Helotes residents concerned about changing scenery

Hillside scraped by quarry

HELOTES, Texas – The scenery in Helotes is changing and some residents are saying it's not for the better.

The concern is a hilltop located in the 18000 block of Bandera Road, which was cleared out last week.

Helotes resident Rick Piper said he was devastated last week to find the hilltop destroyed.

"What bothers me the most about this is besides environmental concerns, this is the western gateway to the Texas Hill Country, and when you leave the city of Helotes, instead of looking at beautiful rolling hills, you're looking at this hideous scar," said Piper.

Martin Marietta operates a quarry at the location and has been in operation there for more than 20 years.

Martin Marietta President Larry Roberts said as part of the company's normal mining process, some clearing did take place to allow for the recovery of stone and that the move is under the terms of their existing permits.

However, Piper, who has lived in Helotes for 30 years, said he's just hoping that officials won't allow something like this to happen again.

"It may have been permitted," said Piper. "But the interesting thing to me was all the work was done under the cover of darkness and it only took a couple of days to do this."

Other residents, like Myfe Moore, said they are concerned about scraping that happened adjacent to the location to make room for new development.

"It will devastate Bexar County," said Moore. "We will have no habitat left in Bexar County. We will have filthy water and filthy air."

Helotes officials said the clearing of the hilltop has nothing to do with the adjacent development.

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