Council approves Darden Hill storage facility

A group of residents attended the meeting holding up their protest signs against the Jenkins Corporation development. CENTURY NEWS PHOTO BY JOHN PACHECO

By: 
John Pacheco

 

City Council approved a site permit for Darden Hill storage facility being built by the Jenkins Corporation at 9900 Darden Hill Road at its January 9 meeting.

Rim Rock residents were present at the meeting to protest the development, and seven people spoke at the meeting against the facility, citing concerns with hill country aesthetics, increased traffic, and the lack of an environmental study.

“This storage facility is not going to fit in, and doesn’t help with the goal of keeping the hill country scenic,” Rim Rock resident Rhonda Kramer said at the meeting. “Why do we even need it with so many other storage facilities in the area?”

Other Rim Rock residents, Scott Clark and Shannon Rizzo, expressed concerns that an environmental impact study had not been done, and Rizzo hinted that there might be endangered species living on the land being developed.

The council, while sympathetic, stated that the development was not in the city, but the extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ), and hence the authority of the council was limited. Council members also pointed out that despite being in the ETJ, the Jenkins Corporation was voluntarily complying with some city ordinances such as dark sky.

Steve Metcalfe, representing Jenkins Corporation, outlined special considerations given to this project such as native tree plantings, earth tone building materials, dark sky friendly lighting, re-irrigation and water capture, and wildlife habitat zones.

Acceptance of the development plan included a variance on building size and fire lane size. Fire Chief Scott Collard, of the North Hays County Fire/Rescue, expressed no objection to the smaller sized fire lane proposed the Jenkins Corporation at a previous council meeting. He explained that their current fire vehicles would have no problem accessing the site with the variance. He added this also applied to any fire fighting vehicle they may acquire in the future.

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