Naked City

The Secrets of Dripping Springs

Four months ago, the Dripping Springs City Council solicited an outside legal opinion on a controversial development deal the city inked with Cypress Realty. But the results of that opinion, rendered by Austin lawyer David Brooks, might never be known -- that is, if the city has its way.

Dripping Springs officials have asked the state attorney general's office to weigh in on a Freedom of Information Act request seeking the release of Brooks' written opinion. Rob Baxter, president of the Friendship Alliance -- the neighborhoods group that filed the FOIA request -- says the AG's office isn't likely to review the request until July, no doubt due to the fairly constant backlog of other FOIA requests that come in from all corners of the state.

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lawsuit -- such as continued negotiations with city officials and the developer -- in its attempt to have the agreement rescinded. For the record, however, the popular opinion among Dripping Springs residents is that the city would gleefully release Brooks' report had he rendered a more favorable judgment.

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