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The Lead April 8, 2022: Kerrville poised for potentially large housing development

During Thursday's Planning and Zoning Commission, an annexation plan revealed a larger-scale project that is in the works.

Good morning, Kerr County!

OK, folks, hold on; we're still dealing with fire danger through Sunday —that means warm, dry and windy. Today, we can expect 77 as a high, while Saturday, a high of 85. Sunday could be even warmer at 88. Next week, there may be a thunderstorm — keyword, may.

On today's The Lead Live!

Wow, do we have a show for you today! Joining us will be Kerrville Convention and Visitors Bureau President and CEO Julie Davis, her former boss Charlie McIlvain and the Museum of Western Art Executive Director Darrell Beauchamp, who will bring artists Phil Bob Borman and Linda Gooch on the show. But we're not done yet! Hill Country Cravings' Jenna Moebes will tell us about her delicious business. At the show's end, Arcadia Live's Stace Leporati and Meredith Tilley Crook will give us a preview of Friday night's big show with Montopolis. Whew.

Speaking of Phil Bob Borman and the Museum of Western Art — check this out:


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“His Abundance”
48 x 60
Oil on Linen.
Last one delivered to @museumofwesternart for THE HEAVEN’S DECLARE show a…

Speaking of Arcadia Live, here's our featured event — tonight!

  • Montopolis, The Living Coast — Arcadia Live!, 8 p.m. Information: The details: A harmonious combination but more so an experience, Montopolis returns to our stage with a story to tell. The Living Coast will focus primarily on the Galveston Hurricane of 1900, the deadliest natural disaster in American history. Breathtaking footage shot by the creatives behind Montopolis will be projected on the big screen while a narrator divulges the details of this harrowing event. All accompanied by original live orchestral scoring. It was a unique and entertaining night; if you missed them back in May, now is your chance!

Speaking of Hill Country Cravings — look at this


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The most fun brunch Graze for a #sweet16 today complete with sparkly syrup.

ICYMI from Thursday's show on Child Abuse Awareness Week

April is National Child Abuse Awareness Month, and on Thursday, The Lead hosted a panel of Kerr County experts about the problem. District Attorney Lucy Wilke, who represents the 216th District Attorney's office, led the conversation along with Brent Ives, executive director of Hill Country Crisis Council, Kellie Early, president of the Kerr County Child Services Board, and Stephenie Cantu, program director at Kid's Advocacy Place.

"It's really important that we all talk about it," Wilke said. "So many times during jury selection, we have people who raise their hand and say, I can't be on this jury. I can't be fair and impartial because I am opposed to child abuse, and I always say, well, sure we all are. Even the defense attorneys opposed to child abuse."

In Kerr County, the Kerrville Police Department has begun filing detailed crime information with the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and in 2019 the department investigated nine rapes — six involving people younger than 19 years old, including two children under the age of nine.


To read more of the story: Kerr County continues to fight against child abuse

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Plan your Friday

  • Kerrville Farmers Market — A.C. Schreiner Mansion, 4 p.m. Information: The details: Come down and enjoy a complimentary beer, or buy a handcrafted pizza and enjoy the market.
  • KACC Exhibits — Kerr Arts and Cultural Center, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Information: The details: Three exhibits are running at KACC through April 16. The Hill Country Youth Art Exhibit; Kerrville 1940-1960, a photographic history of the community sponsored by the Kerr County Historical Commission; Passion Project: Our contributions to the world, a collection of work from Schreiner University, senior art students.
  • Heaven's Declare Art Exhibition — Museum of Western Art, 10 a.m. Information: The details: Featuring works by renowned artists who celebrate the heavens. The exhibition will feature works by Phil Bob Borman, G. Russell Case, Tim Newton, Laurel Daniel, Linda Glover Gooch, David Griffin, David Grossman, Michael Magrin, Denise LaRue Mahlke, Phil Starke and John Taft.
  • The Fiber Show and Sale — Hill Country Arts Foundation, Ingram, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., Tuesday-Friday; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. Saturday. Information: The details: An exhibit of fiber art by artists from across Texas.
  • Live music by Aaron LaCombe — Cafe at the Ridge, 6 p.m. Information:
  • Live music by Matt Daniel — Southern Sky Music Cafe, 6:30 p.m. Information:
  • Live music by Clint Alford and Owen Tiner — Trailhead Beer Garden at Schreiner University, 8 p.m. Information: The details: Based in Rusk, Texas, Clint Alford began songwriting at 19. Over the next few years, he tried perfecting his songwriter ability and was in constant search for his own distinct and unique sound. Following years of experience performing on numerous stages and events, he has also lent his musical talent to many different recordings. He has had studio projects of many different styles of music and has been making a name for himself in the Texas music scene since the early 2000s
  • Live music by Modal Mojo and Jennifer D'Spain — Louise Hays Park, 6 p.m. Information: The details: The first in the Concert in the Park Series at Louise Hays Park.
  • Live music by Charlie Bravo — Pier 27 River Lounge and 8 Ball, 8 p.m. Information: 830-896-7437 The details: A Veteran(Army) managed high energy band, Charlie Bravo performs all of your favorite hits from all eras that will make you dance or headbang, whether you are from the MTV era to the hip hop era we got you covered.
  • Camerata San Antonio — First Presbyterian Church, 4 p.m. Information: The details: Grammy-nominated Camerata San Antonio is a flexible classical chamber music ensemble serving San Antonio and Hill Country. The lineup is: Sonatine; Etude in forme de Habanera; Deux mélodies hébraïques; Violin Sonata No. 2. $20.
  • Live music by MKJAZZ — Joanne Marie and Me Wine Bistro, 6-9 p.m. Information:
  • Montopolis, The Living Coast — Arcadia Live!, 8 p.m. Information: The details: A harmonious combination but more so an experience, Montopolis returns to our stage with a story to tell. The Living Coast will focus primarily on the Galveston Hurricane of 1900, the deadliest natural disaster in American history. Breathtaking footage shot by the creatives behind Montopolis will be projected on the big screen while a narrator divulges the details of this harrowing event. All accompanied by original live orchestral scoring. It was a unique and entertaining night; if you missed them back in May, now is your chance!
  • "For Such A Time Is This" — Cailloux Theater, 7:30 p.m. Information: The details: Based on the biblical story of Esther, "For Such a Time as This" is a love story about the young beauty who captures the heart of a King despite her place in an enslaved class, and ultimately saves her people. Using a wide variety of musical styles and more than a smattering of humor, the musical relates one of the great stories in a way that appeals to a broad audience, young and old alike.

