6 thoughts on “HDRC Rejects Revised Plans for Hays Street Bridge Apartments

  1. Is there more information about this line:

    Commissioners were largely impressed with the design, but had concerns about how the structure’s design would relate to the street level of the historic neighborhood it skirts. The property is located between single-family homes to the east; industrial buildings, highway, and downtown to the west.

    From my basic understanding of the project it meets the guidelines of the Downtown Design Guideline. The developer vastly improved the relation to Cherry Street (from the previous proposal) and the sidewalks exceed what is required by the guidelines.

    Am I a huge fan of the design, no. But does this meet the guidelines? It seems so. I’m not okay with HDRC arbitrarily expanding their purview or selectively enforcing guidelines. If you compare this project to stuff around Broadway, it should be approved. There are no viewshed protections at this point in time. There aren’t (to my knowledge) protections of properties bordering historic districts. I wasn’t at the meeting, so maybe I’m wrong and they’re specifically calling out things that need to change but if that is the case I would expect this article to more fully address those things.

    By the way, on Burnet, the city just initiated a sidewalk project in the Downtown District that does NOT meet the city’s guidelines for 6 foot sidewalks. How ironic is it that less than a block away from this project the city isn’t following it’s own guidelines. The city completed a project last week to redo the western approach to the Hays Street Bridge that makes it impossible to ride a bike onto the bridge and then randomly added a 10 foot section of protected bike lane. What is the process to review that? Yesterday they were decorating the curbs with reflectors like a Christmas tree because they know drivers are going to run all over them. We really need people who walk, bike, and use wheelchairs designing these things.

    • I agree.
      The project is quite progressive for San Antonio…mixed-use, mixed-income, live/work spaces, and public access green space…the residents aren’t going to get anything better. The only thing that would make this better is underground parking/less parking. Now the neighbors get the view shed of a vacant industrial lot. Good job.
      If I were the developer, I would be quite upset, they followed the rules and they met the guidelines. HDRC should not be able to overstep their power like this.

      “Neighborhood character and preservation” is just an avenue to shoot down multi-family housing. San Antonio needs housing, market rate and affordable – let projects that meet the rules/guidelines be built.

  2. This is another example of the HDRC voting in fear of public opinion rather than based on what their guidelines require. Their vote if blatantly illegal and is yet another embarrassment in a long line of embarrassments where HDRC cowtows to the loudest protesting voices rather than what their charter provides for. They should be disbanded once and for all.

    People always complains about a lack of reasonably affordable housing and the HDRC is the perfect example of why there isn’t any. Shame on this spineless committee. If I were Meyers, I would sue each commissioner who voted against the project individually and force them to justify in a court of law how their vote is rationally justified by the criteria they are supposed to adhere to. Assuming they can’t, they should have to pay for all of the developers’ expenses.

  3. If Ms. Hinton and the others want a park there they should buy the land and make a park. The city should not buy back the property which takes it off the property tax roles. That $21 million investment would generate considerable property tax revenue.

  4. Architecture should not be regulated. Period.

    Architecture is one of seven arts together with sculpture, painting, music, poetry, dance and performing. Whether you like any of the arts is totally subjective and should not be dictated by a group of 10 people whose mix can change, and thus the perspective changes.

    Regulate what you can measure: density, height, setbacks, zoning. Not design.

    Architects in San Antonio are not free to design what they want. Imagine a Music Review Committee to approve whether a song can be written. Absurd.

    • Agreed, which is why San Antonio will continue to be left in the dust by quickly developing cities. Developers will be unmotivated to even propose in SA anymore

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