The Lead May 12, 2022: Kerrville's to get first look at 1,000-home, 600-multi-family development

The Planning and Zoning Commission is set for a big night of discussion.

Good morning, Kerr County

Hot — again. That's it! That's the forecast. We can expect highs in the 90s for the rest of the week. We wanted to look at our drought situation, and it doesn't look cheery over the next four weeks. The National Weather Service suggests significant drought conditions over the next four weeks across Kerr County and the Texas Hill Country. First, here's our forecast and the drought map.

May trends

We were curious about our recent heatwave and how it stacked up against years past? How are we doing? It looks like we're headed toward records when it comes to heat and days over 90 — a record we really don't want to break. Unofficially, according to the National Weather Service, we've had five consecutive days over 90 degrees this month. However, the long-term forecast could stretch that into at least 12 days — or longer. Since 2002, Kerrville has seen plenty of hot Mays, but this one might challenge 2006 as the hottest in the month, with an average high of 88.5. Right now, Kerrville is sitting at 87.6 through 10 days of records. In 2011, May produced 14 days of temps over 90 degrees, including the last seven of the month. In 2008, it was a similar pattern, but this time with eight consecutive days to finish out the month of May. In 2008, we saw 17 days of temps over 90. In 2006, the highest average high was reported, along with 15 days over 90.

Over the last five years, Kerrville has had just 14 days where the temps hit 90 degrees in May. Still, we could see records fall this month.

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On today's The Lead Live

Clifton Fifer will stop by to give us an update about Sunday's Glory Community Garden music event. We can expect a market update and a better readout on inflation from Andrew Gay of Texas Hill Country Advisors. And we should see a visit from either Leslie Jones of Julie Davis of the Kerrville Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Today's newsletter is sponsored by:

Don't forget to stop by Mustang Sally's, 1523 Water Street, today from noon to 5 p.m. and tell them The Lead sent you. Check out some of their marvelous home decor ideas.

Stuff to do today

Live Music

  • Father and Son — Joanne Marie and Me Wine Boutique, Ingram, 6 p.m. Information: 936-554-8326

Rocket Launch

  • Rockets2022 — Segner Ranch, Stonewall, 8 a.m. Information: https://www.greateventseats.com/events.php?lID=92 The details: Students from 19 Texas high schools will launch 50 rockets they designed and built, as part of the culminating event for SystemsGo. There is no fixed launch schedule. Rockets will go up during all daylight hours, in the order, they are certified prepared for launch and recovery. Categories will include launching a one-pound payload one mile high or to achieve the speed of sound.

Social

  • The Texas Exes Kerr County Chapter Thirsty Thursday — Comanche Trace Vista Room and Gallery, 5:30 p.m. Information: kerrcountychapter@texasexes.org or M'lissa Hayes at 830-285-9411 https://kerrcountychapterlonghorngreats.eventbrite.com The Details: The event features a charcuterie board, cash bar, auction and special guests. The highlights will be Longhorns football coach David McWilliams, former football players Quan Cosby and John Fuquay, and Ty Harrington, a former UT baseball player who retired from Texas State as their coach with the most-ever victories.

Kerr County seizes 49 dogs on Wednesday night

Kerr County Animal Services took in 49 dogs from a Kerr County property on Wednesday night — leading to a crisis for the animal services. On Thursday, the department will need to move some of the animals at the Hill Country Youth Event Center.

Kerrville Pets Alive!, which is helping facilitate moving the dogs, said these types of problems need addressing because of the lack of capacity at the county shelter. KPA President Karen Guerriero said KCAS needs a contingency plan for these seizures. Last month, KCAS officers seized about 30 dogs after an investigation.

Details were limited about the investigation of Wednesday's seizure, but Guerriero said the dogs were mostly small.

Kerrville planning and zoning gets its first look at mega project

One of the largest, if not the largest, planned development in Kerrville's history gets its first look tonight at the city's planning and zoning meeting at 4:30 p.m.

Just how big? How about 1,000 single-family homes and more than 600 multi-family units in a 468-acre parcel that will feature a connecting road between Bandera and Medina highways. Sited just east of Kerrville-Schreiner Park, the development features plans for mixed-use projects, commercial sites, a hotel and other amenities.

How the neighbors in Comanche Trace, which will bound the project's eastern flank, will feel about the size and scale of the development is yet to be determined, but at the last meeting, there was a smattering of people who raised concerns. The project is so big that it requires a four-lane arterial road to connect highways 16 and 173. If completed, the road will skirt along the backside of Kerrville-Schreiner Park before opening up to planned commercial developments near Bandera Highway.

