Newsletter January 2014

Newsletter January 2014

Colonies House Pool and Tennis Club

Please note that Colonies Pool and Tennis Club will be having its annual meeting on Tuesday, February 11, 2014 at 7 pm. All members who attend will receive a $10.00 discount on the price of membership.

For information  about renting the banquet hall, contact John Styles  at 210-459-7573. Our website at   has information on memberships, swim    team,

tennis  and community events.    If you would like to receive our event notices, email me at

Raul Perales



Esplanade Fence Bids


In 2012, the Vance Jackson Neighborhoods, Inc. association (VJNI) incurred an expense of $1,680.00 to repair the fence in the Esplanade (along the West side of Vance Jackson, on either side of Colonies Drive).

At our annual meeting in January 2013, members discussed and voted on a strategy for the fence in the Esplanade, which is on the West side of Vance Jackson, near Colonies Dr. The four options considered were: [1] Retain and maintain the full fence as we have in the past; [2] Remove the fence entirely; [3] Remove the majority of the fence, while retaining short ‘accent’ sections at the ends; and [4] None of the above.  Option #3 was the clear winner.

Due to the expected level of expense for Option #3, the VJNI board decided to hold a public bidding.


Contract Requirements

The objective of the contract is the removal of fencing from the center sections of the wooden fences on the west side of Vance Jackson to the North and South of Colonies Drive.

Four (4) fence ends are to be retained in their current condition. The fence ends are defined as six (6) post and cross-timber segments. They are located: at the North most end; on either side of Colonies Drive; and at the South most end.  (See map.)

Work Elements Requirements.

  1.  Removal of Cross-Timbers and Posts. In the two center sections of the Esplanade fences to be removed, the contractor shall
    • Remove all cross-timbers and
    • Remove buried posts segments and support
    • Leave retained fence sections, at the ends, in good
  2. Hauling and Disposal of Fence Material. The contractor shall
    • Haul away and dispose of all materials, from Work Element 1.
    • Comply with all governmental regulations, e.g., absolutely no illicit dumping of
    • State in his bid that he assumes all responsibility and liability for proper hauling and disposal of
    • Leave the Esplanade completely clear of any fence debris, e.g., cross-timbers, posts, concrete, nails, bolts,
  3. Refilling of Post Holes. The contractor shall
    • Add top soil, suitable for growth of grass
    • Crown post holes, as needed, so the holes are not depressed once settling
    • Warrant that all post holes will be level, i.e., no more that ½ inch depression, after 3 months of

Contract conditions.

  1. Contractor must have applicable licensing with the City of San Antonio (COSA).
  2. Contractor must show proof of liability insurance meeting COSA
  3. Contractor is responsible for obtaining all necessary permits and paying all fees required under this
  4. Contractor may identify a payment schedule, but VJNI expects that a majority of its payment will be due after verification of complete satisfaction of all contract terms and

Bid Submissions.

  1.  The contract will be with Vance Jackson Neighborhood, Inc., which is a registered corporation with the State of Texas. Questions regarding this bid may be emailed to
  2. Written bids are to be mailed to: Vance Jackson Neighborhood, Inc. 10004 Wurzbach Rd Ste 192 San Antonio, TX 78230-2214
  3. For consideration, bids must be received by Monday, January 13,


Review of Medina River Natural Area San Antonio, Texas

In the last edition we discussed a nice park on the northwest side for hiking and biking. In this edition we continue that thread and look at a nice little city park on the south side of San Antonio. The park is known for its fishing, hiking, biking and especially birding opportunities.

The Medina River Natural Area is a city park located at 15890 Hwy 16 South. It comprises 511 acres of land along the Medina River between Hwy 16 and Applewhite Road, south of Hwy 410. There are several accesses to the trails, including one off Applewhite Road and a couple of rest areas along the way as well. The main entrance and visitor center is on the north side of the river off of Hwy 16.  There you will also find the main trail access. On the south side of the river there is a group camping area available by reservation only.

The campsite is fairly primitive with composting toilets, potable water, a pavilion, and tent sites. I don’t recall there being any power. It’s about as rural as you can get so close to town.  The last time I was there with the Boy Scouts we were listening to the cows and coyotes all night. Our Scout Troop uses the park each year for our long 20 mile hike because of the nice camping and excellent trail along the river. The park has a very long, nice paved walking/biking trail, much of which is handicapped friendly.

If you are at all into hiking, biking or birding, I recommend you check out this nice city park.

By Jim Bray

Miscellaneous Items

 2013 Officers:

President – Ted Trakas (The Summit)

Vice President – Joy Dillon

Treasurer – Jennifer Curfman (Colonies North)

Secretary – Norma Baird (Charter Oaks Condos)


Support Positions:

 Newsletter Editor – Joy Dillon Database Manager – Ted Trakas

Please visit our web page,, for additional details or contact us at

Association Annual Meeting

 Our Annual association meeting will be:

Vance Jackson Neighborhood, Inc. Annual Members Meeting Wednesday, January 22, 6:30PM

Colonies House banquet hall, 3511 Colony Drive

 (Colonies House is on the north side of Colony Drive between Tioga and Vance Jackson.)

