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New Law Requires Texas Landlords To Tell Tenants If Their Property Lies In A 100-year Flood Plain

New law requires Texas landlords to tell tenants if their property lies in a 100-year flood plain

A new law requires landlords in Texas to inform prospective renters whether their properties are in flood plains. Jasper Scherer has been writing about this for the Houston Chronicle, where he covers state politics. Read more or listen to the interview from Jill Ament and Alexandra Hart with the Texas Standard here.

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‘Careful What We Ask For’: Dripping Springs Battles Major Hill Country Growing Pains, Development Issues

‘Careful what we ask for’: Dripping Springs battles major Hill Country growing pains, development issues

Diane and Chuck McClaferty live and work on a Dripping Springs ranch. It’s been in Chuck McClaferty’s family for 85 years. They raise beef cattle. They keep honeybees. And a proposed four-lane highway would run right through the middle of their land. Read more from Annie Blanks with San Antonio Express-News here.

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Too Much Of A Good Thing — Dripping Springs Extends Moratorium On New Development

Too much of a good thing — Dripping Springs extends moratorium on new development

The city of Dripping Springs has extended its moratorium on new development until late February amid concerns about rapid growth and insufficient infrastructure. The small Hays County town, known as the “Gateway to the Hill Country,” enacted the moratorium on Nov. 18. It was set to expire Nov. 27, but the city council voted last week to extend it until Feb. 20 to give city officials time to craft a comprehensive plan for the city.   Read more from Annie…

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Nature Can Reduce Costs, Extend Life Of Infrastructure Projects

Nature can reduce costs, extend life of infrastructure projects

A newly published article could prompt discussion around adoption of construction designs and methods that utilize nature to cut costs, extend project lifecycles and improve ecological synergy, according to a Texas A&M AgriLife Research scientist. The lead author is Rusty Feagin, AgriLife Research professor and ecologist in the Department of Ecology and Conservation Biology in the College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, and the Department of Ocean Engineering in the College of Engineering, both at Texas A&M University. In addition to Feagin, 23 U.S. and European professionals…

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Environmental Justice In Urban Development: The Problem Of Green Gentrification

Environmental justice in urban development: the problem of green gentrification

Former railroad turned elevated park, the New York City High Line presents a prime example of creating new green spaces to beautify, ameliorate, and revitalize surrounding communities. Although certainly one of the city’s most popular parks, the High Line also serves as the culprit for a sharp 35% increase in adjacent housing values.   Read more from Chelsea Chen with Environmental Law Institute here.

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Walkability And The Culture Wars

Walkability and the culture wars

An unfortunate recent article by Aaron Gordon for Vice is titled, "Walking Places Is Part of the Culture Wars Now." It's centered around a discussion of recent survey results from Pew Research, which appear to show that a majority of Americans prefer a neighborhood with larger homes and yards, but where driving is a must to get to schools, stores, and restaurants, versus a neighborhood where amenities are in walking distance, but the homes are smaller and closer together.  …

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Zoning And “Bigness”

Zoning and “Bigness”

Back in April, Daniel Herriges at Strong Towns wrote an excellent article called “Pretextual Planning is Absolutely Everywhere.” What does that mean? Essentially, the article is about zoning rules that are written into the code not because the requirement itself is considered important, but because it’s seen as increasing the bargaining power of the municipality vis-à-vis the developer.   Read more from Addison Del Mastro with Strong Towns here.

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Boerne Mayor Bracing For Impact Of Approaching San Antonio Sprawl

Boerne mayor bracing for impact of approaching San Antonio sprawl

That continued explosive development northwest of San Antonio comes at a cost. And Boerne, a quaint town grappling with its own growing pains, could pay a steep price. “Candidly, most of the growth that’s going on is outside of the city limits of Boerne. There are no rules for what that looks like,” Boerne Mayor Tim Handren said. “I don’t know what it’s going to look like. That’s the bad thing."   Read more from the San Antonio Business Journal…

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Droughts Push More People To Migrate Than Floods

Droughts push more people to migrate than floods

After a year of extreme weather, people in the drylands of northern California and the hurricane-drenched bayous of southern Louisiana are brooding on the same question: should we leave? New global research suggests that one of these “water shock” scenarios is more likely to result in migration. World Bank researchers found that people are five times as likely to move following drought conditions as they are after floods or periods of excess water.   Read more from Brett Walton with…

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From The Toilet To The Sink: Water Recycling Battles Scarcity

From the toilet to the sink: water recycling battles scarcity

Would you take a swig of water from your faucet if it originally came from the sewer? Treating wastewater to put it back into public use can help against water crises around the world, according to the United Nations, though the practice has to overcome the "yuck" factor among the public. Wastewater that has been through a treatment plant is typically discharged into rivers.   Read more from Catherine Hours from Phys.org here.

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