LETTER TO THE EDITOR: A ‘Knightmare’ on Mockingbird Street
Lew White, Lockhart’s mayor, and Lockhart City Councilmembers Juan Mendoza, Kara McGregor, Jeffry Michelson, and Brad Westmoreland failed to listen to the concerns of citizens of Lockhart and families living within Windridge Subdivision. Meredith Knight, manager at Knight Real Estate Corporation, proposed for the change of the 4.31 acres that is currently “vacant land” to make the switch to light-medium commercial land use. Knight proposed a convenience store, with gas pumps, a “restaurant,” and dedicated .56 of an acre to be used for a public city park.
The residents of Windridge rallied together in protest to this so called “Knightmare,” claiming that Highway 142, also known as San Antonio Street, and Mockingbird cannot handle any more traffic. The Windridge Subdivision only has one way in and one way out. The fears are that TxDOT has not and will not do anything to fix San Antonio Street in the near future.
Another concern brought up was about the safety of the children with putting in a convenience store, which increases crime and traffic. One Lockhart resident said “if it is convenient to you it is convenient for crime.” A former Lockhart City Councilmember begged for the current council to deny the request of Knight, saying that she personally walks children across San Antonio Street because even Lockhart ISD deemed San Antonio Street an unsafe highway for children to cross.
The residents of Windridge also saw the park as a negative to the proposed plan for several reasons 1) there are only 2 designated parking spots, one of which is handicap, this means that all overflow of people wanting to go to the park will have to park along Mockingbird street 2) the “restaurant” could potentially have a patio, which would welcome anyone and everyone into the park 3) the park will be located directly behind houses within the Windridge subdivision which can cause issues with noise, privacy, and light pollution.
There were a total of two people that attended the meeting in favor for the change from a vacant lot to light-medium commercial zoning. The meeting room was packed with people who were protesting this change, if I had to guess there were at least 20-25 people who spoke against this plan.
Council member, Angie Gonzales-Sanchez, was opposed to Knight’s proposed plan because “Lockhart does not have the infrastructure” to support the convenience store, “restaurant,” or park in the location proposed at this time. Sanchez also saw, recognized, and addressed the concerns of people living within the Windridge Subdivision.
Council member, Westmoreland, said several times “I remember the cotton fields,” meaning that he lived here when Lockhart was nothing but cotton fields. Westmoreland was for the proposed change, claiming that he lives on one of the busiest corners in Lockhart. Westmoreland lives in a residential area and I feel that it is unfair to compare a busy residential area to a highway and a subdivision that only has one way in and one way out.
By the way Mayor Lew White spoke at the meeting, one could tell that he and fellow council members had already made up their minds on how they were going to vote. Mayor White compared convenience store lights to the baseball field lights, another invalid comparison.
He failed to listen to the concerns of his citizens. He failed the Windridge subdivision. He failed all citizens of Lockhart who have to take Highway 142 to Kyle, San Marcos, Seguin, or Austin just to name a few. He failed us all and now we will have to live with this “Knightmare.”