Just outside of Austin, where the Pedernales River winds lazily through the Hill Country before pouring into the Colorado, a series of parks and preserves showcase and protect large swaths of rugged Texas wilderness.
The Westcave Outdoor Discovery Center harbors a 40-foot waterfall with a lush grotto ensconced below, hung with mosses and ferns. And less than a mile away, water races over another cliff to create Hamilton Pool, fed by springs from farther uphill where the Edwards Aquifer spills out onto land. Just upstream, along Hamilton Creek, Milton Reimers Ranch offers over 18 miles of trails for visitors to hike and limestone bluffs for rock climbers.
Situated between these preserves is Stagecoach Ranch, a large tract of land with 85 homes, each on 10-acre plots, all of which are accessible only by one single-lane, dead-end road. And it’s there that Kristy Petree and Sandra Bennett, co-owners of a development company called BenTree builders, hope to develop an RV park.
“It’s beautiful,” Petree said. “I’ve been in this area since college. It’s just fantastic.”
But neighbors aren’t convinced that an RV park would be the best use of the land and worry about the effect it might have on the environment.
One of the concerns most commonly raised is the possibility of sewage leaking into Hamilton Creek. The proposed site for development sits on a steep slope about 1,000 feet from the creek. The developers have proposed an onsite septic system with a design flow of up to 4,836 gallons a day that would reuse the treated wastewater on green space at the site, as opposed to discharging into the creek.
Read more from Jerald Pinson with the Austin American-Statesman here.