Feature Photo: Aerial view of the planned location on Gus Eckert Road for the SerenityStar Recovery Human Service Campus. Image: Google Earth / VBX graphic.
by Adolfo Pesquera
San Antonio (Bexar County) – The Zoning Commission unanimously approved an application by a nonprofit group to set up a business park for a. to accomplish Human Service Campus in the South Texas Medical Center area for those recovering from an addiction.
The 2.98-acre lot at 4891 Gus Eckert Road is currently a single-family residential neighborhood, but the city council is likely to approve the commission’s decision. However, the application was denied by numerous local residents, who expressed concerns that the facility could lead to crime.
Commissioner Francine Romero, in whose district the property is located, disproved claims made by the opposition, noting that relapses and crime are more likely to occur when people in recovery leave a rehabilitation setting rather than while in rehabilitation.
Other commissioners and staff from the development department (who recommended approval) also stated that the facility would be located in the city’s flagship medical district. The staff report said, “There are several commercial uses in the area, including a transitional rehabilitation center located a short distance from the investigation site. In addition, the property is surrounded by multi-family zoning districts and single-family residential areas are only in the south of the property. “
The request was made by SerenityStar recovery, based in Smithville. They are known for being popular in San Antonio Comfort café, a restaurant that recently moved to Los Patios, where residents work in recovery and learn life skills. They acquired the property in March 2020, but a staff member said they did not attempt to vacate the property last year due to complications from the pandemic.
The site plan, created by KFW engineers & surveying, describes an irregular triangular property with a single access point from Gus-Eckert-Straße.
The scope of the work includes three buildings, two of which are adjacent and each 3,000 square meters and the third is 5,000 square meters. The above-ground parking lot has space for 26 vehicles.
A land use change related to this project will be heard by the Planning Commission on Wednesday 17th November.
Legal counsel for the group, Caroline McDonald from Brown & Ortizsaid residents will not have vehicles; The parking lot is for the staff. There are some old buildings on the site that are being demolished, McDonald said, and the new facilities will be used as apartments, a communal kitchen and social services offices.
McDonald said the new facilities could house 25 men, 12 women and five families.
The property is surrounded by an above-ground water storage tower, a boat and RV storage area, apartments, a few single-family homes, and a Department of Veterans Affairs office building.
VBX project ID: 2021-7F0D