If you don't wait until the end, you may miss the really big stuff that the Kerrville Planning and Zoning Commission is considering

It was a packed house for Kerrville Planning and Zoning Commission meeting on Thursday.

When half the audience departed from the Kerrville Planning and Zoning Commission meeting, they skipped hearing about one of the most substantial development projects in the city's history.

While most of the audience focused on short-term rentals and a 36-acre, 366-unit apartment complex just south of Riverhill Boulevard, what they missed was the revelation that a massive housing development covering more than 500 acres was the real meat of Thursday night's nearly three-hour meeting.

The scale of the proposed project is not defined; that will come at the May 12 planning and zoning meeting, but by unanimously approving a more than 130-acre annexation of three parcels wedged between Comanche Trace and the Kerrville-Schreiner Park, just south of Bandera Highway.

The areas outlined in green are projects expected to be developed in the city of Kerrville in the years to come.

That 130-acres piece connects to a 400-acre parcel just to the south that would provide a long-sought connection between Medina and Bandera highways.

The San Antonio-based developer, Triple Root Development, told the commission the project would include various housing options, including affordable workforce housing.

Thursday's annexation is a procedural move that zones the land as agricultural and outdoor activities, but another zoning change could come in the next few months. The City Council could hear the annexation and the details of the project in June.

Triple Root Development CEO Zachry Godfrey said he spent his youth in the Texas Hill Country and lives in Leon Springs, and that his daughters attend Boerne High School. The project, according to Godfrey, would fit the Hill Country, but specifics are under development.

It was the most significant element of a consequential meeting that featured a standing-room-only crowd, more than a dozen speakers and some tough decisions by the seven-member commission.

Most of the audience was there to voice their opposition to the proposed apartment complex, which required a zoning change from a residential estate to a higher density use. The 36-acre site is on what was supposed to be a 500-home development but fell through thanks to the coronavirus pandemic.

The opposition came from the Riverhills Homeowner's Association, which said the proposed apartments would lower property values and obstruct views. However, the biggest objection was potential traffic.

Riverhill Boulevard serves as a connector — or an arterial — between Medina and Bandera highways, exceeding the designed capacity of the roadway. HOA President Bill White said traffic circles, installed to slow traffic, don't seem to be helping with the ongoing rush of traffic.

The compounding factor for Riverhill residents is that another 200 home sites could go on the west side of Medina Highway, along with some mixed-use development.

Thursday night's arguments are similar to those in 2020 when the Vintage Heights project was on the table. Riverhill residents objected to the project, one that D.R. Horton, one of the nation's largest homebuilders, was to construct with a raft of incentives. Even that couldn't get D.R. Horton to build the project once the pandemic took hold.

The new plan is to build the apartments on a flat area near the highway — about 700 feet from the nearest Riverhill homes. Surrounding the apartments would be 5-acre home sites on the remaining 160 acres.

And what most of the Riverhill residents didn't see, yet a handful from Comanche Trace did see, was an emerging zone of planned housing that essentially forms a "U" around Kerrville-Schreiner Park — potentially clearing the way for hundreds of new homes.

Mike Sigerman, the always direct chairman of P&Z, admitted there were plenty of challenges with Riverhill traffic, but he didn't see how the commission couldn't approve the zoning change. In the end, the commission voted unanimously to recommend re-zoning to allow the apartments.

Ultimately, the City Council will get the final say on the matter. And the City Council will likely hear some pointed feedback from Thursday's meeting.

The commission unanimously rejected conditional use permits for two short-term rentals — one on Starkey Street, owned by Grape Juice owners Pat and Keri Wilt, and another in the historic Methodist Encampment neighborhoods.

The issue of short-term rentals continues to prove vexing to the commission, which seems to struggle with balancing the owners' property rights and the neighbors' concerns. In both cases, neighbors raised concerns about the number of short-term rentals on their streets.

Keri Wilt told the commission that her conditional-use permit met all of the conditions, but that still wasn't enough to sway the vote.

The commission did approve four short-term rental requests, and those denied can appeal the decision to the City Council, which has proven more lenient.

Kerrville Police Department make arrests in school threats

The Kerrville Police Department arrested a Tivy High School student and a Hal Peterson Middle School student on suspicion of making terrorist threats against both schools. Both have been charged with the crimes.

One threat was scrawled onto a bathroom wall at Tivy High School on March 31, while another was found on April 4 at the middle school. Both students are juveniles and their names have not been released.


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