During a March 22 City Council meeting, council members approved the rezoning of 19.96 acres of land to be used for a proposed multifamily residential development.

The property, located at the intersection of FM 725 and East Klein Road, was previously zoned for single-family and agricultural development.

Developers plan to construct approximately 300 units of full market-rate housing on the property and will set aside 51% of units for residents making at or below 80% of the area median income, or AMI.

“[City] senior planner Jean Drew informed us our intended use was in line with the city's future plan for a transitional corridor in this rapidly growing area,” said Melina Sanders, director of development with Herman Kittle Properties Inc. “It was also in line with the idea of dispersing multifamily housing across the city instead of in dense pockets.”

In 2019, the U.S. Census Bureau listed the New Braunfels AMI to be $71,044, and city officials have highlighted the need for more affordable housing options in the area.

“We’re in dire need of workforce housing in this community,” City Council Member Justin Meadows said. “The reality is, it’s the perfect space for [the development]. Not popular, but it is the perfect space for it.”

Ahead of the zone change, the city sent notices to city properties within 200 feet of the proposed apartment complex and received letters of opposition from several residents who accounted for more than 20% of neighboring properties.

When opposition represents more than 20% of the properties, a supermajority vote by City Council is required to approve the item, said Christopher Looney, planning and development services director for the city of New Braunfels.

After hearing opposition from bordering property owners as well as support for the project from Margaret Denise Kosko, who owns the property, all six council members and the mayor voted to approve the zone change.

The approval created the River’s Edge Apartments Planned Development District, and work to finalize design plans for the community is ongoing.