Steele Hyundai map

A map shows where Steele Hyundai would like to build a new dealership in New Braunfels. City of New Braunfels map

Steele Auto Group’s plans to construct a state-of-the-art car dealership on the southbound I-35 access road near Oak Creek Way is one step closer to reality after New Braunfels City Council members on Monday gave an initial OK to a rezoning and special use permit request.

After a second reading of the item and passage by council members, the proposed rezoning to a Neighborhood Commercial District with a special use permit would allow for the relocation of an existing Hyundai dealership and the potential development and construction of a future auto sales and services project on a 30-acre site at 4165 and 4261 IH 35 North.

Construction on the property, near Alligator Creek and adjacent to the Oak Creek Estates Subdivision, would include standard residential buffers, such as walls and landscaping, intended to protect residential properties by mitigating potential negative impacts from commercial uses. Ashley Farrimond, an attorney at San Antonio-based Killen, Griffin & Farrimond representing the Steele Auto Group, told council members the present dealership’s location, a 2.2-acre site with a 16,000 square foot building at 485 N. Business IH-35, was originally “developed as a restaurant, not a car dealership” and is “undersized and needing to be updated for a new state-of-the-art dealership, which is what Steele Auto Group wants to do.”

The conditions and development standards under the special use permit include a 50-foot landscape buffer adjacent to single-family residential property in Oak Creek, a 20-foot landscape buffer adjacent to multi-family properties, no outdoor speakers and a minimum 300-foot rear building setback.

Also, any lighting to the rear of the furthest setback building would be LED directional lighting and reduced to 50% of the brightness used during business hours.

The proposed car dealership location is near a tract of property that earlier was slated for the construction of a new truck stop. Many residents in the Oak Creek subdivision objected to the project, and the applicant withdrew its rezoning and special use permit request.

Resort pause

Upon the applicant’s request, council members postponed the first reading of a rezoning and special use permit request to develop resort property on Sleepy Hollow Lane east of Gruene Road until Aug. 8.

The applicant, TJ Grossi of New Braunfels-based Schumann Consulting, is requesting the special use permit to allow a resort property with an RV park and individually owned cottages and cabins with limited additional development standards to regulate the scale and character of the resort in the floodway.

About 80% of the nearly 20-acre tract is located within the Guadalupe River floodway and 1% annual chance floodplain, which would require additional regulations and development standards.

Council members approved the first reading of a proposed rezoning and special use permit request that would allow the construction of 19 duplexes on a five acres tract at 2841 Goodwin Lane.

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