A special use permit for a proposed 28-acre RV park that will be located west of Walnut Avenue between the Union Pacific Corp. railroad tracks and Dry Comal Creek has been approved by New Braunfels City Council.
The approval came following an extensive discussion during a Feb. 8 City Council meeting, and officials stressed though the vote does advance the project, it does not guarantee its ultimate approval.
Because 50% of the property is located within the Dry Comal Creek floodway, the owners will be required to conduct a drainage study and provide a comprehensive site plan before submitting a Type 2 special use permit, which would authorize development of the property as outlined in site plans, said Christopher Looney, the planning and development services director for New Braunfels.
Liberty Partnership Ltd. and Henry Walnut Ltd. own the property. James Ingalls, a partner with civil engineering firm Moeller & Associates, and Stuart Blythin are working to develop the project.
The RV park was discussed at length during a Jan. 25 City Council meeting, and several New Braunfels residents raised concerns about increased traffic and noise in the adjacent areas, as well as diminished safety due to its majority positioning on the flood plain. Residents again brought numerous concerns before council Feb. 8.
In addition to what many opposed to the project see as inevitable amplification of noise and traffic, Juan Cruz, who lives in a home adjacent to the proposed park, implored officials to consider the area’s natural wildlife.
“The birds and the deer—at this time of the year you see the deer with big horns at the back of my house,” Cruz said. “I enjoy that.”
Cruz went on to say he does not believe the park will increase his property value and added it could actually act as a hindrance to potential buyers should he ever want to move.
In response to residents’ concerns, Blythin, who was present at the Feb. 8 meeting, said the proposed park would be low density compared with standard population allowances.
“A rule of thumb in developing an RV park is 10 sites per acre,” Blythin said. “What we envision is six sites per acre. So we’re looking at a very low-density RV park.”
RVs will also not be allowed to park near adjacent property lines, he said, adding vegetation will be used as a sound buffer for nearby homes, and residents are encouraged to call him with any concerns they have regarding the development of the project.
Though the special use permit passed during the Feb. 8 meeting, officials said they will still hold final approval of the project until they see the site plan, engineering plans and park rules, among other criteria, which will be presented at upcoming meetings.
"I'm going to vote for approval tonight, but I'm not going to guarantee it next time," Council Member Shane Hines said. "We've got some things that need to be worked out."