2009 County Authority News

December 19, 2009

Travis County commissioners ponder quarry project

If recent history is a guide, the Travis County Commissioners will approve plans this week for a quarry just east of Austin that would pull gravel from the ground just a few hundred feet from homes. But as the Tuesday vote approaches, commissioners say the proposal — brought by Texas Industries Inc., known as TXI, the state’s largest cement producer — has raised new questions. And this time commissioners say they just might possess the legal authority to reject a major project. Read full Statesman.com article here.

November 10,2009

County Favors More Say In Power Line Planning

In hopes of getting Gillespie County government more involved in an ongoing discussion over planned routing of transmission power lines through this part of the Texas Hill Country, Gillespie County Commissioners on Monday discussed forming a regional planning commission. Read full Fredericksburg Standard article here.

November 6, 2009

CAPCOG Releases Report On County Land Use Authority In Texas

This report highlights the current state of counties’ ability to manage growth, detailing the specific chapters in Texas Code that grant counties the ability to regulate land use while pointing out innovations that some counties have made in the exercise of their authority. Read full CAPCOG media release here.

October 28, 2009

Planning Commission Formed to fight Transmission Line

In an unprecedented move, the City and County Commissioners have both formally adopted separate resolutions to create the Mason Sub-Regional Planning Commission in response to the proposed LCRA TSC 345 KV transmission line. Read full Mason County News article here.

August 10, 2009

ECT hosts 81st Legislative Roundup Luncheon August 31st

The Envision Central Texas Land Use Committee is hosting a forum on Monday, August 31st from 11:30 to 1:15 at the Hyatt Regency Austin. This important event will provide a unique opportunity to hear from members of our Central Texas Legislative Delegation regarding issues critical to our region’s future, specifically related to transportation and land use policy. Seating is limited, if you are interested in attending, register today. Learn more here.

July 11, 2009

Less control than a hole in the ground

Collision of interests in outlying areas requires traffic cop, but Texas Legislature won’t grant authority to county governments. – Read full Statesman.com editorial here.

June 4, 2009

Tag You’re Out: The struggle for county authority continues

Liz Sumter, Hays County judge, was extremely disturbed to learn that construction runoff from development within a subdivision in Hays County was silting up the once clear, sparkling water of Hamilton Creek and Hamilton Pool. “Tragedies like Hamilton Pool point out that things must change more quickly,” she says. One major hindrance in making change needed to protect water resources and Hill Country treasures like Hamilton Pool is the lack of county authority to ensure healthful and orderly development in a region experiencing rampant growth. Read full article here.

June 3, 2009

Some Bullis bills run into buzz saw

Bexar County Judge Nelson Wolff would tell you that protecting Camp Bullis and its mission of training combat medics for war should have been a slam-dunk, but it wasn’t. Hence, local leaders are taking no chances over one bill that squeaked out of the 81st session. Wolff, Mayor Julián Castro, Sen. Jeff Wentworth and Fort Sam Houston’s top commander will meet with the media today to show support for House Bill 2919 that would create a panel charged with making recommendations to area governments on development projects near Bullis. See full MySA.com article here.

May 26, 2009

Hill Country efforts to control growth stall

Hill Country county judges had spent the better part of a year marshaling their forces to craft a proposal that would give them more authority to regulate the development that has put stress on the roads, water and land in their fast-growing areas. With state Rep. Patrick Rose, D-Dripping Springs, shepherding it along, it won passage out of one committee. But before it could get a hearing on the House floor, it got shut out by a more powerful committee that acts as a doorkeeper. See full Statesman.com article here.

Hill Country Counties Unite for County Authority Legislation.

Get Involved to Help Shape Our Future: Like any good business, county governments must have the tools and revenue to plan for their future economic vitality. The Texas Hill Country region, with its fragile natural resources, is experiencing rapid population growth. The most conservative estimates forecast the region’s current population of 3.1 million to climb to at least 4.3 million by 2030. This trend has created numerous resource, safety, infrastructure and financial challenges. Read more here.

May 1, 2009

Armbrust: Give counties power over growth

A Statesman.com Commentary by David Armbrust
As a land use attorney, I have been involved in many development projects throughout Texas, ranging from small urban infill to thousands of acres. Today, I urge the Legislature to give the authority to regulate growth to those counties that make up the Texas Hill Country. Read the full commentaryhere.

April 5, 2009

County Governments Need More Power to Manage Growth

Special commentary written by Bandera County Judge Richard Evens, Hays County Judge Liz Sumter, and Llano County Judge Wayne Brascom, “Eighteen months ago, more than 40 Texas Hill Country elected officials came together to discuss our common challenges, and despite our differences — yes, there are differences from county to county — chose to work together to fix them.” – Read Austin American Statesman Commentary here

March 15, 2009

Rep. Bolton: Why counties should be allowed to regulate growth

“Currently, counties lack almost all authority to regulate even the most rudimentary aspects of growth,” writes State Rep. Valinda Bolton in the Austin American-Statesman. “It might sound like a boring issue, but it can affect your health, safety and property rights…Texas is operating under laws that might have worked in the 1800s when most counties were rural, but today those statutes leave fast growing counties without the planning tools they need to manage growth and development.” Read Rep. Bolton’s full column here.