Saturday, February 24, 2018
News Roundup

San Antonio commission opposes Saint Leo University warehouse plans

SAN ANTONIO — City commissioners made it clear this week to Saint Leo University that a planned warehouse that would generate heavy truck traffic on two residential roads is not welcome.

On Tuesday, the San Antonio City Commission voted unanimously to send a letter to the university stating that a proposed warehouse with access from McMullen Drive and Pompanic Street, overlooking Lake Jovita, will not be approved. The warehouse would be in the St. Leo town limits, but San Antonio partly controls those residential streets.

"We're not going to have it," said Commissioner Dick Gates, drawing applause from residents who packed City Hall.

The university is planning how to further develop the western side of its campus, which currently holds an admissions building, residence halls and a performing arts hall. Last year, the school purchased Holy Name Monastery and plans to acquire a nearly 12-acre slice of vacant property farther to the west on State Road 52.

University officials want to connect the 53-acre west campus and the main 133-acre campus, which are divided by the St. Leo abbey church and residences of the Benedictine monks.

Plans for the west campus build-out are still conceptual but construction of the 13,000-square-foot warehouse, which would move university plant operations from the center of campus, are on the table now. Normally the university has to seek permission from the St. Leo Town Commission for such projects. But in this case, ownership of McMullen and Pompanic is shared by the town and San Antonio.

So when San Antonio residents irate over the idea of warehouse truck traffic on the two roads packed St. Leo's town hall Feb. 10, commissioners told university representatives they would need approval from San Antonio to use McMullen and Pompanic.

That led to Tuesday's meeting in San Antonio, which Saint Leo University officials were not informed of, according to spokesman Kim Payne. The warehouse was listed as a discussion item on the published meeting agenda.

Payne added that the university plans to move forward with its plan to build the warehouse, but declined to comment on the idea of using McMullen and Pompanic until the university received the letter from San Antonio.

"We were not informed they were going to discuss it, so it's hard to comment on something we were not invited to participate in," Payne said.

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