Rezoning in downtown New Braunfels paves the way for future development

Attendees will be able to learn about the redistricting process and ask questions about the factors that drive redistricting. (Community Impact Staff)
Attendees will be able to learn about the redistricting process and ask questions about the factors that drive redistricting. (Community Impact Staff)

Attendees will be able to learn about the redistricting process and ask questions about the factors that drive redistricting. (Community Impact Staff)






During the Sept. 13 regular City Council meeting, New Braunfels City Council members voted to approve the second reading of an ordinance to rezone a property located at 157 S. Guenther Ave. from a special neighborhood district to a central business district.

The 0.17-acre property is located behind the Encore Antique Company, which is part of a 1.36-acre tract that is zoned as a central business district and surrounds the smaller property. Both properties are owned by Seals Family Properties, LLC, according to city documents.

Rezoning the Guenther Avenue property would create more continuity of zoning in the area, said Chris Looney, planning and development services director for the city.

“This is the only single-family residential lot in the entirety of downtown that is completely surrounded by [central business district] zoning,” said Geoffrey Bley, a representative for the owner of the property. “We want to turn an overgrown, underutilized lot into a beautiful project for the city and the community.”


Prior to the council meeting, notices were sent to all property owners within 200 feet of the property in question, and 12% replied in opposition to the change, Looney said.

Among the concerns voiced by residents opposed to the rezoning were the potential affect a new development could have on traffic in the area and the encroachment of commercial activity into the area.

“As the city continues to grow and develop, the increased safety of our streets needs to remain a concern,” esident Angie Martinez said. “Guenther Avenue is already a thru street for traffic and has increased traffic during high traffic times.”

Plans for a development at 699 W. San Antonio St., adjacent to the Guenther Avenue lot, are in the beginning stages of planning, Bley said.

According to a project filing with the Texas Department of Licensing and Regulation, The Neue is expected to be built at the address, and may include apartments and commercial space, though planning is ongoing and no construction date has been set.

“This is a very residential neighborhood,” area resident Michael Morris said. “I am concerned that the parking, the delivery noise, the lighting, the trees—none of this fits within what we would consider to be Envision New Braunfels.”

The Envision New Braunfels plan was created by city staff and community members in 2018 as a guide for future development within the city.

Because San Antonio Street was identified in the plan as an area that could support mixed-use projects, Looney said the rezoning was supported by the city’s planning commission.

Before the Sept. 13 meeting, Richard Rabe, who owns one of the properties adjacent to 157 S. Guenther Ave., changed his response to the notice sent by the city from “in opposition” to “in favor” of the rezoning.

Rabe voiced support for the rezoning to allow the property owner to move forward in planning and shared that he had met with Bley to discuss his concerns about the proposed project.

“There's nothing that says a residence has to stay [at 157 S. Guenther Ave.]. They can make it a green lot,” Rabe said. “I understand that if we don't approve this they'll still go on with the project.”

Council voted 6-1 in favor of the rezoning with only Council Member James Blakey voting against the rezoning.
By Lauren Canterberry

Reporter, New Braunfels

Lauren joined Community Impact Newspaper as a reporter in October 2019. After graduating with a degree in journalism from the University of Georgia in Athens, Georgia, Lauren was a freelance journalist and worked as a college English teacher in China. At CI, Lauren covers education, local government, transportation, business, real estate development and nonprofits in New Braunfels.



MOST RECENT

The annual Dia de los Muertos celebration will take place in downtown. (Courtesy Mikie Farias Photography)
Street closures to know for New Braunfels' Dia De Los Muertos festival taking place tomorrow, Oct. 23

Dia De Los Muertos to take place tomorrow and these streets will be closed off to traffic beginning at 6 a.m.

Fitness studio Body20 is coming soon to Bee Cave's Hill Country Galleria. (Courtesy Giant Noise Public Relations)
New fitness studio, candy pop-up shop coming to Hill Country Galleria

A new candy pop-up shop and fitness studio are coming to Bee Cave's Hill Country Galleria.

Gruene Hall will be the backdrop of a new Scotty McCreery music video. (Community Impact Newspaper staff)
New Braunfels’ Gruene Hall set as backdrop for upcoming music video

Country musician Scotty McCreery shot the video in historic Gruene Hall as an homage to George Strait.

The first-ever Williamson County Fair and Rodeo opens its gates to guests Oct. 21 with live music, carnival rides, food vendors, rodeo events and more. (Courtesy Pexels)
CI NATION ROUNDUP: Inaugural Williamson County Fair and Rodeo underway; delivery drones coming to Friso and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Oct. 22.

The bridge will serve as a secondary access point to Town Creek. (Eric Weilbacher/Community Impact Newspaper)
New bridge connecting Town Creek to downtown New Braunfels opening soon

The bridge will serve as a secondary access point to Town Creek.

Taco Palenque is now open as drive-thru only in Round Rock. (Brooke Sjoberg/Community Impact Newspaper)
CI NATION ROUNDUP: Taco Palenque opens in Round Rock; Plano ISD considering two draft calendars for 2022-23 school year and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Oct. 21.

A calculator created by the Rocky Mountain Institute looks at the environmental impact of TxDOT's proposed designs for I-35 in Central Austin, one of the most congested roadways in the country. (Benton Graham/Community Impact Newspaper)
Nonprofit's tool says TxDOT I-35 expansion proposals would have profound environmental consequences

The tool says that the proposal would create between 255 and 382 million additional vehicle miles traveled per year.

Guests can shop local businesses, enjoy food trucks and hear live music on Oct. 21. (Courtesy The Landmark)
The Landmark to host fall vendor fair in New Braunfels

Guests can shop local businesses, enjoy food trucks and hear live music on Oct. 21.

Renderings of the conceptual tower were shown depicting a roughly 100-foot tower, but the intent is to build a smaller tower. A total of $2.43 million was given as an estimated cost for a 100-foot gravity tower, but presenters said the cost would scale down with a smaller tower. (Courtesy city of Frisco)
CI NATION ROUNDUP: Early concept for Frisco’s Northwest Community Park includes biking tower for ‘gravity riding’; Perky Beans Cafe now open in Leander, and more top news

Take a look at the top five trending stories across all of Community Impact Newspaper’s coverage areas as of Oct. 20.

The grant funding will be used to expand access to parts of the park that were not previously used as public space. (Courtesy New Braunfels Parks and Recreation Department)
New Braunfels’ Fischer Park selected as winner of Niagara Perk Your Park contest

The park will receive funding for several renovation and conservation efforts aimed at expanding public access to the park.