Contested Case Hearing Starts Monday, August 20, 2018: SOS Alliance Opposes City of Dripping Springs’ Wastewater Discharge to Onion Creek

Signal boost: Initial hearing is now upon us.
Members of the public are welcome to attend.

9am, Monday, August 20, 2018 in the State Office of Administrative Hearings
300 W 15th Street (the William Clements State Office Building, northwest corner of 15th and Guadalupe)
4th floor
Austin, TX 78701

There’s a bulletin board near the elevators that gives the exact a hearing room.

The backstory from  https://www.sosalliance.org/latest-news/992-dripping-springs-permit-referred-to-contested-case-hearing.html

A state administrative law judge will hear arguments for and against the proposed sewage permit, and issue a recommendation to the TCEQ commissioners, who will make the decision on whether to grant the permit and if so, the permit’s terms. The hearing process is to be completed within six months of the initial hearing.

Environmental groups, well users, and downstream property owners have many concerns about the plan, including pollution of groundwater that would adversely affect drinking water, recreation, and habitat for aquatic species. Earlier this year, a dye trace study revealed that Onion Creek supplies water to domestic wells in the Dripping Springs area, and a report was recently published documenting the presence of Barton Springs Salamanders in Onion Creek.

To show your support for a ban on discharging wastewater into creeks that recharge Barton Springs, sign the petition at nodrippingsewage.org.

 

 

 

Electro Purification is baaaaack in Hays County: proposes to draw 2.5 million gallons of Trinity Aquifer water A DAY

https://tespatexas.org/events/impacts-of-the-ep-permit

Join the Fight to Protect the Wimberley Valley 
7 p.m. Tuesday, May 15, at Blue Hole Pavilion
It is ironic that an area famous for its beautiful rivers, creeks and springs, an area which suffered so much from recent massive flooding, is now seriously threatened by a lack of water.
Save Our Water
In 2014-2015, a company called Electro Purification (EP) attempted a massive water grab from our area’s already declining Trinity Aquifer. In response, hundreds of Save Our Wells signs went up, a true grassroots resistance began and a coalition of groups, including Citizens Alliance for Responsible Development (CARD), organized to resist EP. Leading that fight in the legislature was the Trinity Edwards Springs Protection Association (TESPA) a donation-funded, non-profit association that formed up to resist EP’s get-richer plans.
With everyone working together, including local politicians, churches, businesses and countless individuals, the people of the Wimberley area finally – and narrowly – won a temporary victory in the state legislature. But there were still billions of dollars to be made from our area’s water.
EP is Back
In truth, it never went away. EP now has a pending permit application to the Barton Springs Edwards Aquifer Conservation District (BSEACD) to pump 2.5 million gallons of Trinity Aquifer water A DAY. That’s about 912 MILLION gallons a year. The Trinity is the aquifer that supplies the water to Wimberley area wells, Wimberley area springs and Wimberley area water companies.
TESPA is hosting a public information meeting on “Impacts of the EP Permit” at 7 p.m., Tuesday, May 15 at the Pavilion in Blue Hole Regional Park. The Pavilion is located across from the Playscape on the park’s loop drive. Admission to the park and meeting is free.
Representatives of TESPA will present information on the damage to property owners’ wells and the Trinity Aquifer that could occur if the EP request is not blocked or greatly modified.
“TESPA has serious concerns about the unknown consequences (the EP) project will have on the long-term sustainability of the Trinity Aquifer,” said TESPA Executive Director Vanessa Puig-Williams.
And Don’t Forget Needmore
TESPA – and CARD – are also very concerned about the pending groundwater production permit application to BSEACD by the aptly named Needmore Ranch, right next to Wimberley on the east. TESPA is actively fighting that application.
Needmore aims to pump water out of the Middle Trinity at the rate of about 791,780 gallons a day. That’s 289 MILLION gallons more a year! Aquifer level modeling by the BSEACD predicts that – if Needmore is allowed to do this – there will be a 140-foot water level drawdown in just seven years. No one can say for sure how badly that will affect local springs, but it will sure affect nearby wells, and rapidly speed the draining of the Trinity.
Together EP and Needmore are proposing to suck a potential 1.2 billion gallons of water per year out of our much-stressed Trinity aquifer. Most of the EP water is already earmarked for development outside Hays County, and will be carried away by massive pipelines. Needmore says it wants its water for “agricultural” purposes, but imagine if water-enriched Needmore was sold to developers for thousands of home sites.
Citizens Alliance for Responsible Development urges every Wimberley Valley and Wimberley area citizen who cares about the vitality of our water and all the springs, creeks, wells, plants, trees and people that water nourishes, to attend Tuesday’s TESPA meeting to learn more about how to stop this threat.
– CARD Steering Committee

