Tier 1 Neighborhood Coalition - We Are That Old Lady

Group Formed by Neighborhoods Close to Downtown

Stop me if you’ve heard this one —

  • Scout Leader: Who did a good deed today?
  • Good Scout Rudy: I did, I did!! I helped an old lady cross the street!!!
  • All the other Scouts: I did too!! I helped her too!!!
  • Leader: Why in the world did it take all of you to help one old lady cross the street?
  • Scouts: She didn’t want to go!!!

This little allegory refers to the City Planning Department, the San Antonio Comprehensive Plan, Monte Vista, and the rapid development taking place in our general area. In Spring 2016, after working on the historical preservation segment of the Comp Plan, people living in Monte Vista joined people living in four or five other neighborhoods close to downtown to form a loose group called the Tier 1 Neighborhood Coalition. We all realized that significant undesirable changes were coming toward us unless we hollered. We did holler, and we got several parts of the plan amended. Since then, the T1NC has grown to approximately 30 neighborhoods. It now includes, just to name those nearest in location and perhaps in spirit to us, Mahncke Park, River Road, Tobin Hill, Alta Vista, Beacon Hill, Keystone, Jefferson/Monticello, Dignowity Hill, and King William.

The basic idea is to encourage the city to follow its own rules on zoning and development, including the recognition that neighborhood plans, Monte Vista’s included, adopted by various City Councils as ordinances have the force of law and must be adhered to. Members of T1NC have joined together, and joined other organizations, to promote this. We have fought and won cases on signage and historic designation. We are working on transportation corridors (e.g., San Pedro) and more signage. Councilman Roberto Trevino has been very supportive; he has helped us place T1 members on some of the boards and commissions which advise the City. We are opposing a recently introduced Texas House Bill (#3418), which would greatly facilitate demolitions; State Representative Diego Bernal, adamantly opposing this bill, is working with us.

Monte Vista’s great good fortune is to have had strong leaders who did the vast amount of work to get us designated as a historical district; this gives MV considerably more protection against those who would like to tell us what will be done here. We are also extremely fortunate in our neighbors: Tier 1 has introduced me to a group of talented, informed, and determined citizens (not all women). They help us, we help them. It’s quite simple in concept, but it requires a lot of work to fend off changes requested by those who, although it’s rude to say so, want to turn a buck and go on their way. Many of them are also talented, informed, and determined, but their goals often are not our goals.

The Scouts at the City indubitably do good and mean well, but this old lady wants to decide for herself which streets to cross.

Paula Bondurant

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Monte Vista Historical Association
PO Box 12386
San Antonio, Texas 78212