In 2019, the Northcliffe Golf Club ceased operations, leaving a green space in the Northcliffe community.

Over the years, developers have purchased the properties formerly owned by the golf course and plan to put developments on those properties.

During the Feb. 28 Schertz City Council meeting, the first reading of an ordinance to rezone approximately 25 acres of land in the area to a planned development district with a base zoning of townhome district was approved.

This project was brought to council in 2022 as a multifamily residential project and was denied due to density concerns.

According to plans from the developer, the updated development would include approximately 198 units of townhomes rather than the original 220 fourplexes planned.

The plans include a total of 51 buildings that would be maintained by a homeowners association.

Planning Manager Emily Delgado explained, while the proposed development does exceed the lot size dimensions set by the Unified Development Code on area and width, the depth of the proposed development is lower than the dimensions listed in the UDC.

Deputy City Manager Brian James said city staff recommended the approval of the development with the stipulation that a trail be built.

In 2017, the city passed the Schertz Transportation Plan-Trails Network plan, which included the Great Northern Trail Project that would add trail connections from Schertz Parkway to Cypress Point.

“We don’t want that development or that zoning exhibit not to accurately reflect the approved plans that come into play with development,” James said.

The planned trail goes through the proposed plan, and the developer requested council remove the stipulation.

During the public hearing for the ordinance, residents spoke on the agenda item.

Scenic Hills resident Douglas Young said he is in favor of the property being developed with the removal of the requirement of a trail.

According to Young, the proposed development would have the addition of a fence that would make Scenic Hills a secured subdivision as it was intended when it was planned in 1991.

“We are one of the only gated communities in the city of Schertz at this time,” Young said. “We have 1,762 feet of our project, which is open ground, which does not meet the conditions of the approval and the fencing of our subdivision.”

Residents from surrounding neighborhoods spoke in opposition of the development due to the added density and ongoing issues with road infrastructure, traffic, response times and other concerns.

Resident Heather Jackson said the development is not in harmony with the surrounding communities.

“It has been heartbreaking for our Northcliffe community to watch the golf course be parceled off into segments of what used to be a beautiful hole,” she said. “Our neighborhoods were planned around a golf course; they weren’t planned to accommodate higher-density developments.”

Jackson urged council to consider responsible development and reject the proposed development rezoning due to its high density.

Council Member David Scagliola said he is not opposed to development in the area, but he believes the development is too dense and inappropriate for the proposed rezoning.

“You are looking at 200 units on 25 acres,” he said. “That is double the density, more than double the density of Scenic Hills.”

Council Member Michael Dahle said development in the area is unavoidable, and the development will help the city increase its tax base, which helps the city fund other projects.

“Single-family homes in any community in this country [do] not pay the freight for what it costs to provide service for a single-family home,” Dahle said. “We have to find a blend between single-family homes, commercial development and what everybody curses as high-density development.”

Council made a motion to approve the project with the stipulation that the trail be added.

With the council vote being split 3-3, Mayor Ralph Gutierrez made the final vote, with which he approved the first reading of the ordinance for the rezoning.

Gutierrez said the city of Schertz needs to continue development to prevent falling behind the rapid growth of the area.

Gutierrez said he is confident in the staff’s decision and their recommendation for approval.

“Our staff is very diligent,” Gutierrez said. “They look at all the things concerning this development: the trails, the density, security, infrastructure, traffic impact—all that is taken into consideration, not the fact of how much tax revenue this is going to bring in.”

This approval was for the first reading of the ordinance, which will rezone the property. City Council will hold a second reading during a future meeting.

Despite the trail stipulation, the trail project still requires approval from the Lower Colorado River Authority.

Should LCRA disapprove the trail, the developer will not be responsible for the project, and the city will come up with another solution for the trail route, according to city staff.

The full meeting and comments can be viewed here.