ST. LEO — A tiny street at the center of a big fuss in two small towns could soon be upgraded in order to handle trucks from Saint Leo University's controversial proposed warehouse.
Commissioners for the town of St. Leo tentatively agreed to use road impact fees to improve two-lane Pompanic Street, which would serve as the entrance to the proposed 16,000-square-foot warehouse to be built at the west end of the Saint Leo University campus. The street, which sits adjacent to Lake Jovita, boasts many stately, old homes.
The university has also agreed to kick in half the cost, up to $250,000, to improve the road that splits the boundaries of the town and the city of San Antonio. St. Leo commissioners expressed hope at their meeting on July 14 that their neighbor city would also pitch in. However, it remains unclear whether San Antonio would be willing to go along.
"I have a hard time telling residents that we are spending their money to build a driveway for Saint Leo University," San Antonio Mayor Tim Newlon said this week.
The road has caused much angst in San Antonio, where leaders fear the extra truck traffic would make it unsafe for bicyclists and pedestrians.
City leaders have proposed new weight restrictions on Pompanic to discourage the university from following through with its plans, but have yet to vote on them. The move drew a warning from the university's land-use attorney that such an action might prompt a lawsuit.
Since the building plans were introduced in February, San Antonio officials and the university have gone back and forth in meetings about whether the facility's truck traffic would make Pompanic unsafe. During an April traffic study, university engineers said the couple dozen deliveries a day are too few to pose a risk. City officials still don't buy it.
A vote in St. Leo is expected Aug. 11. San Antonio commissioners also meet that day and are expected to discuss the proposed weight restrictions.