Monthly Archives: July 2007

July RRNA & NCD Meeting Highlights

The meeting kicked off at 7:00 with Barbara Witte-Howell leading the recently re-formed Neighborhood Conservation District committee. Members of the committee attending were Cliff & Bebe Waller, Chris Green, John Larcade, & Clifton McNeel. Several other members of the committee were not present. Barbara introduced Anne McGlone the San Antonio’s Historic Preservation Officer. Ann made the following points:

  • River Road(RR) originally applied for a Neighborhood Conservation District(NCD) in 2001
  • RR already has an NCD plan which is very far along in the process of being approved as an ordinance.
  • The current NCD plan (with some very minor revisions) could be in place by Spring 2008.
  • If RR chooses to pursue becoming a Historic District, it will probably take around 5 years to be in place.
  • HDs cause a 20% value increase in property, so owners of a home at the time a district is put in place will recieve a 20% tax break (city only) over 15 years. That break is non-transferable to new owners.
  • HDs are very broad in their power. “Not appropriate to the neighborhood” can cover anything the review board chooses or a neighbor contests.
  • NCDs are very literal. All limitations must be written into the ordinance. Anything not included, can not be contested.
  • HD have a No Demolition Clause. NCDs can not control what is torn down, only what is rebuilt in it’s place.

The NCD Committee will meet again on August 2nd at Lion’s Field at 7:00.

RRNA Board Meeting commenced at 7:45.

  • River & Park Care – Richard Reed mentioned the fact that the city is willing to replace the two hackberries which were chopped down earlier this year along River Road. Unfortunately, because the city’s mechanical spade can not get into the neighborhood to to it’s height, the neighborhood will have to settle for smaller trees and potentially dig the holes ourselves.
  • River & Park Care – The poor sidewalk situation along Mulberry between St. Mary’s and Red Oak (in the park) was discussed. Barbara mentioned that the condo development has promised to put in a sidewalk between the two horse fences – if the city has not put in a sidewalk by that time. A Transportation and Infrastructure meeting will be held on August 25th 9am-12pm at Tripoint 3233 N. St Marys (the old Alberson’s).
  • Drainage – Roy Schweers reported that only topography and river sections would be released to the public before the official FEMA meetings. So those could be collected and reviewed, but not contested until later.
  • Events – Thanks to Blanquita for all her effort in coordinating the 4th of July activities. The neighborhood will take part in National Night Out on August 7th. Roy Schweers will be organizing this event and coordinating it with movie night.
  • Communications – Everyone thanked Nell for her efforts at keeping the neighborhood informed about the recent crimes.
  • Brackenridge Garage – City Council unanimously approved $400,000 for site and design studies. Council Agenda item #74 & the contract between the City and Witte are posted on website.
  • SAFFE Office Olivares reported that several individuals have been arrested in association with the recent RR crimes. He has recovered blue men’s mountain bike. He informed everyone to continue what we’re doing. Walk the streets, talk to everyone, call in any suspicious people or vehicles. He also informed everyone to engrave their drivers license number next to the serial number on any object worth stealing.

Website Rules

At the bottom right corner of every web page you will find the 5 objectives of this website:

  1. Keep the neighborhood informed – by allowing not only residents, but the world to see what issues are important and what new is evolving in River Road. Information posted on does not indicate an endorsement or approval by the organization.
  2. Facilitate community input – all posts allow for comments at the bottom, so let us know how you feel.
  3. Report only facts, not opinions -It is the goal of this website to educate our residents using as many facts from both sides of an issue as possible. Sometimes this is a difficult line to walk. You will likely find 3 types of opinions on this site. First, are those the Board officially issues. Second, are those posted (and noted) for their editorial commentary where a specific person takes responsibility for their own statements.  And third, your comments at the bottom of every post where lively debate can occur.
  4. Provide a public record/archive – it is the long term goal of this website to make all meeting minutes and agendas from the association’s history searchable to all residents.
  5. As often as possible, make people smile – We often get worked up about things in our little corner of the world, it’s fun to blow off some steam together and laugh at the world around us, if not at ourselves.

Simple Rules:

  1. Any personal attacks either in a post or comment will be removed.
  2. Any statement bringing liability on the neighborhood through defamation (libel or slander) will be removed.
  3. Anyone who has had a post or article removed can appeal at the next board meeting – please bring an exact copy of your text.

Information posted on the website may or may not have been approved by the RRNA Board. All information on the website is subject to board review and revision. In fact, it’s for everyone’s review and revision – if we’ve got the facts wrong, please let us know as soon as possible.

The River Road Neighborhood Association is classified as a 501(c)(3) by the IRS, and there are certain standards this classification requires us to uphold.

4th of July Parade!!

Uncle SamThe River Road Neighborhood Association’s annual Fourth of July parade is on our agenda again this year. Our thanks to Blanquita Sullivan for taking on the job of organizing the event. The parade will begin at 11 a.m. Wednesday at the Woodlawn low-water crossing and continue up River Road to Allison Park where we will have a gathering for refreshments, rewarding of prizes and a reading by Chris Green of the Declaration of Independence. Our jazz-great neighbor, Jim Cullum, whose band plays regularly at The Landing on the River Walk and can be heard weekly on public radio, has volunteered himself and two or three of his musicians to lead the parade with patriotic music, which no doubt also will accompany events at Allison Park.

Red, white and blue colors will be the theme, so don’t forget to bring and wave your flags. Also, parents are urged to have their children and their dogs wear those colors and use them to decorate their bicycles, tricycles, wagons or whatever. There will be prizes for the most patriotic bicycle, best costume and, of course, most patriotic dog.

Let’s have a good crowd. Thanks

UPDATE: The RRNA would like to thank Blanquita Sullivan for organizing the 4th of July effort which not only included her father’s band, but a pony & llama as well! Thanks Blanquita!

If anyone has photographs from the parade, please let me know. We would like to post them on the website.

City Council Approves $400K for Garage

The City Council voted unanimously to approve the $400,000 for designing the Brackenridge Park parking garage.

Our neighbors Blanquita Sullivan, Marilyn Lanfear and Jim Cullum spoke on behalf of the neighborhood. Chris Green made personal comments which were supportive of the Board position. Larry DeMartino commented on behalf of the Citizens Tree Coalition.

The neighborhood association has officially issued it’s statement, you can read it here – RRNA Official Garage Statement

A statement was drafted by Larry DeMartino which was read by Blanquita Sullivan, you can read it here – DeMartino-Sullivan Statement

Information published on as it was listed on the City Council’s docket – Council Document on Garage Decision

UPDATE: Click here to download the 16 page contract between the Witte Museum and the City of San Antonio.

The RRNA Garage Committee will not only be following this issue closely, but we will be meeting with the Mayor and City Council on what the neighborhood feels is the best long term solution for the city.