Naked City

Dripping Springs Slows Down

It may be two years too late, but the city of Dripping Springs is putting the brakes on development to give the booming Hays Co. suburb time to fine-tune its land-use ordinances. The Dripping Springs City Council last week unanimously approved an ordinance, effective immediately, that temporarily closes the door on applications for industrial, manufacturing, residential, or mining-related developments.

The ordinance doesn't apply to platting or site-permit applications that have already been submitted; and the work stoppage is only for 120 days while officials review city codes and ordinances as well as Dripping Springs' wastewater treatment capacity. Before enacting the ordinance, city officials went to great pains to explain that the moratorium did not represent a new anti-growth stance for the community. Unlike other Hays Co. towns, like Wimberley and Buda, where anti-sprawl sentiment has picked up steam, Dripping Springs is still proud to be developer-friendly, as evidenced by the sheer number of subdivisions sprawling across the city's vast extraterritorial jurisdiction.

Although much of the city's ETJ is in the sensitive recharge zone of the Edwards Aquifer, city officials nonetheless have brokered generous development deals with builders in this area. 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. 290 near Nutty Brown Road. Some critics wonder if 120 days is sufficient to upgrade the city's ordinances, considering that Buda and Kyle took nine months and two years, respectively, to refine their land-use laws in the face of rampant Hays Co. growth.

  • More of the Story

  • Naked City

    Headlines and happenings from around the world

    Naked City

    Texans join call to limit coal waste dumping, and New Source Review changes get panned
  • Naked City

    The year-old Austin Independent Business Alliance hires a paid staff

    Naked City

    Rick Perry waves at public school finance on his way to Italy

    Naked City

    Environmentalists fear natural gas well will interfere with sea turtle nesting

A note to readers: Bold and uncensored, The Austin Chronicle has been Austin’s independent news source for over 36 years, expressing the community’s political and environmental concerns and supporting its active cultural scene. Now more than ever, we need your support to continue supplying Austin with independent, free press. If real news is important to you, please consider making a donation of $5, $10 or whatever you can afford, to help keep our journalism on stands.

Support the Chronicle  

READ MORE
More Edwards Aquifer
Then There's This: City May Buy Aquifer Land Slated for Sewage
Then There's This: City May Buy Aquifer Land Slated for Sewage
Judge's order offers only clue that talks are in progress

Amy Smith, Oct. 4, 2013

Then There's This: Aquifer Angst
Then There's This: Aquifer Angst
Will the city poop out on a four-year fight?

Amy Smith, Sept. 28, 2012

More by Amy Smith
Well-Behaved? Let's Assume Not.
Jacqueline Bouvier Kennedy Onassis: The Untold Story
Barbara Leaming's new biography makes the case that Jackie O suffered from PTSD

Nov. 28, 2014

Section 8 Reopens
Section 8 Reopens
Hurry up ... and wait!

Oct. 3, 2014

KEYWORDS FOR THIS STORY

Dripping Springs, Edwards Aquifer, Save Our Springs Alliance, Hays County, Cypress Realty, Rock Creek, Rutherford Ranch, Foster Ranch

MORE IN THE ARCHIVES
NEWSLETTERS
One click gets you all the newsletters listed below

Breaking news, arts coverage, and daily events

Can't keep up with happenings around town? We can help.

Austin's queerest news and events

Updates for SXSW 2019

All questions answered (satisfaction not guaranteed)

Information is power. Support the free press, so we can support Austin.   Support the Chronicle