SAN ANTONIO - It’s tough for many people to imagine giving up their yard space, mature trees and serenity to move to a more urban lifestyle, even though city leaders are trying to get more families moving in that direction.
"We need space for the dog to run and a back yard and real grass," said Gene Peterson.
He retired and moved close to his daughter in the Stone Oak area to help care for his grandchildren.
Peterson heard debate on the radio about the city’s plan for economic growth which includes the creation of more urban living by 2020.
Peterson insists living near downtown does not fit his lifestyle. He and others wonder about these issues: crime, parking, quality education and convenient grocery shopping.
"Stores are within two or three blocks of my house. In essence, we could walk if we wanted to, but we're lazy and drive," he chuckled.
District 2 Councilwoman Ivy Taylor said the city is trying to address concerns.
"We want to have a diversity of housing options because we can't dictate what one particular family might want or need," she said.
Council approved a tax abatement plan to spark development of 320 apartments or condos along retail space with parking in the Blue Star complex south of Downtown.
"I think families would do great Downtown with the parks and so many events that happen and so many great restaurants," said Jimmy Hover.
The bicycle shop mechanic and Laura Thornell, manager at the Blue Star Bicycling Company, said business has been good. Both have noticed more families moving to rental units in the south town area.
"I think that people are able to go to the places they enjoy easily by riding a bicycle or walking," said Thornell.
The wheels keep turning, as city leaders try to come up with more ideas to make urban living attractive to more people used to an suburban way of life.