteed to operate for at least five years.

But not everyone has come to terms with the proposal. Charlotte Luongo, member of Main Access (a coalition of residents opposed to the plan), delivered a petition against the street closure signed by 2,000 citizens to council on the day of the vote. “[T]hese citizens are angry, they know they have been disenfranchised … they know the city is no longer a democracy, it is being run by corporate interests,” she says. In an interview after the meeting, Luongo tells the Current the mitigation plan didn’t ease the problems for her, either.

Luongo and Bogle find it interesting that some Zoning Commission members weren’t completely gung-ho about green-lighting the grocer’s plans—namely District 1 Commissioner Marianna Ornelas, who, during a meeting before the council vote, proposed a motion to halt the gas station on the grocery store site—an integral part of the plan. With no second, the proposal died. The new H-E-B store will fall in Ornelas’ district.

“They seemed very conflicted, it was not an easy decision for them. Ultimately, they accepted H-E-B’s answers but it did end with the chairman saying he hoped they didn’t put their trust in the wrong corporation,” says Claudia Guerra, Bogle’s architecture colleague, present at the meeting.

Additionally, residents say one of the major failures of the project has been the perceived lack of public input and transparency. With the plan already in motion, the next step for concerned citizens appears to be ensuring they are part of the process. Some feel the plan was guided by economic pressure, as the local retailer is the largest privately held company in Texas, and as a result, their concerns were pushed aside.

“All of these deals have been done behind closed doors with no citizen input,” said Luongo. “No community input was ever asked for.” There hasn’t been much community outreach, she says, with the exception of a few private talks with little to no compromise. “In their minds, they had taken possession of that street already.”

Recently in News
  • Texas Law Leaves Abortion Out of Reach for Many Women Texas’ sweeping abortion law has already eliminated all abortion clinics south of San Antonio, and the last clinic west of the city... | 8/27/2014
  • Cityscrapes: A race to the convention floor “Conventions go to the city which exerts the greatest efforts to secure them. San Antonio can get any convention that it goes after.” That was the position... | 8/27/2014
  • Mayoral Horserace Once elected next spring, San Antonio’s new mayor will have just a few months to prepare for the 2016 budget... | 8/27/2014
We welcome user discussion on our site, under the following guidelines:

To comment you must first create a profile and sign-in with a verified DISQUS account or social network ID. Sign up here.

Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
comments powered by Disqus