Pelaez Asks State and Local Authorities to Join Investigation of Northwest S.A. Apartment Development

click to enlarge Councilman Manny Pelaez said he's never seen his constituents "so apoplectic and angry." - Photo via Manny Pelaez's Facebook page
Photo via Manny Pelaez's Facebook page
Councilman Manny Pelaez said he's never seen his constituents "so apoplectic and angry."
Councilman Manny Pelaez today demanded local and state authorities probe whether the developer of the Mansions of La Cantera apartment project violated the law when workers razed a possible endangered species habitat.

In letters to District Attorney Nico LaHood and Texas Attorney General Ken Paxton, Pelaez accused developer Matt Hiles of lying to the city in a 2016 affidavit that maintains no endangered species would be harmed when building the Northwest San Antonio complex.

Hiles' attorney, Bebb Francis, was unavailable for immediate comment.

"I believe the information provided was not only inaccurate but demonstrably false," wrote Pelaez, whose district includes the development. "Deliberate misrepresentations on these types of documents may lead to criminal liability up to and including a felony."

The city last month ordered work to stop on the project over concerns about its paperwork, but by that time crews had already bulldozed 38 acres of trees at the site. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service told the city that it's investigating whether Hiles violated the Endangered Species Act.

Pelaez said the destruction of the green space is a potential black mark the next time federal authorities weigh whether to downsize nearby Camp Bullis. The Army installation relied on the trees to keep endangered species of birds and insects from moving onto the base.

What's more, Pelaez has received an earful from nearby residents outraged by the clear-cutting's impact on their views and property values.

"I've never had anything like this in the year I've served (on council)," Pelaez said. "I've never had this many of my constituents so apoplectic and angry."

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Sanford Nowlin

Sanford Nowlin is editor-in-chief of the San Antonio Current.


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