Tesla Motors Inc proposal to come up with a showroom in San Antonio hit a roadblock on Tuesday. The zoning commission, citing environmental hazards, did not approve the firms plan to build a showroom near La Cantera, says a report from KENS5.
Vote due in September
For its first San Antonio location, Tesla Motors picked a spot close to Leon Creek, which is part of the Edwards Aquifer. However, the zoning group objected over the risks of batteries being built on environmentally sensitive land.
In a public meet, the Commission took note of a report from the San Antonio Water System (SAWS), which studied the impact of the chemicals used in the lithium ion batteries.
SAWS did recommend that Tesla can go ahead with the showroom, provided it promises not to keep more than 10 batteries on the premises at any time. However, not even this was acceptable to the commission, who believe the environmental risks are still too big to ignore.
Dr. Francine Romero, the District 8 Zoning Commissioner, told in the meet “It’s not just that it’s on top of the aquifer, it’s also very close to the Leon Creek, so in two ways, we think there is not a precedent for this.”
Romero is the same person, who introduced the proposal. The city council will be holding a vote on the proposal on September 3rd. Though the zoning commission did not deny the proposal, by not approving they have made known their intentions.
The stance of the group may make the situation tough for the Ron Nirenberg, the District 8 councilman, who represent the La Cantera area. Nirenberg has been vocal in his support for the Tesla showroom.
Tesla Motors to “fight hard” in Michigan
Separately, in Michigan, Tesla Motors plans to “fight hard” to get an approval for its direct sales model. On Tuesday, Tesla VP of business development, Diarmuid O’Connell told reporters, “We’ve got a rabid fan base here who are buying cars everywhere else in the U.S. and bringing them here, having them drop shipped here.”
In October, Gov. Rick Snyder signed a bill blocking car makers from selling the cars directly in Michigan. The bill plugged the loophole that the EV firm had used in other states to operate company-owned retail stores.
O’Connell told he is in discussions with the stakeholders including dealers, automakers, and legislators to make the case strong for Tesla.
On Tuesday, Tesla shares closed up 2.42% at $266.28, and year to date, the stock is up almost 20%.