The first phase of the development features 283 single-family homes, with the second phase being a Bandera Highway-facing hotel. The San Antonio-based developer, Triple Root Development, told the commission last month the project would include various housing options, including affordable workforce housing.

In 2020, Kerrville thought it would land homebuilder D.R. Horton to construct more than 500 homes just south of Riverhill. With this project, Kerrville could see more than 2,000 housing units added to its inventory in the coming years, but the projects are still years away.

In other planning and zoning business:

  • The commission will consider six conditional use permits for short-term rentals, which is always interesting to watch. The commission has shown a propensity to deny permits if they think the neighborhood has too many short-term or vacation rentals. Kerrville has more than 70 rentals approved through conditional-use permits, but the consensus (along with data from rental websites) suggests the number is far higher.
  • The commission will consider the final plat on a project that would lead to of more than 20 estate homes sited on lots of 20 acres or larger. Dubbed Mystic Ridge, the more than 600 acres is located just west of Spur 100 in Kerrville.

More from Tuesday night's City Council meeting

In the waning moments of Bill Blackburn's term as Kerrville mayor, there was a heated back and forth about the mayor's ethics when he questioned former City Councilman George Baroody during an April 12 meeting.

Championing this ethics complaint was first-term City Councilman Roman Garcia, who said he prayed about placing the item on Tuesday's agenda. The context of the exchange between Baroody and Blackburn was at the heart of the discussion — about Baroody's persistent effort to have the city move its election from May to November.

Baroody and Garcia attempted to focus their efforts on Blackburn's comments during the citizen's forum. But some speakers couldn't resist bringing up an inconsistency in the Baroody-Garcia story — an alleged letter from the Secretary of State saying Kerrville had to move its election from May to November to comply with the city charter.

One of those speakers was Mike Sigerman, the city's planning and zoning commission chairman, who questioned Garcia about the letter.

"And then we get to the council meeting where you stood up and said the same thing and you, Councilman Garcia, said that you were in receipt of an email that a citizen received from the Secretary of State's office that said that the city could not hold their election in May," Sigerman said. "It had to be in November because they were violating the city charter. Do you remember that, because that was a statement that you made. At the time, we did not know that it was Mr. Baroody, but it was Mr. Baroody. So we come to find out that that was not a factual statement. There was no email from the Secretary of State's office that said the city was violating the charter. I think that's where the untruthful statement remark came."

Garcia shot back at Sigerman.

"With all due respect, that's an inaccurate quote from what I said at the meeting," Garcia said.

However, during that Feb. 8 meeting, Garcia did say that.

"The biggest thing is the Secretary of State Election Division has responded to why we should hold the election in November," Garcia said. "So if I can get a response from staff, why is that incorrect, what they're saying."

During that meeting, Blackburn wanted to know more about Garcia's claim: "Do you have it in writing that the Secretary of State's office has said we ought to have the election in November?" Blackburn asked.

"It was provided to us from questions from a citizen," Garcia said. "It was provided to us in an email. Yes."

Here's the video from Garcia's Feb. 8 comments at 32:30:

Peterson Regional Medical Center gets graded

A patient care watchdog group issued its bi-annual grades for hospitals across the nation and said the pressures of the coronavirus pandemic are presenting in a declining patient experience.

Peterson Regional Medical Center received a B grade for its care from The Leapfrog Group, which has graded hospital performance twice a year for the last three years. Peterson's grade was an improvement from a C in the fall of 2021. However, some of the grades may reflect the enormity of the pandemic, which swamped Peterson during that time.

"The health care workforce has faced unprecedented levels of pressure during the pandemic, and as a result, patients' experience with their care appears to have suffered," said Leah Binder, president and CEO of The Leapfrog Group. "We commend the workforce for their heroic efforts these past few years and now strongly urge hospital leadership to recommit to improved care—from communication to responsiveness—and get back on track with patient safety outcomes."

Leapfrog says the grades "are derived from expert analysis of publicly available data using up to 31 evidence-based, national measures of hospital safety."

The report said Peterson needed to improve patient safety procedures around bed sores, harmful events and blot clots. However, the hospital scored above average in preventing mistakes, including staff communication on best practices.

The report lauded Peterson's efforts to mitigate mistakes, giving it a perfect leadership and internal communications score.

The report also cited a problem that Peterson officials have readily admitted — not enough nurses. The report said 33% of hospitals earned an A grade. Of the 230 hospitals graded in Texas, 70 received an A grade, including Hill Country Memorial in Fredericksburg. Seven San Antonio hospitals received A grades.

