They're not declaring independence and setting off fireworks yet, but Bexar County's newest town, the town of Sandy Oaks, is one step closer to incorporation, 1200 WOAI news reports.


  Attorney Art Martinez de Vara, who is representing people who live along I-37 south of Loop 1604, says the San Antonio Planning Commission has voted 5-3 to recommend incorporation of the 3.99 square mile area.  It still needs to be approved by the full San Antonio Council, because the area is in San Antonio's extra territorial jurisdiction.


  "The residents of Sandy Oaks are seeking the opportunity to take responsibility for their own community," Martinez de Vara said.  "They are willing to tax and regulate themselves.  In a year where the City of San Antonio is reducing staff to meet their budget, it seems clear that the best way to service this community is to form the City of Sandy Oaks.


  Residents say their remote location, the fact that the City of San Antonio is cutting its budget for services and Bexar County is overwhelmed with growth to the north, means the only way for them to get basic services like animal control, street lighting, and garbage collection is to incorporate and do it themselves.


  Martinez de Vara says if incorporated, Sandy Oaks would have a population of about 3800, which would make it larger than many existing Bexar County cities, including Hollywood Park, Shavano Park, and Hill Country Village.


  Martinez de Vara is also the mayor of Von Ormy, and he helped those residents incorporate into an independent community in 2008.


  Pedro Orduno, who heads the Committee to Incorporate Sandy Oaks, says the time is now to make it an independent community.


  "We cannot wait 25 years for San Antonio to get to us," he said.  "We need services and safety today."