Sam's Town Point
"...Mindful of the Maharishi's vision of creating "ideal villages" around the globe, DevCo, as the cooperative called itself, raised funds through personal contributions and others committed to the project. Eventually the cooperative found its Heaven on Earth -- about 900 acres of the old Christal Ranch, off FM 1826 in northwest Hays County..."
"...The HCWPP says roads on the county's 2025 Multi-Corridor Transportation Plan were altered after the final public vote on the plan May 16. One of those alterations could benefit another development made public on May 26, the purchase of 2,700 acres in the Rutherford Ranch tract by Cypress Realty of Houston...."
"...HCWPP members managed to stop what they call a "done-deal" county transportation plan that includes, among other big road projects, an extension of MoPac to San Marcos. And they appear ready to go head to head with city of Austin public enemy #1, Gary Bradley, over his proposal to put hundreds of homes, a hotel, and retail development on the Spiller Ranch site in northern Hays County...."
"...But the focus of Brooks' review will be on the two major land deals the city struck with big residential developers -- the Rutherford Ranch and Foster Ranch development agreements. Specifically, Brooks will examine the agreements' compliance with state law, given the limited land-use authority that general-rule cities (those with populations under 5,000) have over their ETJs..."
"...Blue Ribbon Committee members and the HCWPP say that the three changes included an improper four-lane designation of a proposed roadway through the Ruby Ranch subdivision, an omission of a green-thatch overlay over the Edwards Aquifer Recharge Zone on the map designating it as an area that should not contain any major highways, arterials, or gas stations, and a westward shift of proposed Road No.1 through the recharge zone from Escarpment Boulevard and State Highway 45 to FM 967...."
"...Higginbotham, a Hays Co. resident who owns a ranch west of Buda on FM 967, asked the Barton Springs-Edwards Aquifer Conservation District in March for a permit that would allow for test wells and eventually a well producing about 50 million gallons annually on his 40-acre-plus property..."
"...The younger neighbors, many of them baby boomers with grown and growing kids today, settled far, far back from FM 1826 into the woody peacefulness of the Good Earth. As a development cooperative that owned 900 acres of the old Christal Ranch, the New Age landowners began selling off large lots to like-minded individuals committed to sparing trees in the name of progress..."
"...The Save Our Springs Alliance has a lawsuit pending against the city that stems from two of those agreements one with Cypress Realty Inc. pertaining to the 2,700-acre Rock Creek development on the old Rutherford Ranch, and another with MAK Foster Ranch LP for its 1,600-acre Bel Terra project off U.S..."
"...Early indications show a dubious 4-3 squeaker of a council vote for the Lowe's settlement, which mysteriously reappeared on the agenda this week after having seemingly collapsed last month, in the wake of the council's moratorium on big-box projects over the aquifer within the city limits. (The Lowe's site, part of the 120-acre Garza Ranch, is surrounded by the cities of Austin and Sunset Valley but is part of neither.) If the council decides to pull a fast one today (Thursday) and approve the settlement, it would do so without any public hearing..."
"...All eyes seem to be on Hays County lately, since it still holds the potential to go one of two ways -- as either a model for dealing with rural growth or just another spoiled beauty relegated to pitiful nostalgia of the way things used to be. After all, even the best regulations for quality growth don't amount to beans if you're opening the floodgate and promoting quantity growth.These Are the Days Wimberley rancher and County Commissioner Bill Burnett's roots are steeped in county politics..."
"...A controversial development agreement that sailed -- some would say surreptitiously -- through the Dripping Springs City Council last spring doesn't appear to be enjoying the same success in the New Year. Last week, council unanimously rejected a preliminary plat that development company Cypress Realty had submitted for a road planned for Rock Creek, a 2,700-acre mega-development proposed for the former Rutherford Ranch site in northwest Hays County (see "Matter Over Mind," Sept..."
"...Cops and Conservation In other action, the council agreed to pay over $10 million to prevent development on an environmentally sensitive tract in northern Hays County owned by Rutherford Ranch. The city committed about $5.5 million from proceeds raised in the May and November 1998 bond elections, but hopes the private sector will help pay the balance on the tract, which is estimated to gather about 15% of the water that flows through Barton Springs pool...."
"...A bridge across Town Lake extends MoPac Boulevard into South Austin.1982 Gary Bradley and his partners, James Gressett, Mitchell Sharp, and Ira Yates, buy the 2,700-acre Circle C Ranch in Southwest Austin from Polly Brooks (Yates' mother).1983 City Council approves creation of four municipal utility districts to provide water and sewage service to Circle C. Bradley agrees to terms that allow the city to begin annexing parts of the development in 10 years.1987 Legislature enacts HB 4, which bars a city from altering water quality rules once a development project has begun..."
"...Though Baker referred in his testimony to Dripping Springs' deals with MAK Foster for the Foster Ranch project and Cypress Realty for Rutherford Ranch, he did not mention the lawsuits by SOS and the Friendship Alliance, which claim that Dripping Springs violated the Texas Open Meetings Act and the state constitution. In effect, HB 1197 will allow municipalities to do legally what the lawsuits claim was illegal...."
"...District Court, seeks to have both agreements overturned, arguing that Dripping Springs, as a general-law (rather than home-rule) city, is prohibited from making such deals. The agreements concern Cypress Realty's planned development on the old Rutherford Ranch property, and MAK Foster Ranch's Belterra subdivision on the former Foster Ranch..."
"...While the EIS process lumbers along, Hays residents could face bigger changes in the near term. For example, although officials with the Newhall Land & Farming Company abandoned plans to put in thousands of homes at a site known as Rutherford Ranch in northern Hays County, the land is still ripe for development..."
"...Cypress Realty has gained permission to drill test wells on property planned for a residential megadevelopment on part of the old Rutherford Ranch in Hays Co. The Barton Springs/Edwards Aquifer Conservation District last week approved the developer's request to drill the wells but not to pump water..."
"...Bowing to growth and planning concerns of area residents, the Dripping Springs City Council is retaining outside legal help for second opinions on three development agreements, and on issues relating to water/wastewater matters. At a special City Council meeting on Monday, the city set aside funds to hire Austin lawyer David Brooks to review three development agreements with Cypress Realty's Rutherford Ranch project, the Foster Ranch, and the Barsana Dahm temple..."
"...Cypress Realty's efforts to develop the old Rutherford Ranch in Hays Co. hit an unexpected roadblock last week with the Barton Springs/Edwards Aquifer Conservation District's decision to delay a hearing and possible action on a requested well-drilling permit..."
"...Cypress Realty plans to build a multi-use development on more than 2,700 acres of the old Rutherford Ranch in northwestern Hays County. The Alliance believes the city/Cypress agreement is full of holes, but the group is pursuing other avenues outside of a lawsuit -- such as continued negotiations with city officials and the developer -- in its attempt to have the agreement rescinded..."