Leapfrog said it valued the following areas for its key benchmark of safety:

  • Handwashing. Does your hospital have a handwashing policy to ensure all staff members are washing their hands before and after patient contact?
  • Infection in the blood Hospital patients may be given a central line (a tube inserted into the body to deliver medication and other treatments). Patients with a central line are at high risk for developing a dangerous infection in the blood. Is your hospital showing a low number on this measure?
  • Patient falls What is your hospital doing to ensure you don't suffer an added injury from a fall while in the hospital?

More things to do

Exhibitions and the Arts

These events are recurring

  • Texas Watercolor Society Annual Exhibit — Hill Country Arts Foundation., 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Tuesday-Friday; 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. on Saturday. Through June 30. Information: https://www.hcaf.com The details: The Hill Country Arts Foundation is hosting the Texas Watercolor Society's 73rd National Exhibit. This exhibit features watercolor pieces by over forty artists from across the United States. In 1949, TWS was founded by Margaret Pace Willson and Amy Freeman Lee with the mission to advance the art of painting in watercolors, and hold annual exhibitions of watercolor paintings. Today, more than 60 years later, TWS continues to promote the high standards set by its founders. Thus, as a national exhibit, TWS proudly takes its place among the elite watercolor organizations in the nation.
  • Heaven's Declare Art Exhibition (Recurring through Saturday) — Museum of Western Art, 10 a.m. Information: https://www.museumofwesternart.com 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.
  • KACC Exhibits (Recurring through Saturday) — Kerr Arts and Cultural Center, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Information: https://www.kacckerrville.com The details: "Monday Painters" members of the Monday Artists painters group exhibit, Paintings by Laura Roberts, "Guadalupe Watercolor Group" judged watercolor exhibit by members of the GWG. Artist reception April 30th, 1–3 p.m.

Coming Friday!

Rocket Launch

  • Rockets2022 — Segner Ranch, Stonewall, 8 a.m. Information: https://www.greateventseats.com/events.php?lID=92 The details: Students from 19 Texas high schools will launch 50 rockets they designed and built, as part of the culminating event for SystemsGo. There is no fixed launch schedule. Rockets will go up during all daylight hours, in the order, they are certified prepared for launch and recovery. Categories will include launching a one-pound payload one mile high or to achieve the speed of sound.

Markets

  • Kerrville Farmers Market — A.C. Schreiner Mansion, 4 p.m. Information: https://kerrvillefarmersmarket.com/ The details: Come down and enjoy a complimentary beer, or buy a handcrafted pizza and enjoy the market.

Live music

  • Campfire Songwriters Retreat — Camp Stewart, Hunt, through May 15. Information: https://www.txcampfireretreats.com The details: Three days in the Texas Hill Country! The best music, food, folks, fun and memories to be had along the Guadalupe River. Hosted Happy Hours, Hill Country Cuisine and scheduled Songwriter Showcases with more surprises in store!
  • Boone Holding — Pint and Plow Brewing Co., 6 p.m. Information: 830-315-7468 The details: A night of telling songs, singing songs and good vibes. Boone's music is acoustic and has been referred to as "organic."
  • Stan Morris — Cafe at the Ridge, 6 p.m. Information: https://www.shopsattheridge.com
  • The Reefs — The Hunt Store, 7 p.m. Information: 830-238-4410 The details: Party on the patio with this super fun jam band! Bring the family, grab some dinner and find a seat.
  • Jake Hoot — Cailloux Theater, 7:30 p.m. Information: https://www.caillouxperformingarts.com The details: The Season 17 Champion of NBC TV's "The Voice," Jake Hoot has amassed more than 10 million streams and thousands of downloads, including the smash hit "I Would've Loved You," his duet with superstar Kelly Clarkson. He's appeared on "The Kelly Clarkson Show," "Today" with Hoda Kotb, and "Entertainment Tonight," among others. Tickets: $25-40.
  • C-Rock — Pier 27 River Lounge and 8 Ball, 8 p.m. Information: 830-896-7437
  • Braden Toomey — Joanne Marie and Me Wine Boutique, Ingram, 6 p.m. Information: 936-554-8326

Theater

  • Live comedy theater "Drinking Habits" — The Point Theater, Ingram, 7:30 p.m., through May 15. Information: https://www.hcaf.com/2022-theatre-season/ The details: Accusations, mistaken identities, and romances run wild in this traditional, laugh-out-loud farce. Two nuns at the Sisters of Perpetual Sewing have been secretly making wine to keep the convent's doors open, but Paul and Sally, reporters and former fiancees, are hot on their trail. They go undercover as a nun and priest, but their presence, combined with the addition of a new nun, spurs paranoia throughout the convent that spies have been sent from Rome to shut them down. There's the spilling of wine and secrets as everyone tries to preserve the convent and reconnect with lost loves.

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