San Antonio City Council urged to restore natural resource provisions into SA Tomorrow Plan
Last week, the San Antonio Planning Commission removed two important provisions from the SA Tomorrow Plan, one for impervious cover and one for night sky protection. The SA Tomorrow Plan, more than a year in the making, will be the city’s prevailing document setting a tone for development and natural resource protection in San Antonio for years to come.
August 3, 2016
Hill Country Alliance
Hill Country Alliance Community,
Last week, the San Antonio Planning Commission removed two important provisions from the SA Tomorrow Plan, one for impervious cover and one for night sky protection. As reported in the SA Express-News and the Rivard Report, these changes to the plan were made at the request of one contingent of the San Antonio development industry. The SA Tomorrow Plan, more than a year in the making, will be the city’s prevailing document setting a tone for development and natural resource protection in San Antonio for years to come. That is why the removal of these provisions is so unfortunate.
Thankfully, the city council has the ability to reintroduce the impervious cover and night sky protection provisions before voting on the plan next Thursday, August 11th—but we cannot expect them to do so without our demanding it.
Whether you live in San Antonio or elsewhere in the region, please call the San Antonio Council Members and Mayor Ivy Taylor this week to remind them that the SA Tomorrow Plan must represent the will of the individuals and organizations that participated in the planning process, not the self-interest of developers or the real estate community.
The impacts of San Antonio’s development are felt throughout the region. Its light pollution diminishes the night sky for more than 100 miles in every direction; its impervious cover impacts aquifer recharge quality and quantity, and increases flooding downstream. San Antonio has a responsibility not only to the people who participated in the SA Tomorrow planning process, but also to communities across the Hill Country that experience the consequences of San Antonio’s development. It is vital that our community takes the time to make these points to elected leaders in San Antonio by calling their offices prior to the August 11 council meeting.
For an update on the regional effort to protect night skies, an effort which the latest changes to the SA Tomorrow Plan threaten to undermine, take a look at this article authored by HCA. For additional commentary about the recent move by the SA Planning Commission to remove the impervious cover and night sky provisions from SA Tomorrow, read this news update from the Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance.
Thank you for all you do!
Executive Director, Hill Country Alliance