New Braunfels City Council Grants Zoning for Medical Office Building in Gruene
Feature Photo: View of the site chosen for a medical-dental office building, as seen from the corner of Gruene Road at Ewelling Lane. Image: Google Streets.
by Adolfo Pesquera
New Braunfels (Comal County) — City Council unanimously agreed this week to grant Commercial Office status to a 4.3-acre wooded lot in Gruene for purposes of constructing a medical-dental office building.
The land located southeast of the intersection of Gruene Road and Ewelling Lane is in a sparsely developed commercial area between the West Inn of Gruene, Our Lady Bar & Grille, Illusion Dance Center ad Aldo’s Strength & Conditioning Gym.
The zoning request to change the property from R-2 (residential duplex) arrived at the council with some controversy. On April 6, a fainthearted Planning Commission refused to vote on the request after listening to opposition for the Sleepy Hollow neighborhood residents.
At the April 26 council hearing, the real estate agent for the seller emphasized that Sleepy Hollow is more than 1,500 feet distant, but all of the landowners within the 200-foot notification zone were in support. He also noted that commercial office zoning is the least impactful of commercial zoning categories.
Rahul Bose, M.D., one of the physicians planning to build the medical-dental office building. Source: City of New Braunfels media.
William Schutz of Leander, the landowner, told council land had been in his family over 50 years. At one time, he and his wife considered building their home on it, but with 600 feet of Gruene Road frontage they considered it too much of a thoroughfare for a residence.
“I’ve been a little picky in selecting who might be a suitable buyer,” Schutz said. “I believe that this use for the property as a medical facility is the best use … because with the tree preservation ordinance in New Braunfels I believe that they’re going to be able to preserve the heritage pecan trees and the oaks.”
Rahul Bose, a cardiologist representing a physicians group (the buyer) said they looked in the Gruene area of New Braunfels because it is between the two hospitals they serve–Resolute Health Hospital and Christus Santa Rosa Hospital.
“It’s a beautiful property (with) its great trees. It just kind of fits what we wanted to do with our office, which was to have a pretty place to office at–look out the windows and not see a office park but rather see trees. And we felt like that was really good for out patients, as well,” Bose said. “There is a rock wall there that is just absolutely beautiful that we’d love to keep.”
No site plan was submitted and the scope of the building was not discussed. However, a traffic impact analysis worksheet on record indicates a concept for a 20,000 square-foot structure.
Adolfo Pesquera (Reporter/Editor) is a veteran news journalist. He has worked for Hearst Corp., American Lawyer Media, News Corp and Freedom Communications. His work has been published in newspapers and magazines across the USA. He is a journalism graduate of UT-RGV. He writes, edits and creates digital pages for VBX.