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Council votes down bus transit facility over aquifer

Thursday, December 6, 2007

It brings me great pleasure to report that City Council voted to reject Zoning Case Z2008010 S ERZD (Marshall Rd Annexation & Park and Ride facility) indefinitely. There was enough opposition to this case that it would not have been approved if it had been voted on, therefore,Councilman Wolff decided to pull the item.

This means that the land was not annexed or rezoned. It remains at its current zoning-- Outside City Limits (OCL), which means, for now, this "most permeable" land will remain restricted to 15% impervious cover. The story made front page news in today's Express-News .

Once again, a hearty THANK YOU! to all of our Aquifer Guardians who contacted City Council and notified other citizens of this important rezoning case. PLEASE TAKE A MINUTE TO THANK CITY COUNCIL for making the right decision to protect the Aquifer.

In addition to thanking you, I must also recognize several other folks for their dedication to this issue: the AGUA Board members, Annalisa Peace with the Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance (GEAA), and the residents of the Northwinds neighborhood. THANK YOU.


VIA Metro was asking for approval to construct a large bus transit facility on one of the most permeable areas of the Recharge Zone in Bexar County. The City is asking for the rezoning, in this case, so there was no excuse for weak aquifer protection.

Some talking points are listed below:

  • The property (at US Hwy 281 and Marshall Road) is one of the most permeable areas in the entire Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone in Bexar County, and therefore, it is one of the most vulnerable areas to contamination.
  • The landowner has not yet filed a Water Pollution Abatement Plan (WPAP) with TCEQ, therefore a more thorough review of the site for recharge features will not occur until after it is rezoned. There is a strong chance that recharge features will be found, given the porosity of the site geology.
  • A Transit Park & Ride facility has a greater potential of contaminating the Edwards Aquifer than other commercial uses. Indeed, the proposed facility has greater than 65% impervious cover and guarantees a heavy volume of vehicular traffic on a most porous region.
  • A much better location for the Park & Ride would be on an existing large parking lot OFF the Recharge Zone.