 We’ll have a fair amount of association business to discuss this year:

  • Short summary of property issues in
  • Changes in our newsletter rate. Our publisher has requested that the association start paying for newsletter postage. This is a significant amount, given our usual membership
  • New officers and directors needed in 2014, including for the President’s
  • Review of Esplanade fence

Councilman Ron Nierenberg will be our main speaker at the meeting, assuming his schedule permits this.  Otherwise another member of his staff will speak and answer questions.

As has been our custom, we will serve pizzas. As a change from prior years, we request that you pay membership ($15 per family) for 2014 and any contribution to the Colonies North Maintenance fund, but if you are unable to pay, please come anyway!

Ted Trakas


Riddle Question: What is not transparent but can be seen through?

Riddle Answer: Your eyes.

(Formulated by a certain precocious 6th grader.)

Rock Creek Flood Control Project

The Rock Creek NWWC (SA-6) Bexar County Flood Control project scope is to improve drainage conditions of Rock Creek between IH-10 and Callaghan Road.

The project is intended to stabilize the existing channel side slopes with rock retaining walls in order to prevent further erosion. The prevention of this erosion will help protect the integrity of the channel as well as reduce any additional losses of property along the channel. The project will also include removal of invasive species vegetation and planting of native trees in order to promote healthy canopy growth and increase bank stabilization.

Currently, the project is under construction with excavation for the rock retaining walls taking place. For the January and February months, the contractor will continue to construct the rock retaining walls in the creek for the portion of the project between IH-10 and Oak Cliff Street.

The project is scheduled for completion in the late summer of 2014. For additional information, please email or contact the Bexar County Public Works Flood Control Capital Improvement Office at (210) 335-7066.

Case No. Z2013158 CD at Rustic Lane and Honey Comb Drive

 Mr. Frank J. Corte, Jr. is a long term resident in the area and applied for rezoning (Z2013158 CD) to allow a professional office at 4203 and 4211 Honeycomb Drive.

As of mid-December, when we submit articles to our publisher, the San Antonio City Council meeting minutes for September 5, 2013 haven’t been posted yet. The delay is probably due to a long meeting record, due to the non-discrimination ordinance. Coincidentally, zoning case Z2013158 CD, which the association was involved with, was heard at the same meeting. Sorry to ‘lawyer up’ here, but below are the two parts of the agreement, between Mr. Corte, affected neighbors and association, which I was able to find for the case.

From meeting discussions with Mr. Corte and his neighbors, we anticipate that the rezoning of the subject properties will have a positive impact on the area. My thanks go out to all who were involved in the case, including the applicants, neighbors and District 8.

Ted Trakas

Councilman Ron Nierenberg’s Statement for Record

The city has stated that this type of business does not warrant a dumpster but if one is needed they are required by CDC to have some type of screening. We can state in the record the following:

“I would encourage the applicant to work with Development Services staff to address the number of required parking spaces. If a dumpster is required, that the applicant adhere to the UDC requirements for screening. Motion for approval of staff’s recommendation, with the revised site plan and the following condition: A Type A Landscape Buffer shall be required along Rustic Lane and Honey Comb Drive, except any portion that would violate clear-vision standards.”

City of San Antonio Ordinance 2013-09-05-0624


SECTION 1. Chapter 35, Unified Development Code, Section 35-304, Official Zoning Map, of the City Code of San Antonio, Texas is amended by changing the zoning district boundary of Lots 6 and 7, Block 2, NCB 14712 from “R-6 MLOD-1” Residential Single-Family Camp Bullis Military Lighting Overlay District to “R-6 CD MLOD-1” Residential Single-Family Camp Bullis Military Lighting Overlay District with a Conditional Use for a Professional Office.

SECTION 2.  The City Council finds as follows:

  1. The conditional use will not be contrary to the public
  2. The conditional use will not substantially nor permanently injure the appropriate use of adjacent conforming property in the same
  3. The conditional use will be in harmony with the spirit and purpose for conditional uses as set forth in Section 35-422, Conditional Zoning, of the Unified Development Code.
  4. The conditional use will not substantially weaken the general purposes of the regulations as set forth in Section 35-422, Conditional Zoning, of the Unified Development
  5. The conditional use will not affect adversely the public health, safety and

SECTION 3. The City Council finds that the following conditions shall be met to insure compatibility with the surrounding properties:

  1. There shall be no exterior display or sign with the exception that a nameplate, not exceeding three (3) square feet in area, may be permitted when attached to the front of the main
  2. No construction features shall be permitted which would place the structure out of character with the surrounding residential
  3. Business hours of operation shall not be permitted before 7:00 a.m. or after 6:00 m.
  4. A Type A Landscape Buffer shall be required along Rustic Lane and Honey Comb Drive, except any portion that would violate clear-vision

SECTION 4. The City Council approves this Conditional Use so long as the attached site plan is adhered to. A site plan is attached as Attachment “A” and made a part hereof and incorporated herein for all purposes.

SECTION 5. All other provisions of Chapter 35 except those expressly amended by this ordinance shall remain in full force and effect including the penalties for violations as made and provided for in Section 35 -491.

SECTION 6. The Director of Development Services shall change the zoning records and maps in accordance with this ordinance and the same shall be available and open to the public for inspection.

SECTION 7.  This ordinance shall become effective September 15, 2013.

PASSED AND APPROVED this 5th day of September 2013.