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Hays Free Press
Kyle, Texas
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June 5, 2003     Hays Free Press
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June 5, 2003
 

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Page 2 The Free Press June 5, 2003 i BY DANIEL MIOtAEL Susie Carter mischaracterized his Staff Writer advice in a local newspaper arti- cle regarding a proposed morato- COUNTY-In a letter to Haysrium on county subdivision plats. County Judge Jim Powers, In the May 31 edition of the Austin subdivision attorney J. San Marcos Daily Record, Carter Greg Hudson of Austin said Pct. said Hudson supported the idea 2 Hays County Commissionerof Hays County instituting some Hays County Commissioner Susie Carter of Pct. 2, center, proposed a moratorium on subdivision development during Tuesday's commis- sioner's court meeting. The commissioners flatly rejected Carter's idea, which was a moot- point anyway because the court does not have the authority to impose such a moratorium. Commissioner Debbie Ingalsbe is on the left. (photo by Daniel Michael) kind of building moratorium as a judge stayed the effective date of curb against growth. However, the injunction for a period he Hudson told Powers that he has thought necessary to allow the reservations about the idea. county's subdivision committee "To be clear, I have concerns to complete its work," Hudson regarding the county's legal said. authority to enact a moratorium Hudson added that the county as there are no provisions in the would more than likely to lose at Texas statutes which expressly trial if it enacted a temporary ban authorize counties to enact devel- on development. opment moratoriums," Hudson During Tuesday's commis- said in his letter to Powers. sioners court meeting, Carter Undaunted, Carter suggested pointed out that several cities that the county impose a morato- including Kyle, Buda and Sunset rium on subdivision plats during Valley, had moratoriums at one Tuesday's Hays County time. Kyle has extended its resi- Commissioner's Court. A mora- dential development moratorium torium would allow the county three times since enacting it in more time to rewrite its subdivi- March 2002. sion regulations in a more eft'l- Pct. 3 Commissioner Bill cient and effective manner. Burnett said counties and cities Liberty and Comal Counties are vastly different, and that are the only two counties in Texas counties do not have the authori- to have enacted moratoriums, ty to impose moratoriums. Hudson said. Comal County was Bumett said people think the sued after enacting a moratorium, county already moves too slow However, the case was dismissed on approving plats. before it went to trial. "I think we are the vanguard," "In that case, the developer he said. "I don't think the sky is obtained an injunction against the falling." county's moratorium, but the trial Powers, Pct. 1 Commissioner Debbie Ingalsbe and Pct. 4draft revisions of its subdivision Commissioner Russ Molenaarregulations. were againstthe idea on the basis Hays county Director of that a county moratorium is ille- Environmental Health Alan gal and the county cannot afford Walther presented a preliminary to fight a legal action over the draft of the new revisions to the issue, county officials several weeks "I get emotional when we tell ago. people they cannot move to our Many county officials "believe county," Powers said. "If the law the modifications will strength says we can't, why are youcounty authority. (Carter) saying we can?" Bumett said the regulations "We would lose in court," are some of the strictest in the Ingalsbe said. "And I'm tired of state and that Senate Bill 873, paying lawyers' fees." passed two years ago by the state The county is in the process legislature, gives counties more of revising subdivisions regula- authority to regulate platting and tions, which have not been updat- subdivision of land. ed since 1999. Lyle Bollinger, a resident of According to Carter, develop- northeast Hays County said, ers are already asking that their "There are so many subdivisions subdivision plats be given pre- going up in northeast Hays liminary approval so that they County. We are going to have a can be "grandfathered" under really run-down county." current subdivision rules.Bollinger estimated that a Although a county moratori- large development in the county um on development would prob- near Buda and Kyle called Big ably not hold up in court, a Sky Ranch could end up packing lenghthy trial could be used as a nine homes to an acre. delay tactic to slow development "That could be a ghetto," until the county has had time to Bollinger said. Only the commissioners know for sure BY DANIEL MICHAEL regarding development regulations. "The committee will be made up of sev- clerk be present. Staff Writer Director of Environmental Health Alan eral types of stakeholders They might have "Citizens of our county are very interest- Walther said the committee will meet after property owners, technical engineers or citi- ed and concerned whether Hays Gov. Rick Perry signs legislation from the zens-at-large .