May 28, 2009

Hill Country control is denied

A Editorial: Land Use Legislation
A proposal to authorize county commissioners to exercise more control over land use appears dead — once again the victim of a lethal combination of ambivalence, inertia and bad timing. During the 2007 session, a similar proposal was a victim of a legislative homicide by anonymous perpetrators. This year’s version is dead. It didn’t commit suicide, but there isn’t quite enough evidence yet to rule it a homicide. It’s yet another good idea buried in the tumult of a session’s finale. See full editorial and leave your comments here.

Hill Country control is denied – Response

In response to the Austin American Statesman Commentary dated 5.28.09, HCA Board Member Milan Michalec writes:
In refusing to allow Judges and County Commissioners of the Hill Country to ask voters to approve basic development tools for local application, lawmakers have denied options for the most basic protection of groundwater quantity and quality in the Trinity Aquifer. See full response here.

Blanco County ranch to receive Leopold Conservation Award for Texas

On May 27 in Austin, Selah-Bamberger Ranch Preserve in Blanco County received the 2009 Leopold Conservation Award for Texas from Sand County Foundation and Texas Parks and Wildlife Department, part of the department’s Lone Star Land Steward Awards program. Read full TSCRA news updatehere.

May 26, 2009

Lerin Hills sewer plant gets TCEQ approval

Like a cat with nine lives the Lerin Hills development lives on after narrowly clearing another regulatory hurdle in Austin. Lerin Hills is a proposed mixed-use development on 867 acres on Highway 46 west of Boerne. Plans call for 1,475 residential lots and a 65-acre commercial area. The Texas Commission on Environmental Quality voted 2-1 last week to approve a wastewater discharge permit for the development despite a sharply worded recommendation for denial by the administrative law judge who presided over a contested case hearing that was requested by neighboring property owner Rick Wood. Read full Boerne Star article here.

May 20, 2009

TPWD Hears about proposed permit to remove sand/gravel from Llano River

On May 12th, about three-dozen Llano County neighbors and their attorneys and consultants made the trip to Texas Parks and Wildlife Headquarters to discuss a proposed permit to remove sand and gravel from the Llano River. Joining them in Austin were several interested persons who offered insight into how a decision on this permit could shape state policy towards the management of rivers. Read full Llano News article here.

May 15, 2009

Silent Springs – is it too late to save Hill Country water?

Sixty feet below the shimmering surface of Jacob’s Well, an artesian spring that for thousands of years has pulsed iridescent blue-green water from the Trinity Aquifer to the surface, a sophisticated instrument measures the spring’s vital signs. The results are beamed almost instantaneously to the Internet. These days the gauge detects only the thinnest of pulses. Read the full Texas Observer article here.

Texas Hill Country Ranch Restoring Native, Natural Beauty

Nestled in the Texas Hill Country, right outside Johnson City, is the Bamberger Ranch – 5,500 acres of land now considered one of the largest habitat restoration projects in the state. It’s a plan that took the past 40 years to achieve. Little by the little the ranch has been a work in progress to restore the cedar-choked land to its natural beauty. Native trees and grasses are providing a haven for wildlife and an increasing number of bird species. Read the full KEYE article and watch news video here.

May 1, 2009

Armbrust: Give counties power over growth

A Commentary by David Armbrust
As a land use attorney, I have been involved in many development projects throughout Texas, ranging from small urban infill to thousands of acres. Today, I urge the Legislature to give the authority to regulate growth to those counties that make up the Texas Hill Country. Read the full commentaryhere.

LCRA Transition Line Open House Meetings

The LCRA has scheduled public meetings regarding Hill Country transmission line projects in Gillespie, Llano, Kendall, Kerr, Kimble and other counties. These are open house style meetings. Landowners are encouraged to participate. The organization, Save Our Scenic Hill Country Environment, SOSHCE, is organizing landowners who have concerns about the effects of property values as a result of these projects. Open House information and dates here. Learn more about SOSHCE here.