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City To Buy 204 Acres Of Untouched North Side Park Land

Joey Palacios
Texas Public Radio
The Classen-Steubing Ranch land has been in the family since 1858.

Two hundred and four acres of nearly untouched property in the Stone Oak area may soon belong to the city of San Antonio. The city plans to use it for park land and protection of the Edwards Aquifer.

The land looks almost as it did in the 1850s when it was first owned by the Classen-Steubing family. Rob Schlortt, a family member, says his relatives were split on how to use it. “Some were toward development, some were more toward not selling it at all so they could preserve it and this was the only thing that made all the family members happy.”

Developers wanted to build 3,500 homes on the land, but District 9 City Councilman Joe Krier says that will not happen. “This land will be preserved for Mother Nature for centuries to come. It’s a fabulous park acquisition for the city.”

That park land could include sports fields. The city is expected to spend close to $10 million to buy it. Some of the money will come from a voter approved fund to buy and protect properties where rainfall seeps down into the Edwards Aquifer, San Antonio’s primary water supply.

Story continues below photo

Credit Joey Palacios / Texas Public Radio
Texas Public Radio
The yellow bordered area shows the land the city intends to buy. The blue shaded are will be purchased with Edwards Aquifer Protection funds, the green will be purchased using money from the 2017 bond program.

 “We talk about land being over the recharge zone as if it’s all equal - it’s all good - but some is better than others and this has incredible recharge opportunities,” said Francine Romero, chair of the city’s conservation advisory board. 

The San Antonio City Council will vote June 16 on whether to spend $5 million for the 165 acres over the recharge zone.  Money for the remaining 39 acres could be included in the 2017 bond package which voters must approve.

Joey Palacios can be reached atJoey@TPR.org and on Twitter at @Joeycules