Hays Free Press: Development over recharge zone draws concern

https://haysfreepress.com/2018/04/25/development-over-recharge-zone-draws-concern/

Anxieties over the impact a proposed masterplanned development along FM 967 near Buda could have on neighbors and the Edwards Aquifer is steadily rising. 

According to community organizers, the development, located in Dripping Springs’ extraterritorial jurisdiction, calls for 1,200 homes to be built out on almost 800 acres of land. The development is located over the Edwards Aquifer recharge zone. 

However, variance requests outlined in the proposed development agreement with Dripping Springs have left neighbors concerned about what the growth could mean for them.

Jannine Inbody, who lives downhill from the proposed development site, organized a town hall meeting April 19 at Southern Hills Church of Christ in Buda, where about 60 of her fellow neighbors discussed their concerns and the actions they can take….

Read more…

Austin Chronicle: True Love and Lawsuits in the Wedding Capital of Texas ‘Til death do us party

https://www.austinchronicle.com/news/2018-04-27/true-love-and-lawsuits-in-the-wedding-capital-of-texas/

All Gregory George wanted was some peace and quiet. In 2013, the 41-year-old former Texas General Land Office agent and his wife Staci bought a 10.8-acre plot just outside of Dripping Springs, in a development protected by residential-only deed restrictions. Their plan was to build their dream home and start a family. But that dream turned into a nightmare, George said, when his neighbors decided to open up a wedding venue right next to his new home. Now, he spends his days meeting with lawyers, and nights canvassing his property line with a sound meter.

According to George, his neighbor Jani Saliga came over three days before he poured the foundation for his house and told him she was planning to turn her existing home into a wedding venue. George was surprised: His property came with a neighborhood covenant that prohibited commercial business, and he was told by his real estate agent and his title company that it applied to the properties on both sides of his lot. Saliga, however, says she was unaware of any deed restrictions on her property. George went ahead and built his home adjacent to Saliga’s, on the highest point on his lot, sure the covenant would work. Saliga and her husband also proceeded with their plan, turning their home into what is now the Garden Grove Wedding and Event Venue.

When they began to host weddings in April of 2016, tensions escalated between the Georges and the Saligas. The weddings, which George claims sometimes include live bands that play until midnight, occur about 250 feet from his back porch. George and the neighbors who live on the opposite side of the Saligas’ property filed a lawsuit against them and Garden Grove to enforce the residential-only covenant in June of 2016.

Read more…

North Rutherford Development: ~1100+ houses proposed for 781 acres in the recharge zone

Meeting to discuss North Rutherford Development Project
Thursday, April 19, 7:00pm
Southern Hills Church of Christ
3740 RR 967
Buda, TX 78610

Organizer: Jeannine Inbody <jeannine@inbody.net>

From our northern Hays County neighbor Ryan Krause:

And from our northern Hays County neighbor Mark Strauss re: this same project, a petition:

http://petitions.moveon.org/sign/rutherford-ranch-north?source=s.fwd&r_by=20000074

Notice of Proposed Rutherford North Development Agreement

A Concept Plan Presentation will be made by the Rutherford North Owner’s Representative during the April 24, 2018 Planning & Zoning Commission meeting at 6:30pm at City Hall located at 511 Mercer Street, Dripping Springs, Texas 78620. A Public Hearing will follow the presentation, during which time all interested persons have the opportunity to be heard regarding the proposed Rutherford North Development Agreement. No action will be taken during this meeting. The subject property is approximately 781.23 acres of land located southeast of the city limits in the City’s extraterritorial jurisdiction, north RR 967 and west of Oak Forest Drive.

