SAN ANTONIO -

The San Antonio City Council voted Thursday to approve a proposed limited purpose annexation plan for four areas in Bexar County.

The city’s boundaries will grow by 19 square miles for three years while officials study the economic potential of the areas before determining permanent annexation.

A revised plan that was presented this week cut the amount of land set to be annexed nearly in half.

A majority of the cuts are in Area 4, in Southeast Bexar County.

During the limited annexation period property and sales taxes cannot be collected, however the city can assess service fees for building inspections and permitting.

One of the changes approved during the meeting was an extension of the amount of time residents will have to bring their properties into compliance with San Antonio city codes.

Instead of 90 days residents will now have 180 days.

One hundred-fifty people with agricultural property in the four areas signed development agreements with the city to be exempt from annexation for 10 years.

The agreement is only valid if future development on the properties is for agricultural use. If not, the city has the right to automatically begin annexation proceedings on the property.

City leaders called the revised plan a compromise after residents expressed outrage at the original plan.

Some residents felt the way of life they have come to enjoy by living in the county will be interrupted by future development and the city’s continued growth.

Mayor Julian Castro said limited purpose annexation will actually keep that from happening.

“The greater danger, in terms of quality of life or lifestyle changing, is not if the city were to come in, and put zoning in and restrictions,” he said. “It’s if none of those restrictions were in place and people could do whatever they want.”

Everyone voted “yes” during Thursday's vote, except District 5 Councilwoman Shirley Gonzales.

Gonzales said the inability of the city to provide basic service within its current boundaries gave her pause to expand the city limits.

District 2 Councilwoman Ivy Taylor was absent because she is in Washington D.C. for President Barack Obama's "Promise Zones" announcement.

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