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North Side sidewalk project generates complaints

Homeowners say they weren't given proper notice

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SAN ANTONIO – While homeowners around San Antonio are crying out for sidewalks to be installed in their neighborhoods, some North Side neighbors have some complaints about their construction project.

Crews are hard at work on the Crandall Place at Larkwood neighborhood off of North New Braunfels. Sidewalks are being put in for the first time on Crandall Place from Larkwood to Northridge and Larkwood from New Braunfels to Kenilworth.

A notice from the City of San Antonio dated Aug. 14 informed the residents about the project, but Carol Patterson said it wasn't enough notice.

"Everybody has different opinions, different concerns," Patterson said. "We need time to get together. It's not rejecting sidewalks, it's just wanting something that could be done the best way it could be."

Indeed, longtime residents like Joan Lyman say sidewalks have been needed in this neighborhood north of Alamo Heights.

"The kids can't walk in the street," Lyman said. "They have to walk in the grass. Now they'll have sidewalks."

Patterson agrees that sidewalks are needed, but would rather see an absorbent, rubberized sidewalk instead of concrete because she said it would be cooler and absorb water rather than contributing to runoff.

Brian Surratt is also unsettled about the sidewalk. Just five months ago he installed zoysia grass and a xeriscape flower bed and worries about construction tearing up his plants.

"If we had known, we would have done something different, so that's my concern," Surratt said. "It's neighborly for the city to communicate what their plans are with the residents and let us provide our feedback and make the whole project better."

Woodridge Elementary is also nearby and while a sidewalk will be great in the long run for kids walking to school, the start of this school year could be messy with construction.

"The traffic is already serious," Patterson said. "This is going to be awful."

The City of San Antonio Public Works Department is doing the project and spokeswoman April Alcoser said the city has heard their complaints.

"I'm actually looking into how much notice was given to these property owners," Alcoser said.

However, she said residents should not worry about damage to their properties.

"We have been in constant communication with them and have let them know that none of their landscaping or irrigation or trees are going to be affected by this project," Alcoser said.

She said the city cannot give homeowners a year's notice on projects because schedules change.

As for the timing, with kids about to start walking to school Monday, possibly stepping around construction material, she said the city has sidewalk projects going on all the time and they have to keep working.