Newspaper Archive of
Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
April 26, 2017     Hays Free Press
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April 26, 2017

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+ Lady Rebels look ahead to playoff run. - Page 1B HOMES FOR HEROES National program gives home to disabled Marine. - Page 1C (~) BARTON PUBUCATIONS, ]NC. : ................ Vol. 121 No. 5 Ig Buda, Kyle and Northeast Hays County, TX 75 f BY MOSES LEOS III A proposed house bill could call for " five groundwater 'i conservation districts (GCD) spread across Hays, Blanco, Burnet, Comal and Kendall Counties to merge into a single aquifer management entity. But concerns are rising that the legislation filed by State Rep. Jason Isaac (R-Dripping Springs) has resurfaced debate over state versus local control. Isaac's bill, HB 3677, would create the Heart of Texas Aquifer District (HOTAD), which would span the five county area and include the Hays Trinity, Blanco- Pedernales, Comal Trinity, Cow Creek and Central Texas Groundwater Conservation Districts. The bill would dissolve the five districts and require they transfer, their debts, assets and obligations to the HOTAD, which would have full GCD powers via Chapter 36 of the Texas Water Code. GCDs unaffected by the legislation include Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer, Edwards Aquifer and Plum Creek. According to !anguage in the bill, the HOTAD would have five directors appointed by the Hays, Blanco, Burnet, Kendall and Comal commissioners courts. During a virtual town hall on Facebook, Isaac said the reason for the bill was to eliminate the "patchwork quilt" of districts that regulate groundwater in Central Texas and consolidate all those districts into one. The concern, Isaac said, was that each district has different rules for aquifer regulation. "We need to do more based on science, in my opinion, on how water flows and not on man-made political boundaries," Isaac said. He added the bill was not an attempt for a water grab for Other counties. "We have food to grow and animals to feed, and we have economic development and tourism we enjoy in Hays County," Isaac said. "We want to protect those springs." Linda Kaye Rogers, board president of the Hays Trinity Groundwater Conservation District, is concerned about the bill, primarily the operation of the proposed HOTAD. GROUNDWATER, 4A Buda's heritage oak trees have been protected by city officials when planning improvement projects, but proposed BY SAMANTHA SMITH Protections that help preserve heritage trees in cities such as Buda could go by the wayside if legislation makes its way through the Texas Senate. As city leaders keep an eye on Senate Bill 782, authored by State Sen. Donna Campbell (R-New Braunfels), Buda Plan- ning and Zoning Commission- ers are forwarding to council possible changes to the city's Unified Development Code (UDC) that address perceived flaws regarding heritage trees. Those changes, which in- clude stiffer penalties for those who cut down trees, could make their way into the city's new UDC should the Buda City Council decide on it in the future. Colin Strother, Buda P&Z chair, said issues with Buda's draft for the new UDC extended to language that could allow those who cut down a heritage tree to replace it with new trees. "That's not what we want to go for," Strother said, "We want them (City Council) to have to protect the trees that are already here." Strother said that P&Z com- mission members made recom- mendations to city council to "remove the provisions allowing people to cut down whatever trees they want and add a tax or penalty for those individuals who cut down protected and heritage trees." Wiener Dog Races The wiener dogs are back at Buda City Park April 29 and 30 for one of Central Texas' biggest wiener dog festivals. Watch pups from all over put their best paws forward in the wiener dog races, enjoy local vendors and snacks and listen to live music at this annual event. Other events include pet parades martial arts demonstrations, a spelling bee, cook-offs and much more. See for a schedule or to register your racer. NO MO POLLO Restaurant chain to close in Kyle, San Marcos. - Page 1D PHOTO BY MOSES LEOS III legislation could change that practice. Strother is currently serving his third term on the P&Z Board and remembers when the mis- sion to protect the trees in Buda got a shove forward. "The issue of protecting our trees was more of a sunrise than a lightning strike," Strother said. "It most likely escalated when TxDOT wanted to cut down 163 trees to widen 967." Strother said that most of the desired 163 trees were heritage BUDA TREES, 2A 111e I Work and Career of Sandra Cisneros Join the Wittliff Collections on Saturday, April 29 for a day-long scholarly sympo- sium on Sandra Cisneros' diverse body of work and celebrated career, featuring lectures by scholars from around the coun- try. The event will last from 10 a.m to 5 p.m. and is free and open to the pub- lic On April 30 from 2-4 p.m., Cisneros will join the Wittliff to celebrate the opening of her archives with a public reading, an in- terview by John Phillip Santos and a book signing. The Wittliff Collections is located on the seventh floor of the Alkek Library at Texas State University. BY LESLY DE LEON Furor is growing among residents of a Kyle neigh- borhood who expressed frustrations to the Kyle City Council last week about Lehma Hi , ,stu- dents park~g in residen- tial areas. But two proposals attempting to fix the issue were both denied by Kyle City Council members, leaving Kyle city officials to find ways to alleviate the issue, which encompass- es several streets in the Southlake Ranch Estates PARKING, 4A HB 4122 Author- Kyle Kacal (R-College Station) What: Bill would allow the owner of a parcel of land greater than 1,000 acres and included in the jurisdiction of two or more groundwater districts to petition to transfer their entire par- cel of land into a single district. Status - In committee: HB 4122 went before the House Natural Resources Committee April 5, but has not made its way to the house floor. State Rep. Jason Isaac (R-Dripping Springs) said the bill was postponed. It could have a committee substitute that lessens the require- ment for land size to 100 acres. 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