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Housing development approved for Hidden Canyon
Hidden Canyon may certainly be visible soon. On Wednesday, the San Antonio Planning Commission approved a plan to build 147 single-family homes on this pristine, 128-acre parcel of land northwest of Canyon Golf Road and Stone Oak Parkway. Although calling for far less than the 417 homes the property is currently zoned for, the project will still alter a canyon which, according to surrounding residents, is home to at least 82 species, a limestone dam built in 1940 and an unknown number of caves filled with mosquito-eating bats.
The Planning Commission confirmed the project has been met with considerable opposition from the public, but did review and approve the overall site plan, which complies with the property's current zoning. Developer Rajeev Puri still has to submit individual subdivision plats to the Planning Commission for approval, but unless a variance is required this project will not need to go before City Council.
In the meantime Puri has already been granted a tree affidavit, which allows crews to begin clearing the land. No actual homes can be built, however, until the plats are approved by the Planning Commission. A message left for Puri has not yet been returned.
In March of 2008, Rick Sheldon Investments reportedly sold the entire 128.8 acres to Stone Oak Hidden Canyon, LLC. Comprised of Puri and developer Barry Pulliam, Hidden Canyon originally intended to build 70 homes ranging from $500,000 to $700,000 a piece. When the economy soured, the developers quickly scratched that idea.
In 2009, a new plan calling for a 28-acre multi-family community surrounded by 100 acres of natural landscape or parks was hatched. Although supported by the Stone Oak Property Owners Association and surrounding HOAs, the effort was met with great opposition by residents fed up with Stone Oak’s expansive growth and its subsequent toll on the Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone, area roadways and schools. This plan, which required a zoning change, fizzled as well.
But, with the property already zoned for single-family homes, this latest effort to build 147 homes may prove to be the one plan that finally sticks. And Hidden Canyon, as it stands today, may soon be lost.