7:30 a.m. FRIDAY, JAN. 17: The Wimberley City Council approved H-E-B’s application on a 4-1 vote.
FROM STAFF REPORTS
WIMBERLEY — H-E-B’s plans to build a 46,500-square-foot grocery store on the campus of the shuttered Bowen Intermediate School has predictably stirred passions among certain residents loath to accept changes to an eccentric village they tend to like as-is.
At a 6 p.m. meeting today, the Wimberley City Council is scheduled to consider adoption of a planned development district encompassing about eight acres wedged between Ranch Road 12 and FM 2325. H-E-B’s intentions survived the Wimberley Planning & Zoning Commission by the barest of margins, 4-3, on Dec. 18. Anticipating large crowds, the council meeting has been moved from city hall to the community center, 14068 Ranch Road 12.
Yet some Wimberley residents are as thrilled about an alternative to Brookshire Bros. — the town’s only grocery store for decades — as their neighbors are concerned about introduction of even a smallish big box to the landscape. (A big box is a store larger than 50,000 square feet, according to Investopedia. The average H-E-B is 55,000 square feet and the average Wal-Mart is 105,000 square feet, according to Reuters).
Even a statement issued on Jan. 10 in the name of development-wary Citizens Alliance for Responsible Development’s steering committee seems to betray a stark range of differences among its own members, a group that includes some of the valley’s most inconsolable no-growthers. The statement, titled “CARD and H-E-B Seek Common Ground,” outlines the group’s problems with H-E-B’s proposal at length but culminates with tepid “recommendations” such that “the informed people of Wimberley should decide whether H-E-B comes to our town.”
“Despite the fervent wishes of many, Wimberley is not in a time capsule. Change is going to happen,” the committee’s statement reads, at the same time simple observance of fact and radical concession.
Perhaps CARD’s resigned tone is the biggest indication of all that H-E-B will get its Wimberley store and Wimberley its H-E-B.