Two parcels of land totaling around 131 acres in the fast-growing northern area of New Braunfels have been approved to develop into future parkland.

New Braunfels City Council voted unanimously Feb. 12 to approve the expenditure of up to $8 million by the New Braunfels Economic Development Corporation to acquire the land for future park use. The EDC approved the expenditure during a special meeting held on Feb. 7.

“This is truly very exciting because the EDC is funding 100% of the acquisition of this parkland, so there's no property taxes tied to the acquisition of this parkland,” Deputy City Manager Jordan Matney said. “It is in one of the fastest-growing areas of our community over the last 10 to 15 years on the north side.”

Zooming in

The parkland is made up of two parcels of land along FM 1102 south of Conrads Lane known as the Rahe Property, approximately 68 acres, and the Hahn Property, approximately 63 acres.

“When you talk about this 131 acres, let me put it in just a couple of perspectives,” said Joe Turner, chair of the parks and recreation advisory board. “That’s two Fisher parks. ... Right now we handle about 740 acres in this city; this is about an 18% increase in park space. It’s fabulous.”

Around 70 acres of the parkland are relatively flat and have the potential for structures related to recreation, while the other 50 acres are wooded and have the potential for trails and conservation efforts. The land may also provide a future expansion to the Alligator Creek Trail, according to city officials.

“This acquisition of property not only enriches our community as a whole but will provide much-needed valuable opportunities for outdoor recreation, environmental conservation and family activities that currently does not even exist on this side of town,” District 4 council member Lawrence Spradley said.

The northern region of the city has experienced rapid growth, with more than 800 single-family home permits filed since 2020 and over 2,500 homes located within a 1-mile radius of the parkland. One of the motivations behind acquiring the land is to reserve it for outdoor recreation use for residents, according to city officials.

“We've had over 40,000 residents just since 2010 that have moved into this area of our community,” Matney said.

Quote of note

Garry Merritt, CEO of the Great Springs Project, an organization working to create a greenway of protected lands over the Edwards Aquifer recharge zone, said he supports the land acquisition.

“Great Springs Project celebrates the city of New Braunfels’s decision to purchase and dedicate 131 new acres for parks and green space,” Merritt said. “This incredible vision and investment will help preserve the quality of life in New Braunfels and provide value for today’s residents and generations to come.”

What’s next?

With the approval of purchase from the EDC and City Council, city staff will now work toward closing on the property. Once the land acquisition is finalized, the city will begin to work on a master plan that will be developed by the city for how to utilize the land. Matney said the city’s first priority will be to begin work on a trail system.