Dozens rally in Boerne to protest development of green space

By Josh Skurnik - Reporter

BOERNE, Texas - Dozens rallied Friday in Boerne to protest a green space that is set to be developed. They said it's happening too fast and at too high a cost.

In the face of expansion, a little more than 50 people rallied Friday in Boerne to protest a green space that is set to be developed in a $40 million mixed-use project.

The protesters stood on Herff Road during rush hour traffic and chanted for change. Their T-shirts read “Save the Cibolo.”

“We've been doing field trips there since I was younger, and it just feels like in a growing city, it's the only little spot of nature,” said Leah Rosenberger, a high school student who grew up in Boerne.

“I don't know most of the people out here. Everyone is just here to support the creek,” said Andrew Lucas, a protester.

The city annexed 27 acres bordered by the Cibolo Creek in January. The Weitzman Group plans to build housing, retail shops and restaurants.

Next week, Boerne City Council will have its first vote on granting the developer the zoning it needs.

Boerne's deputy city managers said he is comfortable with the environmental impact. He said the city owns a small strip of land on one side of the creek, which acts as a buffer. The closest the development gets is 120 feet, 20 more than what is required by city ordinance.

Charles Riddle is a broker for the deal and lives in the area. He said as housing construction increases in the county, the growing community needs the tax base his environmentally friendly development will provide.

Riddle estimates tax revenues of $1 million annually.

"I know it's good for Boerne, absolutely," Riddle said. "If it's not us, it's going to be someone else, and I don't believe anyone else would do what we are doing.”

Boerne City Council will hold a public hearing and take a first vote on the annexation Tuesday at its council meeting.

If the plan passes, the City Council will take a final vote at its meeting on April 25.

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