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New Braunfels Herald Zeitung (Newspaper) - March 9, 2000, New Braunfels, Texas ^▲v FELSHERALD-ZrVol. 149 No. 80    14    pages    in    2    sections    March    9,    2000    r    i'i    _    T    T    „    „    Serving    Comal    County    since    1852    50    cents Thursday City OKs Loop 337 zoning change By Peri Stone-Palmquist Staff writer New Braunfels Planning Commission approved a zoning change Tuesday that would allow construction of a convenience store and other retail businesses next to New Braunfels Christian Academy. The commission’s recommendation will be forwarded to city council, which will make the final decision. Applicant Randy Taylor said he planned to build office buildings on the Loop 337 site but wasn’t locked into that plan. Office buildings typically generate about 411 trips a day, while a retail store could average more than 1,500, city records show. Kent Toppert, board president for New Braunfels Christian Academy, asked the commission to consider a special use permit to limit land use to office space, rather than a rezoning to neighborhood business district. “Realize there are children who back up to the property and are playing out there all day, virtually all year,” he said. Taylor didn’t comment on the possibility of a special use permit but said he believed the rezoning allowed a better use of the land. Currently, the three acres at Loop 337 and Ridge Hill Drive are vacant and zoned for multi-family district. Surrounding property is zoned single-family district, single- and two-family district and multi—family district. Neighbors don’t want a multi-family development, he said. And given its proximity to Loop 337, such a development probably wouldn’t be ideal, he said. Taylor said he didn’t consider the request “what you’d call controversial.” The city sent 14 notices to neighbors living within 200 feet of the subject property and received only three back, all in favor. The city’s director of planning, Harry Bennett, said he didn’t know whether a special use permit was necessary. “We have no reason to think he’ll put anything but offices there,” he said. The city recommended the project, listing no cons for it. The commission approved it unanimously. In other action, the commission approved a 22.6-acre subdivision plat for Cotton Crossing, a proposed 101-acre “neo-traditional neighborhood development” off Gruene Road. The proposed use for the 22.6 See ZONING/3 A Inside Abby................................5A Classifieds.......................4-6B Comics...............................3B Crossword..........................5A Forum.................................6A Local/Metro........................4A Movies..................................5A Obituaries...........................3A Sports............................1-2B Today.................................2A Television..................................2 Key Code 76 Faithful reminder K. Jessie Slaten/Herald Zeitung Deacon Ben Wehman places ashes on the forehead of Amanda Scroggin while her sister, Katherine waits her turn. Saints Peter & Paul Catholic Church had a standing-room crowd at the 7 p.m. Ash Wednesday service. The service marked the beginning of the Lenten season. NBISD eyes possible budget cuts, £ a* Officials take preliminary look •> at 2000-2001 figures By Heather Todd Staff Writer New Braunfels Independent School District administrators told trustees Tuesday night budget cuts might be necessary to address increased costs next year. NBISD trustees took a preliminary look at the 2000-2001 budget Tuesday night, including anticipated property tax and state funding revenues. The budget workshop was a first step in the budget process, which will culminate in trustees adopting a 2000-2001 budget sometime in May. Trustees are expected to conduct a public hearing on the budget and a proposed tax rate in June. Trustees will adopt the 2000 tax rate in late June. David Rastellini, business manager for NBISD, said administrators and trustees are anticipating keeping a “flat” budget next year with no increases in budget expenditures. As part of the plan, administrators discussed the need to closely align campus budgets with campus goals next year. “We would like to see budget dollars align with campus goals, which are, of course, tied in with district goals,” Rastellini said. Rastellini said the district took a similar approach during the 1999-2000 budget process. Administrators and trustees also discussed several additional costs facing the district next year that could require some budget cuts. “There are areas where we really could have some cost increases and the way we have to deal with that is by taking funds from other places,” Rastellini said. Rastellini said areas that could potentially mean additional costs for the district include additional personnel, higher utility costs and rising fuel costs. Rastellini also said if the Comal Appraisal District increased its budget next year it would impact all local taxing entities. “We all share in the costs of the Comal Appraisal District’s operations and if their budget increases it will be passed down to all the taxing entities,” he said. The district also will have to absorb costs for operating the Reading Recovery program next year. Judson Independent School District previously shared the costs with the district but now plans to develop its own program, Rastellini said. In terms of revenue next year, Rastellini said if the district kept the same maintenance and operations tax rate and property values went up it could mean addi- See BUDGET/8A In the shadows Middle school students get glimpse of working world by following city officials By Heather Todd Staff Writer HEATHER TODD/Herald-Zeitung New Braunfels Fire Marshal Elroy Friesenhahn shows eighth-graders Nick Childers (second from left) and Tiago Hillertan (far left) a 1952 Ford fire truck stored at the New Braunfels Fire Museum at New Braunfels Fire and Rescue central station, 169 S. Hill St. it organization when they “shadowed” Julie “I’m interested in a job working with chil-Swift, executive director of the Children’s dren. I have a lot cousins and I like to go out Museum in New Braunfels.    and    play    with    them,” she said. Chumchal said she chose the Children’s Museum because of her love of children.    See    SHADOWS/8A HEATHER TODO/HerakJ-Zeitung Canyon Middle School student Brandy Chumchal plays with an exhibit Wednesday at the Children’s Museum in New Braunfels, 651 N. Business 35. Chumchal spent the day working with children and setting up exhibits. Dressed in heavy, fire-resistant clothing and loaded down with gear, eighth-graders Nick Childers and Tiago Hillertan learned Wednesday what it was like to be a firefighter. But, it will take a little more practice to learn how to put it all on in less than a minute. Childers, a New Braunfels Middle School student, and Hillertan, a Canyon Middle Schools student, “shadowed” officials at New Braunfels Fire and Rescue Wednesday for the annual spring Shadow Day program sponsored by the Greater New Braunfels Chamber of Commerce Inc. Other students spent the day “shadowing” veterinarians, health care workers, doctors, police officers, Comal County commissioners and local attorneys. While their peers sat in classrooms Wednesday morning, Venus Baggarly, Brandi Chumchal and Josh Mendez played with miniature cars and building blocks. Chumchal, a CMS student, and Mendez and Baggarly, who are from NBMS, learned the ins and outs of running a local non-prof- ;