January 31, 2011

Texas firm plans 50 homes on Horseshoe Bay golf course

A Texas-based limited partnership plans to build 50 upscale homes in a gated community near two holes of a Jack Nicklaus signature golf course in Horseshoe Bay, west of Austin on Lake LBJ. And the company plans to acquire other nearby land in an area it says is prime for more growth. Read more from Statesman.com here.

Bill Aids Landowners Protecting Texas’ Water Supply

A bipartisan group of legislators, representing both rural and urban parts of the state, is supporting a bill that would create an innovative incentive for landowners to protect water resources, preserve the state’s cultural heritage by protecting natural resources on privately owned land, and advance Texas’ long-range water plan – all without costing taxpayers money. Learn more

January 28, 2011

Native Grasses take root again in Texas

“Why are we using these weird landscaping plants that’s burning up all of our drinking water?” HCA Board member Bill Neiman quoted in the Texas Tribune. Read the full article here. Listen to “A discussion of Native Seeds in Texas” here.

January 26, 2011

Water advisory group considers industry needs in regional plan

The importance of a firm water supply for electricity production and the industrial economy is considered by the committee helping LCRA to update their Water Management Plan. The plan spells out how water is allocated from lakes Travis and Buchanan in times of drought. Read more from LCRA here.

Legislators recommend tools to help manage growth

The House Committee on County Affairs submitted its Interim Report to the 82nd Texas Legislature this week. “The Texas Legislature should consider adopting limited and reasonable measures to protect against incompatible land uses in high growth areas outside of city jurisdiction.” Read the Executive Summary relating to growth management tools here. Read the full report here.

From the Lincoln Institute: Learn about reshaping development patterns

A recent posting from the Lincoln Institute hits home. “…in many areas there is a large surplus of already platted lots, improperly located to foster smart growth…most of these lots have non-existent or poor services…” This scenario is a national trend and evident here in the Hill Country leaving existing tax payers to pick up the tab for roads, water infrastructure, and schools. Read more here.

January 25, 2010

Gov. Perry Names Timmerman Chair of Lower Colorado River Authority Board of Directors

Read more here.

January 23, 2011

Army gets a bargain to protect warblers and its mission

The Army and the Nature Conservancy have announced a $3 million conservation easement for 610 acres of prime golden-cheeked warbler habitat in northwest Bexar County. Read more from the San Antonio Express here.

Save Our Scenic Hill Country Environment January 23rd news

Key updates pertaining to the McCamey D to Kendall CREZ transmission line. PUC selects final round that parallels IH-10 for a significant part. SOSHC stresses long term involvement of landowners. Read more from SOSHE here.

January 21, 2011

CREZ Transmission Line Finds Middle Ground in Hill Country

At its regularly scheduled Open Meeting on January 20, the Public Utility Commission of Texas (PUC) selected the final route for a controversial, high-voltage Competitive Renewable Energy Zone (CREZ) transmission line that will stretch 150 miles from near San Angelo to Comfort. Read more from Clearview Alliance here.

January 20, 2011

Mayor Brent Hinckley reports PUC transmission lines decision

Last week appears to mark the end of our local concerns about a large 345Kv Transmission Line being built in Mason County. Read more from the Mason County News here.

January 17, 2011

As Pedernales co-op leaders push ‘green’ reforms, some members balk at costs

“…lately, members of the nation’s largest customer-owned electric utility have pushed for a new type of reform — creating a greener, more environmentally friendly co-op. That has set up a new conflict with other members who say Pedernales should focus exclusively on cutting spending and reducing electric bills.” Read full Statesman.com article here.

PUC Carefully Deliberating Fate of Hill Country

At its regularly scheduled Open Meeting last week, the Public Utility Commission (PUC) began the last stage of the process that will result in the construction of a high-voltage Competitive Renewable Energy Zone (CREZ) transmission line stretching from near San Angelo to Comfort. The commissioners are evaluating evidence and considering intervenor-requested adjustments as they determine the final route for this controversial project –Read more

New sales tax eyed for water plan

After 30 years of political and legal fights, there is a tentative plan to protect endangered species at the San Marcos and Comal springs while allowing farmers and cities such as San Antonio to continue to pump from the Edwards Aquifer. The only catch is the plan costs an estimated $30 million a year. Read full SA Express article here.

January 16, 2011

CREZ updates from SOSHE

The PUC did not make final decisions January 13th but are expected to on January 20th. Chairman Smitherman has filed a letter indicating what he believes to be the best routes. A Town Hall Meeting in Fredericksburg on February 20th will feature Representative Miller. Learn more here.

January 13, 2011

Texas Water Symposium on Water-Energy Nexus, January 27

With a rapidly growing population, Texas needs a lot of water and a lot of energy. These resources are usually considered separately. The Texas Water Symposium goes deep into the complex issues of water and energy, and explains the critical interrelated aspects of these two essential resources. Read more here.

January 12, 2011

2011 Resolution: Be more conservative this year

It’s 2011, a new year for practicing a forward-looking and still age-old concept: conservation. Read The Boerne Star article here.

January 10, 2011

The PUC meets Thursday about CREZ

The PUC is getting down to a final decision about the route for a high-voltage transmission line from near San Angelo in the western Hill Country to Comfort in the heart of the region. Listen to the Hill Country View: Transmission Routes Decision and Transmission Routes Decision Effect on Economy.Learn more

CVA Asks PUC for Larger Meeting Venue to Accommodate Hill Country Residents

In its continuing effort to help Hill Country residents make their concerns known regarding LCRA’s proposed transmission line, the Clear View Alliance asked the Public Utility Commission to consider holding the Open Meeting scheduled for January 13 at larger venue than the Commissioners’ Hearing Room. The Commissioners are expected to make a decision on the controversial CREZ route that will stretch high-voltage transmission lines from near San Angelo to Comfort. Read more here. for up to date information from PUC about the Open Meeting: http://www.puc.state.tx.us/openmeet/index.cfm

Flatrock Springs project gets approval

Marble Falls City Council members have unanimously approved the largest rezoning application in the city’s history, giving the green light to Flatrock Springs, a mixed-use development that will be located at the northwest corner of Texas Highway 71 and U.S. Highway 281. Flatrock Springs calls for more than 1,030 acres of land to be turned into residential and commercial retail space. View full KXAN news story here.

The Hill Country Chapter of the Texas Master Naturalists meeting Monday, January 24

The laws and ethics pertaining to wildlife conservation will be the topic of the January 24th 2011 monthly meeting of the Hill Country Chapter of the Texas Master Naturalist. Richard Heilbrun, a wildlife biologist with Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, will lay the groundwork for an interactive discussion of the evolution of conservation in Texas, followed by a lively discussion of the dynamic beliefs and attitudes we hold as Master Naturalists and as Texans. Read more here.

January 5, 2011

Landowners Recount Daunting Experience of Transmission Line Routing Process

“…when it’s all said and done, I will know that we did everything we could to preserve the Hill Country’s wide open spaces and our way of life for the benefit of future generations. That keeps me going.” stated Bill Neiman. Read the full article by Lorie Woodward Cantu for Texas Wildlife Magazine, a publication of the Texas Wildlife Association here.