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San Antonio approves zoning for 25 homes

The mayor says the water usage is down thanks to conservation, and the census shows a population decline.

By CHASE SQUIRES

© St. Petersburg Times, published May 10, 2001


SAN ANTONIO -- With development creeping into unincorporated areas north and east of Tampa, San Antonio city commissioners on Tuesday approved a zoning change that opens the door for a 25-home subdivision inside city limits.

Approval of the General Home Development project isn't final, and the development still must clear design and building permit requirements, but commissioners agreed 4-1 to change the zoning on the 121/2-acre site from agricultural to residential.

GHD spokesman Kevin Roberts said lots would sell for between $24,000 and $32,000, with a minimum home size of 1,500 square feet and a two-car garage. The project, which doesn't have a name yet, would be between Michigan and Pennsylvania avenues.

Commissioner Heiskell Christmas cast the lone objection, repeating his concerns about the area's water supply in the face of an ongoing drought.

Mayor Roy Pierce said that in recent years the number of city water customers has increased but the total usage has decreased, thanks to conservation efforts.

Earlier this year, commissioners approved a 44-home subdivision in the city for another developer.

Despite the looming growth, the U.S. Census states the city's population is declining, down 16 percent -- from 776 to 655 -- since 1990.

Also on Tuesday, commissioners elected Pierce to his seventh consecutive one-year term as mayor. In San Antonio's form of government, the five-member board selects a mayor from its own ranks each year.

Commissioner Sharon Madden was named vice mayor.

And, in other business, Linda Whitman's fifth-grade class from Saint Anthony Interparochial Catholic School presented the results of its study on water quality in the city.

The class began its investigation after students found water from a drinking fountain in the city park had an odd taste.

After surveying residents and testing the water, they recommended the city study new water filtration methods and suggested commissioners examine the effects of lawn fertilization near city wells.

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