Blanco County Commissioners met during the regularly held meeting on August 14, 2012. The Commissioners Court voted to enact a burn ban until the first Commissioners’ Court meeting scheduled for September.
The Blanco County Commissioners’ Court conducted a special meeting on August 28, 2012. The Court considered approval of the preliminary plat of The Summit at Cypress Mill subdivision. The proposed plat contains 99 lots and was presented by Ron Fiesler and Dave Roberts.
The public meeting included discussions from concerned residents in the Cypress Creek area. One resident expressed concerns of adequate groundwater supplies and suitability of infrastructure. This resident said life-long area residents have made significant commitments to conservation and management of water resources. Concern was also expressed about the multiple low water crossings in the area, and the Court was asked if the infrastructure would provide suitable access for traffic.
Another resident addressed the Court. Concerns were also voiced by this resident regarding groundwater supplies and infrastructure. He noted that of ten wells initially drilled, one of the wells was dry and two others were “weak.” The speaker asked if a resolution could be passed, saying there would be no imminent domain to widen County Road 301, and that any responsibility for this would be incurred by developers rather than taxpayers. Both residents asked the Court to consider the availability of resources for the environment, agriculture, and wildlife in the Cypress Creek area.
Dave Roberts also addressed the Commissioners Court on behalf of the developer. Roberts said the developer’s projects are not small ones, but include larger tracts. Roberts said it would be very unlikely for all 99 lots to include wells because buyers often purchase multiple lots, and these developments generally do not “build out.” Roberts noted all county regulations had been followed “to a ‘T.”
Ron Fielser addressed the Court. According to Ron Fiesler, pump testing for the area has been done with a consulting geologist and included geophysical logging. Fiesler referred to Groundwater Restrictions regarding the exceptions category for tracts greater than ten acres used for domestic and livestock purposes. Fiesler stated the exceptions can be modified to any size tract if less than 25,000 gallons are pumped per day. Blanco County restrictions include a five acre rule for this category.
Commisioner Liesmann asked if the Cypress Creek area meets or exceeds county requirements. Fiesler answered that “yes, it does, but amounts can vary.” Fiesler suggested that in a period of drought, residents could install pumps or storage tanks.
Another resident asked if data on draw down of the proposed Cypress Creek site was addressed in the water report. Fiesler answered that testing was done only on wells and nearby adjacent wells. The study addressed how fast the water moves and how it is stored, but not surface water interaction.
Commissioner Liesmann stated the developers had met all legal requirements, and that no plans exist to expand County Road 301. Residents asked if restrictions could include language to alert future buyers to potential water problems and to state that no plans existed to expand the infrastructure.
Fiesler replied that the proposed plat says the county is not responsible. County Judge Bill Guthrie explained that the authority to individual counties granted by the State of Texas is “very limited,” and that there is no ordinance power. Judge Guthrie added that Blanco County requires “five times more than the state requires,” and that the Commissioners make every effort to maintain solid ground and avoid litigation. Judge Guthrie concluded his remarks by saying, “we don’t necessarily agree or endorse continued development, but there isn’t a single thing we can do legally…I feel your pain.”
Commissioner Granberg reminded everyone that a similar development had previously been implemented in the southern part of the county. The development included 1000 acres with quarter-acre lots, a public water system, and a golf course. Although residents had initially expressed concerns of water availability, the development had seen limited build up during the past several years.
Granberg also mentioned a location near the Blanco River with two low water crossings where residents have been stranded in their homes for several days during floods. The county has raised the bridge there, but during heavy flooding, “the potential for being stuck for a lengthy time is there.”
According to County Judge Guthrie, the preliminary plat states water and roads are not guaranteed by the county. The developers agreed to monitor the condition of the road and said the majority of new residents in the Cypress Mill subdivision would be constructing residences for secondary homes only. Ron Fiesler concluded by saying new plans will include wells authorized for drilling, and that prospective buyers are educated on water availability and other potential issues in the area.
There were no further questions, and the Commissioners voted to approve the preliminary plat of the Summit at Cypress Mill subdivision. A final plat will be voted on at a later date.
In other business, the Commissioners approved payment of several invoices, including an invoice for $25,908.75 to Motorola for radios. Prompt action was needed to receive benefit from the grant process for this equipment purchase.