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Hill Country Groups Wanting More Local Land-use Control

Hill Country groups wanting more local land-use control

As the second fastest-growing county in the country according to U.S. Census Bureau data, Comal County, like others in the Hill Country, is coming face to face with industries that want to set up shop on land that is becoming more and more precious. Annalisa Peace, executive director of the Greater Edwards Aquifer Alliance and a registered state lobbyist, cites incompatible land use as the reason why the GEAA and other groups in the region hope to resurrect a bill…

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Spicewood Eyes Municipal Status

Spicewood eyes municipal status

According to Burnet County Judge James Oakley, Spicewood is a part of “God’s country.” The native Central Texan, who has lived in the Spicewood area for more than two decades, said he has witnessed the unincorporated area’s expansion that has replaced fishing cabins with new homes. He said that despite its residents’ failed attempt to incorporate into a city or village about 15 years ago, Spicewood will eventually become a municipality. “To me, it’s just a matter of time as…

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UT Study: More Development Regulation Needed

UT study: More development regulation needed

A major new study on protecting the Hill Country from unrelenting population growth and land development was recently unveiled for Comal County residents. “People love this place and they really want to be here and appreciate the beauty that the Hill Country has to offer, but if we’re not prepared to deal with growth and manage it effectively, we have the potential to love this place to death,” study co-author Britin Bostick told the crowd of about 75 attending a…

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Grassroots Success In Spicewood

Grassroots success in Spicewood

“Concerns raised by a group of nearby residents involve dust controls, entryways for trucks on Texas 71, potential runoff of chemicals or other materials into a nearby creek," said Michael Moore, founder of Save Our Spicewood. "Spicewood-area residents have approached county officials about their concerns; however, the local entity has no regulatory authority in commercial and industrial operations.” Appeal halts work on Spicewood asphalt plant The Lower Colorado River Authority has issued a second stop-work order in four months for…

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Rock Crushing Operation Planned For Blanco County- Public Encouraged To Comment By April 17

Rock Crushing Operation Planned for Blanco County- Public Encouraged to Comment by April 17

This Friday, April 17th will be the final day for the public to make comments regarding a sand and gravel operation currently seeking a permit to operate along the banks of the Pedernales River. The facility would be permitted to produce more than 500,000 tons of rock, sand and gravel and would be located roughly 1,000 feet from the Pedernales River- one of the Hill Country's most pristine river systems. Stakeholders concerned about the dust, particulate matter, runoff, noise and…

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Texas suburbs are growing faster than cities

Counties are growing at extremely high rates, in part because of the lack of land use planning ability outside of our cities. This trend has tremendous costs to tax-payers for basic infrastructure needs such as roads, water and schools. “Hays County, just south of Austin, is projected to be the fastest-growing county, by percentage, in all of Texas by 2050” Read more from the Austin Business Journal. Learn more about County Planning authority here.

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We need smart growth

Op-Ed by Ron Walton Printed in the New Braunfels Herald-Zeitung I am writing as a private citizen as I do a monthly solicited letter to editor as a public official as the Comal/Guadalupe County elected volunteer for the Edwards Aquifer Authority (EAA) board of Directors, District 9, having served since election in 2010 and re-election in 2014, to serve through 2018. It continues to be a privilege to serve you and to be a licensed real estate broker with my…

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Dripping Springs residents strategize how to stop proposed concrete plant

A plan to build a concrete batch plant northwest of Dripping Springs has created an uproar among some residents. The plant, which would be operated as Dripping Wet Concrete, has received a preliminary approval for an air quality standard permit, according to documents provided on the TCEQ website. The plant will release a variety of air contaminants, including aggregate, cement and road dust, the document indicates. Read more from Austin Business Journal. Read more about the lack of county oversight…

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When private property rights clash with the public good

“I have never understood why in Texas zoning laws are good for city mice but not for country mice, especially as we lose more and more of the open land that is necessary to our survival as a species every year, but that is the way it is and there seems to be no way to change it until Texans get tired of seeing our state gobbled up by strip malls and truck stops and march on the state capitol…

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