3 thoughts on “HDRC Approves Single-Family and Townhome Development in Lavaca

  1. From other renderings published for this proposed project, it seems that the designers and HDRC miss how the new design fails to improve sidewalks and bus waiting conditions and pedestrian safety and amenity on site and for the surrounding neighborhood — and particularly near the corner of Labor and Florida.

    The cement retaining walls along the sidewalks on Labor and Florida included as a key feature in the new design are not historic — they appear to have been introduced in approximately 2010-11 when the lot was largely vacant.

    More recent AAMPO recommendations and ADA requirements stress that, for pedestrian safety, sidewalks in San Antonio should be at least six feet wide leading to (within a quarter-mile) of VIA bus stops and even wider at the area where people are expected to wait for and board buses. This is understood practice across the U.S.

    Google Maps Streetview images show how the current bus waiting area at Labor and Florida is insufficient and potentially unsafe — with no seating, no shade, limited setback from the street, a very narrow sidewalk path and a vehicle tire skid mark on the actual sidewalk, suggesting the danger posed to pedestrians waiting for buses or crossing at this corner by the current site design.

    The recent sidewalk retaining walls should not dictate the design of the new high density residential use of the historic lot, where unprecedented pedestrian activity is now anticipated with infill housing, as depicted in renderings.

    Instead, the new design should be shaped by what we understand to be the minimum needed for pedestrian safety and amenity and ADA access in 2017 — including yielding more of the lot, if needed, to appropriately wide sidewalks (at least six feet wide) within a quarter mile of and leading to a safe, sheltered, easily accessed bus stop with an even wider sidewalk / separation from traffic where people are expected to wait for and board the bus.

    Related to improving pedestrian and public transit conditions and safety for the neighborhood and to help mitigate the substantial traffic increase and risks the project could generate, the developers should sponsor a publicly accessible bikeshare station — on site or at Florida Park.

    See:

    Virtual Builders Exchange published renderings of the project, including the proposed lack of changes to bus waiting at the corner of Florida and Labor:
    https://www.virtualbx.com/construction-preview/24999-san-antonio-townhome-development-coming-to-southtown.html

    Google Maps Streetview of Florida & Labor showing a tire skidmark on the sidewalk near the current bus stop:

    https://www.google.com/maps/@29.408423,-98.4845152,3a,75y,284.88h,64.75t/data=!3m7!1e1!3m5!1sFA5TdC4BkNqd4tPeyyOeTg!2e0!6s%2F%2Fgeo2.ggpht.com%2Fcbk%3Fpanoid%3DFA5TdC4BkNqd4tPeyyOeTg%26output%3Dthumbnail%26cb_client%3Dmaps_sv.tactile.gps%26thumb%3D2%26w%3D203%26h%3D100%26yaw%3D267.12006%26pitch%3D0%26thumbfov%3D100!7i13312!8i6656

    San Antonio B-Cycle map showing the current gap in service near Florida and Labor:
    https://sanantonio.bcycle.com/explore/our-maps

  2. I question why newly designed buildings must mimic as to be appropriately scaled to adjacent buildings in a neighborhood. I think the rendering of these new townhouse reflect just this absurd policy. The national historic guidelines say and I do not quote, to have respect for the scale and materials of a neighborhood, and to build what is of the current time, to blend in with the old. This way you can see what is truly historic and then is many years, see what was the best of the then, current time.

    I personally find these mimics silly. They look silly and the idea behind them is silly. The general public has always been afraid of “the New”, they are comfortable to what they are used to. That does not mean we have to cater to that idea. We do not do that in medicine, technology or product design development or design. So why do we do this in our neighborhoods where this kind of small minded, let us “not rock any boat” kind of thinking permeates?

  3. I can’t believe these developers have the audacity to claim that “we’ve received no opposition from them after having met with them several times.” There were plenty of neighbors who had choice words for the developers at the last Lavaca Neighborhood meeting. I think it’s very dishonest for them to dismiss some of our neighbor’s concerns and pretend everyone in the neighborhood was on board with this plan.

    I’m also disappointed in the HDRC for letting the developer leave that vacant house on the lot instead of doing something with it. I guess they’re hoping at some point they’ll be able to relocate it?

    Also very disappointed in our District 1 Councilman. There were plenty of questions for him at the last neighborhood meeting during our discussion with the developers and he didn’t show or even bother sending someone on his behalf.

    And lastly, I think the reporting on this article was severely lacking. You did not mention the vacant house that is being left on the lot, and didn’t bother talking to any neighbors for this article.

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