SA Tomorrow gets OK, moves into implementation stages

On Thursday, the San Antonio City Council passed a three-part blueprint in response to the million people expected to move to the Alamo City.

The blueprint known as "SA Tomorrow" is broken into comprehensive, multimodal transportation and sustainability portions.

The approval took more than three hours of discussion prior to three separate votes.

"This provides a framework and guidelines for us to move forward," said Ivy Taylor, San Antonio mayor.

Although some citizens urged the council not to approve parts of the plan or its entirety, District 9 City Councilman Joe Krier reminded people that the plan is not set in stone and will be revisited down the road.

Graciela Sanchez addressed the council and said that she represented people of West Side Hispanic organizations. She felt more emphasis should be put on current troubles and didn't like the SA Tomorrow process.

"My concern with today's comprehensive plan was they essentially ignored our voices," Sanchez said.

SA Tomorrow has its own dedicated website and social media pages. During the draft process, the city hosted numerous community meetings for input.

District 8 Councilman Ron Nirenberg recommended 17 amendments to SA Tomorrow prior to approval, which were struck down. He still thought the passage of the growth plan was a step forward for the city.

"SA Tomorrow, as it stands today, is a plan that we did not have that moves us in a positive direction," Nirenberg said. "I would have preferred that we take the strong step that the public has been asking for but we took a step and that's significant."

Controversial language such as impervious cover, surfaces, like streets and parking lots, where water can't be absorbed back into the ground, and dark skies were added back in to SA Tomorrow for consideration down the road.

"What we didn't add back in, though, was the teeth of regulation. That we aren't just going to take taxpayers money, incentivize people to do the right thing. What we need to do is have a healthy balance between development incentive and regulation," Nirenberg said.

Taylor said she's looking forward to creating more live, work and play communities across the city, such as the Pearl.

"I'm excited about those opportunities because then I think once we make those investments, and see more robust activities in those areas, it will provide more options for us in relation to transit because we can connect those areas."

Taylor will weigh in on Thursday's Nightbeat about what's next now that the plan has been passed.