The Austin Chronicle

Naked City

Water Torture

By Amy Smith, February 1, 2002, News

The Dripping Springs City Council last week stunned some local residents with its unanimous approval of a controversial road project that its members had rejected just two weeks earlier. The preliminary plat approval allows Cypress Realty to proceed on its final plat (which also requires council approval) for a road that would run from RR 967 to FM 1826 -- the first step in a 2,700-acre development on the former Rutherford Ranch in Northwest Hays County.

Residents who live near the proposed development had hoped council would postpone action on the road proposal. But Council did accept the opponents' request to retain an outside attorney to review the Cypress development. Mayor Todd Purcell has called a special council meeting Monday in order to vote on the matter. City Attorney Rex Baker drew up the agreement and recommended its approval to the council. The document gives Cypress quite a bit of latitude, in spite of the sensitive nature of the terrain atop the Edwards Aquifer recharge zone.

The Friendship Alliance, a coalition of northwestern Hays County neighborhood groups, maintains the agreement is flawed. Alliance President Rob Baxter called council's latest action "a disappointment ... But right now, the point is [for the city] to find another attorney to review the agreement."

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