(depending on the meeting)," just-ended legislative session changing county Carter said. County will take action to better COUNTY-The Hays County Commissioners Court voted to advertise powers over subdivision regulation. Carter is concerned that the meetings be protect them and the Hays meetings of its Subdivision Rule Change The commissioners will hand pick three held to the Texas Open Meetings Act, particu- County countryside against Committee in local newspapers, but decided delegates to serve on the committee to review larly if the commissioners court is going to not to post the committee's meetings as Open the proposed subdivision regulations. The rubber stamp the committee's recommenda- efforts to develop our county in Meetings. same 15 members won't be at every meeting, tions, a haphazard and irresponsible The committee is extremely important said Pct. 2 Commissioner Susie Carter, The Open Meetings Act requires that because it provides a forum for stakeholders, because the various committee members will meeiings be posted 72 hours in advance, and manner," Carter. said. interest groups and citizens to give input work on separate topics, that a quorum of its members and a county "Open meetings will allow everyone the opportunity tothey fall under the umbrella of observe and understand the the open meetings act. process and the product that San Marcos resident Jim result from this committee that Green told the court that "any- is of significant importance to thing that has an affect on the the community." county should be open, there is While all the commissioners no place for secret meetings." agree that the workshop should be advertised, Carter inisted that Open Meetings? pg. 6 a e ~Ji~ANIELI~IICBAEL The,Texas -Transportation According to:Bumctt, the first, Staff Writer Commiss 9 governingproject t ltt is'i ' ex dingl " u. s.i ll ' Hwy. 29 .frdm the'Tra is Courity! : body of theTexas ,rlrI arnent of (' OUNTY-Hays County Transpo?tation (TxDOT)'. line t( pping Springs with a %,Judge Jim Powers and Pct. 3 The Hays County officials two-way turn lane (to make a five- Commissioner Bill Burner said hoped to entice TxDOT to tom- lane section) with appropriate they were pleased with their May plete the county's road projects in shoulders. 29 prese.ntation to the Texas a t'tmely manner. Of course, noth- The second project is to Transportation Commission in ing is free. As an incentive to expand RM 12 west from San Austin. make TxDOT move faster, the Marcos to FM 32 to four lanes The overture was made in an county offered $9.2 million from a with shoulders. effort to secure $36 million in state $47 million road bond that was The third project Burnett funds to improve and expand state passed in 2001. pushed, and the project of most roads within Hays County. Burnett said, "We believe interest locally, concerns a section Powers said the county should there are three of seven projects of FM 1626 from the Travis receive a decision from the com- that can be ready before fiscal County line to FM 967, then FM mission sometime in September. year 2007." 967 from FM 1626 to the Onion Creek bridge. ,: js another .expansion to t, mes but w th a 9enter, turn lane, anti,curb and gutters compris- ing portions of two Farm to Market highways in Northern Hays County," Burnett said. "This corridor passes through one of the fastest growing areas in the state and this growth and asso- ciated development is expected to continue as the Austin Metro con- tinues to grow," he said. It is becoming a common practice for counties to offer money to TxDOT to convince the department to push state road pro- NEW AGENT AIR CONDITIONING HEATING INSULATION SOLAR SCREENS * 6 Months Same as Cash * FREE Energy Audit * Up to $t200 Cash Back in Rebates * Air Conditioning, Heating, Insulation, Solar Screens * Same Day Service for Air Conditioning & Heating Dripping jects forward Due to the state's budget . !/Bux3)ettsaid helikesthe coun- shortfall, the commi'ssioners.felt ty's :chances of getting the go- an offering, would,be.the best Way ah&d. He said some of the coun- to secure fund from the cash ties had asked for quite a bit more strapped agency. money than Hays County but did TxDOT only has a third of the not offer TxDOT any matching funds needed to pay for all of its dollars, proposed road improvement pro- The county decided to set jects in the state, which makes the aside $21 million of the $47 mil- funding process extremely corn- lion bond for state projects, petitive, according to Bumett. May l p You? I'm a new Nationwide* Agent -- ready to serve you! I can offer individual solutions and help customize your policy so ALL your insurance needs can be met. Call me Stop by Log on -- it's your choice! 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