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City of Helotes Responds to Inaccurate Reporting Over The Proposed Ranch Creek Apartments

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Helotes News Ranch Creek Apts Image
Image Source: Change.org

HELOTES, TX. Multiple San Antonio-based news agencies incorrectly reported the proposed Ranch Creek Apartments leaving Helotes residents misinformed. The news reports covered a proposed mix-used development of commercial spaces and multifamily residences, otherwise referred to as apartments. The location is outside Helotes City limits but within the City of Helotes Extraterritorial Jurisdiction (ETJ). Texas legislation provides the City of Helotes with some municipal regulatory authority and is limited to tree preservation, landscaping, traffic impact analysis, and exterior signage.

According to one online article dated August 26th, 2022, and updated on August 28th, 2022 from mysanantonio.com:

The commissioners’ court delayed approval of the plans for the Ranch Creek Apartments in the Helotes after hearing the homeowners’ concerns. However, County Public Works Director Renee Green told the court that the apartments’ plans met engineering requirements, so they received staff approval. The City of Helotes has also approved the plans, and the Texas Department of Transportation approved the traffic impact analysis.

San Antonio-based news channels picked up the story as well. In one clip, viewers can observe a reporter standing in front of the City of Helotes’ digital message board, stating, “But the City of Helotes as well as the engineers have already approved these plans….”

Helotes News searched our database that records the Helotes City Council Members’ votes based on City Council meeting minutes and could not find any record of this proposal being “approved,” as reported by the San Antonio media.

When asked for comment, Helotes City Administrator Marian Mendoza said:

I saw the KSAT report last night and was very displeased with the information provided to their viewers. They stated that the City of Helotes approved the plans, which is incorrect since we do not have jurisdiction to approve a plat in our ETJ. Our City Engineer reviews the plat and Storm Water Management Plans (SWMP) and forwards comments to the County staff for consideration and consolidation with their comments/review process.  Ultimately, the County approves the plat/SWMP.

I am sending a letter to KSAT to correct this information, especially since no one from KSAT contacted us to verify the process.

Helotes News asked follow-up questions to Ms. Mendoza about the original reporting by San Antonio-based news to clear up the apparent inaccurate reporting. Multiple reports reference the Bexar County Commissioners, City of Helotes, and “Helotes Neighbors.” Possibly indicating gaps of knowledge as to what Bexar County has jurisdiction over, what the City of Helotes doesn’t have jurisdiction over, and who is a resident in the incorporated City Limits of Helotes. Helotes City Administrator Marian Mendoza further commented:

The County is responsible for floodplain management, flood control, drainage, stormwater management plan (SWMP) approval, and any associated permitting. The County is also responsible for building and fire protection systems permitting all commercial and multifamily developments within the City’s ETJ. Since this property fronts Bandera Rd the Traffic Impact Analysis (TIA) requires TxDOT review and approval – our City Engineer reviews the TIA and sends comments to TxDOT for them to consider and consolidate within their review.

What the news reports are getting right is the observed commercial and residential growth in the Helotes area in recent years. Clearly, people desire to live in Helotes and businesses to build in the city and surrounding area. There is also a strong desire by Helotes residents to limit new developments that continue to move North on State Highway 16 at what seems to be an ever-increasing pace.

Local Archeological Discoveries to be Featured at Helotes Historical Society Meeting

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Historical Society of Helotes Main Image Helotes

HELOTES, TX., AUGUST 11, 2022 /Historical Society of Helotes/ – The General Meeting of the Historical Society of Helotes will be held Tuesday, September 13 at the Gardens at Old Town Helotes at 15060 Antonio Drive from 12:00 to 2:00 pm. Featured guest speaker is Peggy M. Wall, UTSA Center for Archaeological Research, who will give a presentation on “Hunter-Gatherer Mobility at the Chandler Field Site.”

