New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - July 27, 2003, New Braunfels, Texas
Page 8A — Herald-Zeitijng — Sunday, July 27, 2003ANNEXATION/From 1A
But country living had its small rewards.
Alan remembers watching chicks grow old enough to wobble out of the chicken coop.
‘It was so cute because they wouldn’t know what to do,” Alan said. ‘I enjoyed watching that.”
His parents had a three-acre garden, where they grew a variety of vegetables.
“Everything for dinner was always fresh,” Trish said.
Wallie and Gus made their own butter, wine and sauerkraut.
Over the years, some of the property has been sold off, and what remains needs a lot of renovation.
Termites have infested the wooden house and outside structures. The exterior of a tractor garage Gus built is overgrown with grapevines. Wallie’s old 10-gallon laundry basin has been overgrown with a melon plant.
On the 22-plus acres remaining, two of Trish and Alan’s sons each live on five acres.
The Kanzes gutted the house and are looking to remodel and make a home on the other 12 acres. It s what his parents wanted, Akin said.
Trish hopes to build an arts-and-crafts workshop out in the old smokehouse.
They realize much of their parents’ lifestyle is gone. They knew time would change the
area, but they hope to maintain as much of the life as possible — a task complicated by the city’s proposed 2003 annexation plan.
TYish has mentioned to Alan wanting to plant a garden and bring in a few cows.
But fencing will have to be* put up to keep the cows in.
If annexed, a simple project like that would require a permit from the city. Rebuilding the chicken coop would, too.
There also would be restrictions on burning brush, sticks and foliage that fall from many trees on the property.
“I am worried that the annexation will take away my freedoms, not necessarily my rights, but my freedoms,” Trish said.
Outside the city limits, she can build temporary structures, bum green waste, ride four-wheelers, shoot vermin and hunt doves without all the city’s restrictions, she said.
TYish and Alan also are worried about being surrounded by commercial development that could pollute their wells. Trish Is concerned they might have to tap into commercial utilities for water and wastewater.
“Alan grew up drinking this water, and he never had a cavity,” she said.
There is no reason to change the way things are out there, they say.
“It’s wrong for cities to gobble up land just because they
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can. The property owners should have some say in that,” Trish said.
She has been to public hearings before the planning and zoning commission and the last public hearing before city council. She will go again to Monday night’s public hearing to plead with council to rethink the annexation.
The hardest part to deal with, Trish said, is knowing annexation is legal and probably will happen, despite voicing her concerns to council.
“I think that they do listen and even empathize, but I don’t know that it’s going to change anyone’s vote,” she said.
Mayor Adam Cork said Saturday there is a misconception about annexation that the city will completely erase rural lifestyle.
The city cannot interfere with residents’ agricultural activities, he said.
Those who raise animals will still be allowed to do so. While the city has laws against the use of firearms in the city, residents still have a right to protect themselves from animals, if necessary.
He also said regulations
such as permitting and other new inconveniences might be difficult for newly annexed residents to deal with, but he and other council members had to balance their decisionmaking with what’s best for the city as a whole. Agricultural land has a lot of poten
tial for commercial development, which could yield commercial taxes and help the city balance growing population with appropriate city services, Cork said.
“We do have an obligation that goes beyond the people in the room,” Cork said.
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