Newsletter May-June 2016

Newsletter May-June 2016

President’s Message

By June Kachtik, VJNI Board President

Vance Jackson Road

I have lived in the Vance Jackson area since 1970. At that time, we were barely within the city limits. And, look at us now. San Antonio reaches toward FM 1604 and beyond! There wasn’t any Vance Jackson Road beyond Huebner Road for years. And now you can take it to shop at La Canterra Parkway. Well, the Vance Jackson Road out toward FM 1604 is very different from our Vance Jackson Road.

And that is the way we have liked it – two-lane, often without curbs and sidewalks. That time may be coming to an end. In 1970, 654,173 people lived in San Antonio. Today, the estimated population is 1,440,900. In 2016, that amounts to 3,393 persons per square mile.

It’s difficult to appreciate the impact of numbers. We’ve been hearing them a lot lately from the SA Tomorrow planning folks – things like:

  • Growth expected by 2040 will double the current population of the county, increasing demand on essential services and potentially exacerbating current challenges like traffic congestion
  • 13 of the identified major employment centers will capture at least 50% of the new jobs coming to San Antonio

These numbers will come to have meaning for us in a way that will impact our daily lives. Already this year we have had two rezoning cases which will impact the traffic and safety along our beloved two-lane road. We live here because we love our neighborhood, but the numbers are a harbinger of the changes to come.

So, I applaud Councilmen Nirenberg and Krier for ordering traffic studies for our portion of Vance Jackson Road. Based on the engineering reports, further priority can be given to needed improvements along Vance Jackson. Major reconstruction will be most likely be the recommendation and, as Councilman Nirenberg reminds us, “that will involve right-of-way, utility relocation, major funding and an endless amount of patience from all of us in this corridor.”

Let’s live up to the challenge of change, and let’s do it with good will and cooperation among ourselves and with the City, knowing that indeed we will be called upon to exercise much patience as we work out short-term solutions for the next several years before long-term improvements will occur along Vance Jackson Road.

You can start by joining VJNI, if you have not already done so. As studies and planning progress about Vance Jackson Road, we will post them on our website. So, stay tuned.

June Kachtik
VJNI Board President

 

Matt’s Management Notes

By Matt McCrossen, VJNI Board Vice President

Dear Members & Sponsors,

Thank you so much for your continued support and participation in our neighborhood association!

We are starting this column, “Matt’s Management Notes” to ensure we are transparent about what the board is doing throughout the year, as well as take time to touch on details of projects so our members understand the “why” of what we are doing. The conditions have been optimal to make some updates and take on new projects this year as Vice President with June, our President and her experience as top-cover for me, and a board of diverse professionals with in-depth experience in areas ranging from financial management to public relations. Many of the projects and agenda items I propose are business management items. Housekeeping of our operations is vital to the sustainability and relevancy of our association to the community. Items such as formalizing board position obligations, membership dues, filings with Texas Secretary of State and branding help ensure our association is prepared to address membership needs in an ever changing community. Organization is one of many keys
to success!

Since 2015, our current board has tackled several operation items to update our association so it’s more transparent, better organized for the current activity level, and economically sustainable. The gains we have made in the last year and a half can be attributed to hard work, ingenuity and simply making it fun to volunteer.

Bylaws Update:
Vance Jackson Neighborhood Association

One of the items our board is working hard to complete is the Bylaws update. What started out as a committee to help me update language and double check my transcription work from a scanned PDF copy to the website, has now turned into a full scale update. Thanks to the experience of our committee members we have a draft update that simplifies that language so that current and potential volunteers will have an easier time grasping our association’s scope and how our nonprofit operates.

We are also tackling a branding item. Vance Jackson Neighborhood, Inc. is an unincorporated Texas nonprofit entity. This means we operate as a nonprofit under Texas business code, are exempt from State and local sales tax on purchases, and in general we operate as you have seen in the past. From a branding perspective, we are not an “Inc.” which is an incorporated entity like a C or S corporation with shareholders.

With our research complete and information analyzed we are prepared to move from Vance Jackson Neighborhood, Inc. to something as simple as Vance Jackson Neighborhood Association. Vance Jackson Neighborhood, Inc. is widely recognized in our area thanks to the efforts of past, and current boards and membership. Removing the “Inc.” will help our association improve engagement by capturing the attention of potential volunteers looking to get involved in a nonprofit voluntary neighborhood association, but confusing us with a for-profit company or mandatory home owners’ association. The name modification will also help us market the association in a more efficient manner as a nonprofit so we can better tackle the issue of explaining the complex operation we run as a volunteer association that encompasses several mandatory home owners’ associations and unrepresented subdivisions.

In closing, it is a privilege to serve our community. We have accomplished so much in the last year and half. Even when we reach an impasse we use the issue to work on fixing gaps in our management and communication processes to hopefully avoid the same issue in the future. The progress we have made, the accomplishments we are recognized for, and the continued relevancy of our associations is attributable to the hard work of our board members, and the vigorous support of our community! There’s a saying in the professional world: The best indicator of future performance is assessing historical performance. I will attest that under this logic our association’s board is on track to accomplish even more for our community in years to come!