San Antonio native Peggy M. Wall is a graduate of the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy with a BS in Marine Transportation and of the University of Texas at San Antonio with a MA in Anthropology. She is currently working towards completion of a graduate certificate in Geographic Information Systems (GIS) through Utah State University. She works in Cultural Resource Management at the Center for Archaeological Research at the University of Texas at San Antonio as a Project Archaeologist, and also provides graphics and GIS support.

Project Archaeologist, Graphics/GIS Support Research Science Associate II
Project Archaeologist, Graphics/GIS Support Research Science Associate II

Her presentation will focus on archeological discoveries at the Chandler Field Site in northwest Bexar County near Government Canyon. The site was intermittently occupied over thousands of years from the Paleoindian through the Late Prehistoric Periods. The mobility patterns of ancient hunter-gatherer groups were examined through lithic analyses of debitage and tools.

A deluxe box lunch from Jason’s Deli can be ordered online at the Historical Society of Helotes website under the Meetings tab. Member cost is $12, guests $16. Order from five menu items.

The meal order is your RSVP. If you are not going to order a meal, but plan to attend, please email info@historicalsocietyofhelotes.org to RSVP. Reservation/meal order must be made by September 11. Guests who do not order a meal are asked to donate $5 at the door.

This meeting is open to the public.

Online Auction Fundraiser for the Historical Society of Helotes Dates Announced

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Historical Society of Helotes 2022 September Fundraiser Deep Waters web opt
“Deep Waters,” glass and porcelain on canvas, by artist Erica Leal, is one of many items available at the Historical Society of Helotes’s online auction.

HELOTES, TX., AUGUST 11, 2022 /Historical Society of Helotes/ – The Historical Society of Helotes will be sponsoring on online fundraising auction from September 10 through September 18 at 32auctions.com. The auction features many interesting items, from vintage art and collectibles to contemporary art, belt buckles and jewelry.

One featured piece is called “Deep Waters” by artist Erica Leal, a blue heart on canvas. According to Erica, “I like discovering glass or porcelain items that are broken, unused or “unpretty” and creating images that bring hope, joy, and wonder. Every finished piece is meant to be a reminder that any place in us we might deem damaged, unlovable or irreparable is not beyond hope, wholeness or redemption.”

Historical Society of Helotes 2022 September Fundraiser Deep Waters web opt
“Deep Waters,” glass and porcelain on canvas, by artist Erica Leal, is one of many items available at the Historical Society of Helotes’s online auction.

A vintage Shirley Temple doll, circa 1958, is also among items donated for the auction, which benefits the educational programs sponsored by the Society, with a portion of the proceeds going to the museum fund.

Bidding starts Saturday, September 10, at 10:00 am. The link to the auction is: https://www.32auctions.com/HistoricalSocietyHelotes.

Helotes Resident & Entrepreneur, Barbara Baldwin, RN, Receives Prestigious National Award

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Barbara Baldwin Headshot

Helotes, TX (July 26th, 2022) Barbara Baldwin a longtime Helotes resident, Registered Nurse and entrepreneur was recently awarded the Emergency Nurses Association’s most prestigious award this past May. Calling Evans Valley Acres home since 1980 with her husband Richard, the couple predates the incorporation of Helotes.

Barbara’s career in Emergency Nursing started at Baptist Memorial Hospital. After one year she moved to Methodist Specialty & Transport Hospital serving twenty-nine years and culminating in a thirty-year career in total.

What’s more is since 1989, Barbara has owned and operated a company, Safety Whys. Her nationally franchised company provides a copyrighted Babysitter Training Program for youths ages 11-17. In 2018 the Helotes couple established the nonprofit 501(c)(3) organization THE Safety Whys C.A.R.E.S. Foundation. According to the foundation’s website:
“The Safety Whys CARES Foundation provides grants to Emergency Nurses Association (ENA) and Rotary Chapters, & other interested Organizations throughout the United States, for conducting a Safety Whys Course. The foundation is a non-profit organization given the 501 (c) 3 classification #83-2391044.”

