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Patrick O'Brien

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Walmart | Cibolo, TX | Some Facts

 

 

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Economic Growth in Ciolo and proposed Walmart!

 

When I first heard that something big was coming to main street in Cibolo I starting talking to people that might be in the know and found out that a big box was coming and that it was fitting Cibolo's future plans for development.  I didn't take much internet research after that to find a record of a 22 acre tract being sold.  For the record, this site is about the size of the Walmart site on 3009 and this building is planned to be about a third smaller.  This site has 3 major roads leading to it and Borgfeld is to be upgraded, so ingress and egress will be much simpler and there will be less traffic implications.  My issue is will this building fit Cibolo's design standards, or are they going to dump a big ugly box on us.  Another big concern is that directly behind this site is a wholesale nursery that for many months of the year can only have natural light at night.

After the town hall meeting, I have more concerns, especially as someone that was on the Planning and Zoning commission and then City Council from '98 to '04.  These concerns are more about my neighbors, the lack of respect being shown to our elected leaders and the general lack of maturity shown.  There are a few people that are so wrapped up in their own interests that they can't hear some basic facts so I thought I would write them out here:

Dream - People want the city to stop Walmart from building on the Main St. Site.

Reality - Texas is a strong property rights state.  The owner of that land has the right to sell to anyone for any reason.  City Attorney made this point about 8 times.

Dream - The city can just change the zoning to stop it.

Reality - The city already did that.  It used to be industrial.  Again TX is a property rights state and that is as much as the city could do at the time.

Dream - Cibolo Valley Drive is a residential Street.

Reality - Cibolo Valley Drive was designed and put where it was to facility traffic getting from I-35 to the industrial park. It was supposed to connect to the turnaround at the end of Industrial Dr.  I may be off a year of two, but in 2001 Cibolo built 78 new homes which was a record.  In 2002 there were almost 300 new homes built.  No one back then could imagine how explosive the growth would be and many assumptions had to be made as we were in uncharted waters.  I moved here and planes were landing on what is now Falcon Ridge and Friends hunted on Bentwood Ranch.  

Dream - The city should do a better job placing schools

Reality - The school district buys their own land and at least in the old days, the city would always find out after the fact.  Our water tower on 1103 is on land that used to be owned by SCUCISD for an elementary school.  They later realized that was not a great plan and arranged a land swap with the city.  In defense of the school, many times they buy land years ahead of time the save money and they have to make a best guess on location.  Again, and although obvious, should be stated, SCUCISD was hit with same unprecedented growth that Cibolo was.

Dream - There is no way the traffic and roads can support Walmart, the city can stop it that way.

Reality -  The Walmart at 3009 has one way to get there, 3009 which is a 5 lane road without sidewalks.  This property has many points of entry, CVD, BRD, 1103 and Borgfeld, all of which are pedestrian safe.

Dream -  City Council doesn't care

Reality - Why on earth would the volunteer, take mostly complaints from citizens, give up many hours a week if they didn't care?  Seriously, this one has me the most confused.

Dream - Walmart isn't safe for our kids

Reality -  I am not going to get into that other than restate the High School student that was ignored, He wants Walmart because he can barely get to 35 and back on his lunch time.  So this would be safer for our high school kids that drive to lunch.   I think the police cheif did a great job on the rest of the stats.  

All the studies show that most people with pick proximity over brand for shopping.  So most the people at this Walmart with be our neighbors.  It isn't on a thoroughfare, so will have the same issues that any box would have with transients and other parking lots issues.  People that cause trouble usually do so out of convenience, not drive 3 miles off of a highway.

Also if safety is the guideline for building, can we have a park with a swing set, can we have community pools, or what about the bathroom in your house.  The world is not inherently safe, adults create that "bubble" of safety for their kids.

If we work with Walmart, we can get more of what we want.  If you want an example of what a few very vocal people that didn't listen to reality property owners have rights and can sell to whom they want, go look at the mess of Eagle Construction on 1103 just down from Texaco.  (if someone has the new name, let me know)

Dream - We were told that was green space.

Reality - It was, however things change.  As a real estate agent, even if someone tells me it is green space, I tell my clients to check with the city. I almost bought a lot next that backed up to what is now a school.  The builder said that was going to be just more homes.  Didn't look right to me, so I went to the city and found that a school was platted there.  If we get this built right it will improve more property values than it will hurt.  I have many clients that don't want to be near Steele down town because of the traffic back to shopping.  This will fix that and relieve some of the congestion on 3009.

Dream -  We want lower taxes

Reality - It will never happen without retail!

That said...

The announcement is made and I can't get get a rendition of what is going to be built, and write a letter to Mayor Hartman and Mr. Herrera.  Mayor Hartman responded immediately and I have yet to here from my city manager.  I agree with the mayor that a NICE looking Walmart and not just a big brown box and isn't 24/7 and a few other things would be good for Cibolo, but have some reservations about this location.  I went online and found some great pictures of other Walmarts, so we know that it can be done.  Here are some examples:

 

  

  

As Cibolo starts is true commercial growth, I believe we need to do it on the right foot.  We need our first big box to set the standard for the rest.

What do you think?

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