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Cloud over Belvin sidewalk

Letter to the Editor
Sunday, February 3, 2019

Editor,

The flag in front of my house says, “Come and Take It.” Yet the city intends to take without warning half my front yard for a sidewalk. This sidewalk, if allowed, will kill huge Live Oaks down our street, destroy Native American artifacts, create flooding from loss of soil over The Aquifer Recharge Zone sitting the edge of the Balcones fault (which means the sidewalk will crack). As a sidewalk on one side of the street, it is a liability. And, there are further concerns regarding property rights.

As someone who attends nearly all of the meetings scheduled by City Hall, reads the packets it was a great shock to me there has been no outreach or official notification for this Belvin Street Sidewalk Project. Apparently, the decisions were all based on an “internal study conducted by city hall.” On Jan. 24, I was promised by a city staff person that this documentation would be provided, yet still after repeated requests I have received nothing.

Unlike the new Code SMTX, where there are text/email notifications, neighborhood meetings, public hearings, city council meetings, and information posted on the land with huge signs. The so called “Complete Streets Program” arrives with a one page leaflet Wednesday, Jan. 16, 2019, announcing a five-foot sidewalk (six inches deep). They promised they would come back two weeks later with markings. The next day however, flags were placed by CoSM staff instead of official surveyors. Concerns were raised by myself and others and now CoSM will hire a surveyor.

There are many neighborhoods that have requested sidewalks, but from what I can tell our neighborhood does not want the sidewalk.

We found out about the project on Jan. 16, we have not received information that answers our questions about: right -of-way, the trees, the artifacts, and our flooding concerns.

Our portion of the street is scheduled this month for a Historic Resources Survey. This survey is designed to protect the character and history of our street as well as our national resources. Are the different City Hall departments communicating?

Article8:Section3.8.1.1 Land Development Code “The intent of the existing street regulations is to provide the application of the streetscapes to existing streets to reflect the character and context of areas in the City.” Transportation Master Plan, “A Transportation Master Plan should protect the environment, historic and natural resources of the area, while providing safety and mobility for all modes of transportation.”

It is important to note, this is not a downtown commercial business, these are people’s homes. In these cases, it stands to reason, that a longer official notification process should be put in place.

Lisa Marie Coppoletta

San Marcos