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New Braunfels P&Z Approves Zoning for Children’s Learning Center, and Retail/Office Center

Feature Photo (above): The Kiddie Academy learning center in Pearland reflects the architectural style typical of Kiddie Academy facilities in Texas. Image: Google Streets.

Posted: 7-30-2020

by Adolfo Pesquera

New Braunfels (Comal County) — The Planning and Zoning Commission has recommended approval of a zoning change for a privately operated early childhood learning center that could enroll up to 175 children.

In other action, the commission recommended approval of zoning to allow development of an 8-acre retail center (see below).

A land use and zoning attorney from Brown & Ortiz spoke on behalf of a Fort Worth-based developer, The Woodmont Company, requesting a change from light industrial to general business zoning for two adjacent lots that combined total 2.1 acres.

Although they are zoned light commercial, the properties each have a single-family house on them. The attorney, Caroline McDonald, said the residents wish to sell. The houses would be demolished to make room for site work.

The Woodmont Company plans to construct a Kiddie Academy Educational Child Care learning center on the 672 S.  Kowald Lane lot. That adjacent lot, 690 S. Kowald Lane, is at the hard southwest corner of Kowald Lane and Freiheit Road.

McDonald said there are no specific plans for what is to be developed on the corner lot, however, The Woodmont Company would develop it to a use compatible with the learning center. Other Kiddie Academy facilities have been built near health clinics and fast food restaurants, for example.

Kiddie Academy is a franchise chain of private schools with headquarters in Abingdon, Maryland. The company has opened 253 facilities in 30 states and this would be the 40th in Texas and the first in New Braunfels, McDonald said.

No description was given at the July 7 meeting about the gross square footage or height of the building. However, other Kiddie Academy buildings in Texas have been constructed as one-story buildings with brick exterior and range in size from 9,500 to 10,500 square feet.

Grant Gary, president of The Woodmont Co., told commissioners that each facility interior is custom designed according to what the company determines is the greatest need in the market area. Some may focus on enrolling a larger ratio of younger children, for example; in general, Kiddie Academy franchises provide daycare and schooling to children from pre-K to age 12.

The project engineer is Lique Group of San Antonio. In the VBX project database the New Braunfels Kiddie Academy is listed as Project ID 2020-598F.

Proposed Retail Center

In other business, the commissioners recommended approval of a request for high-intensity/Mixed use zoning for an 8-acre tract at 1998 and 2050 Interstate 35 North.

South Texas Capital Advisors, a New Braunfels developer, sought the change for two adjacent lots that are partially zoned Agriculture/pre-Development (APD).

The property is about 2,200 feet southwest of the intersection of FM 306 at Creekside Crossing, where Buc-ee’s is located, and it abuts the Comal Farms Manufactured Home Community along its rear (east) boundary.

The property is planned for commercial retail use. A Traffic Impact Analysis (TIA) worksheet references proposed uses that include a fast-food restaurant with a drive-through, a coffee/donut shop with a drive-through, a medical/dental office building and a shopping center.

No plats, permits or plans for proposed development had been submitted at the time of the P&Z Commission meeting.

The city planner presenting the case said the TIA worksheets provide estimated peak hour and daily trips of vehicles, which determine how detailed the analysis of the potential impacts needs to be. The TIA worksheet for the subject property estimates 5,200 daily trips based upon the identified uses which will require a Level 2 TIA.

James Mahan of South Texas Capital Advisors told commissioners they are working with the city and the Texas Department of Transportation about installing a deceleration lane and turn lane from the I-35 frontage road onto the site, and plans include a public road within the development.

Kimley-Horn is Mahan’s design engineering consultant. The VBX Project ID is 2020-5995.


Related Images

Construction Preview
By |2020-07-30T14:42:59-05:00July 30th, 2020|Construction Preview, Feature Story|

About the Author:

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.

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