Barbara is an active citizen in Helotes who is part of the Helotes Historical Society, Helotes Area Chamber of Commerce and Dominion Rotary Organization. She has helped at First Aid Stations for numerous events such as the Annual Festival of Our Lady of Guadalupe.
When asked, “What words of wisdom do would you like to pass on for anyone looking to making Emergency Nurse as a career?” Barbara replied: “Go for it! It’s fascinating how much intervention can take place in the span of a minute. There are several mentoring programs for new graduates interested in starting their Emergency Nursing Career. The San Antonio ENA Chapter, representing nurses from many different hospitals, promotes student attendance & I love the colleague support for each other.”

Recently, Barbara and her husband Richard completed a years-long tour traveling to all fifty states planting seeds about their successful program. Having visited the Continental United States in their branded Tour Coach as shown here.

2022 07 22 - Safety Whys Tour CoachBarbara added, “My next big goal as a private venture is to have a Resource Center & Museum based out of Helotes, that will be a business facility for kids.”

When asked for comment; Helotes City Council Member Matt McCrossen said this, “I extend my congratulations to Barbara for her well-deserved national recognition! Helotes is fortunate to have an entrepreneur like Barbara. I’ll ensure Barbara connects with our Helotes Economic Development Corporation (HEDC) to help explore the feasibility of her goal to establish resource center and museum. The HEDC has a long-standing goal of building a visitor center in Helotes; this predates my time on the HEDC board of directors and Helotes City Council. At the very least I want to ensure Barbara and the HEDC connect.”

Barbara followed with this statement, “In terms of the Resource Center goal, I have ethical standards that are the foundation of the Babysitter Course—kids can do a lot, if they just get some direction. And one of the reasons that I pursued getting a National Babysitter’s Day, was that this is an area that kids can relate to. The Resource Center I envision is a place where kids can organize and take some leadership governing their own organization as they grow into their adult years.”

Click on the following link for more information about Barbara and Safety Whys.

Click on the following link for the ENA’s award press release ENA Names Barbara Baldwin 2022 Judith C. Kelleher Award Recipient

Portions of this article republished with permission from Emergency Nurses Association.

June 9th 2022 Item 9 Merchant Aye

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June 9th, 2022 9 Discussion of and action on the Bexar Metro 9-11 Network District Proposed Fiscal Year 2023 Financial Plan and Budget. (Staff) Motion was made by Council Member Sanders, second by Council Member McCrossen, to discuss and act on this item as written. Aye

June 9th 2022 Item 9 Massey Aye

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June 9th, 2022 9 Discussion of and action on the Bexar Metro 9-11 Network District Proposed Fiscal Year 2023 Financial Plan and Budget. (Staff) Motion was made by Council Member Sanders, second by Council Member McCrossen, to discuss and act on this item as written. Aye

June 9th 2022 Item 9 McCrossen Aye

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June 9th, 2022 9 Discussion of and action on the Bexar Metro 9-11 Network District Proposed Fiscal Year 2023 Financial Plan and Budget. (Staff) Motion was made by Council Member Sanders, second by Council Member McCrossen, to discuss and act on this item as written. Aye

June 9th 2022 Item 9 Sones Aye

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June 9th, 2022 9 Discussion of and action on the Bexar Metro 9-11 Network District Proposed Fiscal Year 2023 Financial Plan and Budget. (Staff) Motion was made by Council Member Sanders, second by Council Member McCrossen, to discuss and act on this item as written. Aye

June 9th 2022 Item 9 Salazar Aye

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June 9th, 2022 9 Discussion of and action on the Bexar Metro 9-11 Network District Proposed Fiscal Year 2023 Financial Plan and Budget. (Staff) Motion was made by Council Member Sanders, second by Council Member McCrossen, to discuss and act on this item as written. Aye

June 9th 2022 Item 9 Sanders Aye

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June 9th, 2022 9 Discussion of and action on the Bexar Metro 9-11 Network District Proposed Fiscal Year 2023 Financial Plan and Budget. (Staff) Motion was made by Council Member Sanders, second by Council Member McCrossen, to discuss and act on this item as written. Aye