Bexar County voters near Camp Bullis, JBSA-Lackland decide against annexation

SAN ANTONIO – Bexar County voters near Camp Bullis and Joint Base San Antonio-Lackland decided to avoid an annexation into the city of San Antonio.

Their second option was to allow the city to regulate land use around those bases.

Bridgett White, director of the San Antonio Planning Department, said the vote will impact new development in the five-mile area around those bases.

“The city is now allowed to enforce an ordinance that is in line with the land use study,” she said. “With the ordinance, we'll be looking at density, the types of land use that are close to the base, that will go through our permitting process.”

Permits will be required for new development around the bases. There will also be fees, certification and charges attached to those permits given by the city.

Frank Garza, a municipal attorney and St. Mary’s University professor, said current property owners will not be impacted.

“Let’s say someone wants to go from one house on 3 acres and add five, six different houses, there will be some permitting and regulations (the city) will be able to impose in order to make sure it’s not too much of a development to interfere with the land use.”

Garza said it’s set to prevent huge developments from going into those areas. He said the city needed to push an annexation request in order to begin its land regulation over the area. It’s made possible through Senate Bill 6, passed in 2017 to help municipalities protect the areas around bases.

The land regulation will include noise, height and density.

The city expects to have the ordinance drafted by early next year. It plans to have community meetings to ensure property owners understand the new rules.

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