The proposed development will be a master-planned residential community with open space and environmental preservation areas. The proposed Development Agreement will include several provisions, including but not limited to the following: provision of housing; provision of parks, open space, and recreation; environmental and water quality protection; maximum density and impervious cover; outdoor lighting; and signage. The proposed project includes, but is not limited to, the following proposed variances/alternative standards: building setbacks; maximum impervious cover; lot widths and depths; minimum lot area; sidewalks; street standards; and cuts and fills.

The draft Development Agreement is available for public inspection during regular business hours at City Hall. If you have any questions or comments, please contact City Hall in writing at P.O. Box 384, Dripping Springs, TX 78620, by telephone at (512) 858-4725, or by email to acunningham@cityofdrippingsprings.com.

 

Three tracts combine to form the proposed project site, all of it sited in the Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone.

Additional documentation:
NorthRutherford_300ftbuffer_map+City_notificationletter RutherfordRanch_DevelopmtAgreemt_PublicCopyDRAFT

KXAN (NBC, Austin): Neighbors sue each other over wedding venue in Hays County

http://www.kxan.com/news/local/hays/neighbors-sue-each-other-over-wedding-venue-in-hays-county/1124606849

By Chris Davis

HAYS COUNTY, Texas (KXAN) – The owners of more than 12 acres of land in Hays County, who were recently sued by their neighbors over their occasional use of the house they built as a wedding venue, filed a lawsuit of their own this month against those same neighbors.

A judge ruled last October that Jani and Shon Saliga were allowed to keep renting out their home between Buda and Dripping Springs to host weddings. The couple filed a lawsuit this month against the neighboring property owners who sued them, alleging the neighbors are intentionally disrupting weddings held there.

Jani Saliga told KXAN she originally bought the land and built the home for her and her husband to retire to, and it wasn’t until real estate agents suggested it could be a venue that the pair turned it into Garden Grove.  Read more…

KVUE-Austin: Local wedding venue, neighbors in legal battle

‘I’m hostage on my own land’ | Local wedding venue, neighbors in legal battle

“I’m just waiting to be served any day,” said the homeowner.
Controversy has filled the air in the wedding capital of Texas.
Homeowners in Dripping Springs are fighting a back-and-forth legal battle with a well-known wedding venue off FM 967.

Read the rest…

Dripping Springs Century News: Mark Black Wedding Venue approved by city council

The City Council approved the Mark Black Wedding Venue at 130 W. Concord Circle in Driftwood at its Tuesday March 13 meeting.

Present for the council meeting were Mayer Todd Purcell, Mayor Pro Tem Bill Foulds, Council Member Taline Manassian, and Council Member Wade King. The venue passed by a vote of two to one, with Foulds and Manassian voting for, and King voting against. Not present for the meeting were council members Travis Crow and John Kroll.

Read the rest…

 

Hays Free Press: “Controversial Mark Black wedding venue approved by 2-1 council vote”

https://haysfreepress.com/2018/03/21/controversial-mark-black-wedding-venue-approved-by-2-1-council-vote/

After weeks of debate, the Dripping Springs City Council Tuesday approved a permit application for the Mark Black Wedding Venue by a split 2-1 vote.

Council member Taline Manassian and Mayor Pro Tem Bill Foulds approved the agreement, while Council member Wade King cast the lone dissenting vote. Council members John Kroll and Travis Crow were absent from the meeting.

Approval of the Site Development Permit Application for the venue was contingent on adding a note to the Water Quality Sheets regarding vegetative filter strips. Requirements called for a minimum 75 percent vegetative cover before final acceptance of the project and implementing additional cross-sections and details regarding temporary sedimentation ponds to its plans.

….

Prior to the vote, concerned residents of a neighborhood near the venue packed into Dripping Springs City Hall to voice their discontent. Dripping Springs City Hall Tuesday was at capacity, according to the Hays County Fire Marshal….

Read the rest