Matt McCrossen
VJNI Board Vice President

 

Get Involved!

By Kathy Rhoads, VJNI Board Member & Newsletter Editor-in-Chief

We have all heard that call to action before, but it is more important now than ever…for our VJNI Association and City organizations and even charitable organizations. The future of our neighborhood is at stake, which translates into good property values. Please read the President’s letter on Page 2 about zoning issues at the forefront. San Antonio is growing so fast that civic involvement is almost mandatory if we want to keep our city livable, even if only a few hours of a volunteer’s times are available per week. Pick a subject, then find the organization you think you might enjoy. There are numerous civic organizations that need volunteers.

As for the private side, there are many “causes” and mission driven organizations that need volunteers. An example is a “world headquarters” in the VJNI neighborhood in the center where the Office Depot is, just around the corner near the UPS Store (10004 Wurzbach Rd, next to IH10/Wurzbach HEB). It’s called “Book Buddies” (http://www.sayl.org/our-programs/sayl-book-buddies/) and is a program of San Antonio Youth Literacy. It receives donated books from book fairs suitable for kids grades Pre-K through 5. The effort benefits children in Title 1 San Antonio schools where at least 75% of the families are below the poverty line. Each child chooses books to take home to read over the summer. Studies show children growing up in homes without books, and who are not read to as small children, are far more likely to fall behind in school, fail to complete high school, and suffer the unfortunate outcomes of failure: drug use, criminal behavior, early pregnancy, etc. How can you help?
You can volunteer to run book drives; sort, count, and box up books, take management positions in the organization (maintain database, organize volunteer days, fund-raise, do publicity and marketing, or be a liaison with schools). You can also donate books from any kind of event you hold, i.e. a birthday, shower or any other kind of party or an event at your office asking for book donations. Contact bookbuddies@sayl.org. And there are numerous other San Antonio charities that need volunteer help like the San Antonio Conservation Society (for instance, approximately 15,000 people volunteered at NIOSA this year) and many, many more.

Kathy Rhoads
VJNI Board Member & Newsletter Editor-in-Chief

 

Zoning Case # Z2016122, Copy of Letter June 2, 2016 to City of San Antonio Development Services Department

Date: June 2, 2016
To: City Council of the City of San Antonio
Development Services Department, Zoning Section

From: June Kachtik, board president
Vance Jackson Neighborhood, Inc.

Re: Zoning Case # Z2016122
Current zoning: RM-4, RM-4 CD, and RM-4 CD PUD
Proposed zoning: RM-4 PUD

The VJNI Board met with Mr. Ortiz, the applicant’s representative, on April 9, 2016. The Board voted to approve the change in zoning, contingent upon a restrictive covenant being recorded in Bexar County upon approval of the zoning by the City Council and the sale of the land to the developer. This covenant is to run with the land for 20 years and require any property owner to notify VJNI prior to filing any permit application with the City that would request a change in the proposed use from detached homes to any type of “attached” home or any other zoning.

On behalf of the VJNI board, I spoke in favor of the change in zoning before the Zoning Commission on April 19, 2016. Among our considerations was the fact that the PUD would reduce the possible number of units and conserve the residence and valuable large trees, as well as having a 10-foot perimeter setback rather than 5 feet and having 3 rather than 2 entrance lanes and additional “queuing” room inside the development.

Our Board is aware that the population is projected to double by 2040. And we understand that, being close to major economic generators, our neighborhoods would be well advised to accommodate some of this growth. This is the third zoning case this year affecting Vance Jackson Road. Two of these cases will add to the cumulative impact on Vance Jackson Road, and we anticipate that more cases are likely over time. We appreciate the initiatives being taken by Councilmen Nirenberg and Krier to address this issue by beginning the studies that are necessary to eventually improve our major thoroughfare. Please let us know how we can help.

Thank you for your consideration.

*/—End Copy—/* Transcribed by Matthew McCrossen from original document to e-newsletter. PDF Version without signature can be viewed on our website. Search by case number.

We hope you had a chance to visit Colonies House and sign-up for a membership (http://colonieshouse.com) for your family or grandchildren. Come out and visit the neighborhood icon and cool off in the pool and shade! Colonies House has been a tremendous help to our association by offering free usage of the hall for events, and board meetings!

Thank you to this edition’s e-Newsletter Sponsor TASCO Air Conditioning (http://tascoair.com) for supporting our association’s operations! Owner & The Summit neighbor Terry Wolf.

Stay Tuned!

Upcoming events for the year are being planned and more information will be published. This list is not comprehensive and is not final. While not a formal save the date, here’s an informal itinerary:

  • Final Plunge: Co-hosted event by VJNI and Colonies House back to school pool party and open house.
  • Community Tree Planting event hosted by VJNI planting trees on Vance Jackson Rd. where the fencing was removed. One of two dates the board is discussing are 9/24/16 or 10/15/16 – volunteers encouraged!
  • National Night Out, more than likely 10/4/16, Texas celebrates on the first Tuesday of October
  • 2nd Annual Pre-Thanksgiving Neighborhood Potluck: Co-hosted event by VJNI and Colonies House neighborhood celebration.