The voices of neighbors near one of the designated World Heritage sites have been heard. As our John Salazar found out, development near these historic sites may not happen as easy as expected.

"We just started this petition probably three or four weeks ago," said resident Armando Santiago.

In that time frame, Santiago's effort has gotten the attention of San Antonio City Hall.

"I did get calls from some of the neighborhoods. I did receive some signatures," said Councilwoman Rebecca Viagran.

About 460 signatures -- give or take another 200 names printed and attached to those signatures.

The petition is part of an organized fight to stop 210 Developers' plan to build 144 apartments across the street from San Jose Mission.

"What was proposed at HDRC and what I saw was something kind of startling. That it was three stories. That it wasn't even within our mission protection overlay," said Viagran.

"We're not against development. We're against an apartment complex going up across from the only World Heritage site in Texas. One of 1,030 World Heritage sites in the world," said Armando Cortez with the Mission San Jose Association.

But not everyone on the south side is being rubbed the wrong way.

Vicente Huizar has deep roots with the San Jose Mission.

County records show he is a direct descendant of Don Pedro Huizar, the man commissioned in the 18th Century by the Spanish government to oversee final completion of the mission.

Huizar said he thinks any new construction will bring economic benefits to the area.

"Let 'em build," said Huizar. "It's not just the people building the apartments that are going to make money. The south side is going to have money. The car washes. The tire shops."

For now, the promise of progress for this parcel of land is on hold.

The city commission responsible for project approval kicked the plans back down to a lower committee for further review.

Neighbors are also vowing to keep up the fight.

"We're going to continue with that," said Santiago.

The developers told TWC News the project is on hold, to address everyone's concerns.

The city's Historic and Design Review Commission has the power to approve or disapprove construction projects in historically designated areas around town.

TWC News will keep you posted as this story develops.


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