A small Bexar County community trying to become its own city was denied the area of land it wanted after the San Antonio City Council voted to keep it within the city’s extra territorial jurisdiction (ETJ).
The community of Sandy Oaks is neighborhood with about 4,000 people that is located at loop 1604 and I-37. It falls right within the ETJ of San Antonio, which is the area the city can absorb later if it decides to do so.
The residents of Sandy Oaks originally requested 4 square miles of land to make the area its own city and applied to be released from the ETJ in August.
"I want to say that I’m boldly optimistic about what is possible out there and I think that that particular interchange and corridor is going to be hugely responsible for how San Antonio is going to be able to provide for its future residents and current residents," said District 4 Councilman Rey Saldaña.
However, on Thursday the Council voted to only allow 2.4 square miles per city staff recommendation. Saldaña said he believes that I-37/1604 corridor will be vital to allow San Antonio the ability to grow economically on the Southeast Side.
Art Martinez de Vara, the mayor of Von Ormy, is the legal council for the community. He said the 2 miles that was left out contains commercial property that is vital for sales taxes to provide city services.
"If you can imagine running a city of entirely residential property taxes, the property tax would be astronomically high," Martinez de Vara. "Considering the nature of Sandy Oaks, its predominately mobile home and of low property valuation that makes it even more challenging."
Martinez de Vara said incorporating the 2 square miles is not feasible, but that they will consider possible litigation or seek appeal before San Antonio reviews its annexation plan in January.
In order for Sandy Oaks to fully incorporate, a formal election for the residents in the neighborhood would have to take place.