SAN ANTONIO — The City of New Braunfels may be growing too fast. The Hill Country town, which ranks in the top 10 fastest growing cities in the country according to US Census data, could run out of developable land by 2035.
City leaders are coming up with a plan to make sure its growth is sustainable.
According to maps in the State of the City Report, 2022 residential new building permits are pushing the boundaries of the New Braunfels city limits.
“Given the current rates of consumption we’ve seen historically over the last 10 years, we would project maybe by the mid 2030s that New Braunfels would be built out," Jeff Jewell, the city's economic and community development director says the city will be at risk of reaching buildout, at which there won't be enough land for large-scale development.
The city also needs to build the basics. In May, voters will decide on approving a bond package of $140 million to address transportation, drainage, parks and recreation and library needs in the city.
Comal ISD voters will have their own bond propositions to address growth within their district. Proposition A includes addressing growth by building a new middle school.
Jewell says the city has its own plans to sustain and more responsibly manage growth.
“What the city is currently undergoing is a land development ordinance rewrite,” Jewell said. The LDO’s are regulations that determine what can be built where in New Braunfels, so they can maintain the city’s beauty and keep up with a bustling population.
Jewell says they are trying to take feedback that was given by residents during its 2018 comprehensive plan to address the city’s needs.
“We’ve heard about open space preservation, about mobility in the community, housing affordability, and trying to understand and apply that feedback to changes,” Jewell adds.
As for the city limits, Jewell doubts annexing unincorporated land will be a part of the city’s future.
“Annexation en masse is not something that we’re considering as really a possibility moving forward,” Jewell adds.
You can learn more about the LDO project on the city's website.