How San Antonio Might Become One of the Nation's Largest Cities

December 22, 2014

San Antonio is moving ahead with plans to annex as much as 66 square miles around it, a land grab that would add as many as 200,000 people to the city and potentially make it the nation’s fifth-largest metropolis.

The San Antonio City Council this month voted in favor of conducting a fiscal analysis of the proposed annexation. The process requires further council approval and the annexation would take about four years to complete. City leaders say the move would allow San Antonio, currently the nation’s seventh-largest city with 1.4 million people, to better manage growth and remain economically vibrant.

If the annexation occurs, San Antonio could break into the ranks of the top five biggest U.S. cities, behind New York, Los Angeles, Chicago and Houston and ahead of Philadelphia and Phoenix, now Nos. 5 and 6.

“Cities that do not grow run the risk of two things happening: They will lose control over development outside their boundaries, and they will lose control over their long-term finances,” said San Antonio City Councilman Joe Krier.

But some residents of the unincorporated areas in line to be annexed are opposed, fearing they will be forced to pay higher taxes and receive little in return.

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