Council Votes to Move Forward with Sale of Wetlands
Feb 4, 2013 at 10:29 PM CST
Feb 4, 2013
The vote is in; the city council has voted unanimously to move forward with the sale of the wetland property to Laredo Town Center. Drums and singing were all part of a rally that took place before the city council meeting Monday. The Rio Grande International Study Center gathered several members of the community to ask the city council to table the item regarding the sale of the wetland property. Tabling the item, they said, will give them more time to compromise with the developers. "It's an area that should be used as it is. You know, trees that are there can be used as shade. We just want to have some sort of restriction so it could be used for the benefit of those who still live here in Laredo." "There's a lot of animals that live there, from the hawk to the turkey to the deer to the rabbit and they don't have a place to go after this gets torn up." Four people from each side spoke at council regarding this matter. Those who spoke for this development project to go through said it will bring many positives to the community. "These are jobs that are going to be created that weren't here before. It's also going to help with tourism. There are a lot of people from Mexico who are passing through our community and going to San Antonio to do their shopping. Why can't we capture some of those people and get them to shop here?" Councilman Mike Garza made it clear in the meeting that the council already granted the permit to the developers back in 2008 and they could begin construction Tuesday if they wanted. The city officials said they are preserving a majority of the wetland but will still move the retention pond. They said the pond was not currently filtering out run-off because it hasn't been maintained. "I think there is a lot of misinformation out there. There is a lot of us were led to believe the quality of life is going to get destroyed." The city said the total disturbance to the wetlands would be 3.79 acres of land. They also said there is a clause in the contract so no matter who owns the property in the future, they will not be able to destroy the remaining wetland.