Infrastructure upgrades are coming to the far North Side thanks in part to allocations earmarked as part of San Antonio’s $2.9 billion budget.
A newly passed homestead exemption will also help keep a lid on property taxes, officials said.
“I am happy to report that the budget includes tax relief for homeowners in the form of the city’s first homestead tax exemption that (District 10 Councilman Clayton Perry) and I fought for,” said District 9 Councilman John Courage. “It also includes the most funding in the history of District 9 for street maintenance.”
Stone Oak Parkway, one of the area’s main arteries, will see a significant amount of betterments, with no less than five separate projects conducted from 2019 through 2021. These include rehabilitation and overlay to improve surfacing on stretches from Hardy Oak Boulevard to Knights Cross Drive, Knights Cross to East Sonterra Boulevard, and from Hardy Oak to Evans Road.
“Any improvements that can be made to our streets is always appreciated,” said Art Downey, chairman of the Stone Oak Property Owners Association board. “Even though Stone Oak is fairly new, it’s not that new. Some spots are 20 to 30 years old at this point. For example, the Hardy Oak extension that was part of the last bond project has done a lot to help with the traffic in Stone Oak.”
Also on the slate for the Stone Oak Parkway enhancement is the addition of preservation fog seal that will be added on separate stretches from Canyon Golf Road and Evans to U.S. 281 North.
The total cost for all of the roadwork will be about $2.5 million, according to figures from Courage’s office.
“Highlights in this budget include funding to design the infrastructure gap from Sonterra and Gold Canyon to (Loop) 1604,” Courage said in a release. “It also includes a left-turn lane on northbound Wilderness Oak (Road) onto Hardy Oak and a right-turn lane on northbound Huebner Road onto eastbound 1604. All of these projects are intended to provide much-needed traffic relief.”
Another undertaking slated to begin in fall 2021 is a diverging diamond intersection for the area, specifically in the Stone Oak and Timberwood Park neighborhoods. According to the Texas Department of Transportation, a DDI increases traffic flow by temporarily shifting traffic to the left side of the road, which allows through-traffic and vehicles making a left turn to proceed and pass intersections simultaneously.
Called “innovative” by traffic engineers, the feature also will be coming to Blanco Road at 1604.
Besides improving the region’s traffic needs, its overall aesthetics will be addressed when construction begins in winter 2020 on the long-awaited Classen-Steubing Ranch Park.
According to Courage and others, the groundbreaking on the 204-acre park will go a long way in bringing San Antonio’s next “great green space” to life. The park, built on the grounds of a former working ranch, will feature baseball fields, open spaces, a playscape – with inclusive playground equipment designed and donated by the Mitchell Chang Foundation – and a 10-foot wide, paved walking trail.
Currently underway is conceptual input from the community on the park.
The city purchased the land in 2016, thanks to $5.3 million in funds from the Edwards Aquifer protection program.