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County hears platting concerns

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By LPR Staff

Editor/POST-REGISTER

 

During a relatively routine business meeting on Monday morning, much of the Commissioners’ Court’s attention was focused on subdivision platting.

Despite the traditional controversy surround the 130 Environmental Park, the Commissioners voted unanimously to approve the preliminary plat for the

project, after a motion by Commissioner Joe Roland.

Roland, who has been a staunch opponent of the project since it was announced in September 2013, said he had discussions over the weekend with not only engineer Tracy Bratton, but also with Kasi Miles and with the County’s civil attorneys, and he felt satisfied that Green Group Holdings had met the standards set forth within the Caldwell County Subdivision Ordinance.

“[Green Group] has responded to the technical comments, and made one minor note addition that the County requested,” Bratton reported. During the preliminary platting process, Bratton had previously recommended the Court offer the project a deadline extension because of complications and technical issues with the plat that needed to be addressed.

Miles reported she had collected all the fees, and attorney Jordan Powell said the preliminary plat was currently compliant with the development ordinance, both procedurally and legally.

No one on hand, either in support or opposition to the project, offered comments during a public hearing on the matter. However, local surveyor Linda Hinkle did come forward earlier in the meeting to remind the Court that they needed to apply the standards fairly.

“There are a lot of things that are sub-standard, and those are the things we need to be worried about,” she said. “We can’t be turning people down [when they follow the rules and standards in our subdivision ordinance] just because the neighbors don’t like it.”

Hinkle’s comments presumably came from earlier requests from the public that the Commissioners decline to approve the preliminary plat as a means of halting the project.

In a related item, Lytton Springs area resident Randy Laney asked the Commissioners to consider a moratorium on subdivision approvals, “so we can look at some of the problems we’re having.”

Both Laney and Hinkle referenced a series of subdivisions being created in Caldwell County which, although compliant with the Caldwell County Development Ordinance, pose concerns for neighbors because of the quality of homes being brought into the properties, and the lack of property maintenance within the subdivisions.

The Commissioners recently appointed an ad hoc committee to review the Development Ordinance to consider any proposed changes, but that committee has not, as yet, given a report or any recommendations.

In other business, the Court heard a report from Plum Creek Watershed Protection representative Nick Dornak, who also manages the County’s feral hog mitigation program, “Hog Out.”

Dornak reported the County has received a grant of $25,000, effective on March 1, to help fund feral hog eradication programs, including trapping and hunting. Dornak said there was no local match required on the grant, which he must invest in the program over the next 12 months.

He said a portion of the grant will help to pay a management stipend, while the rest will be invested into hog bounties, traps and aerial hunting. The goal, Dornak said, is to have 80 percent of property owners involved in some kind of hog management activity.

“That’s the only way you can get in front of it,” he said. “Because two hogs can turn into 200 in just a matter of a couple of years.”

In brief news:

The Court heard monthly departmental and treasury reports, and received information from the Caldwell County Probation Department about the Bond Supervision program.

They approved polling locations for early voting and Election Day voting for the upcoming May 9, 2015 elections.

The Commissioners also granted a variance and approved a family land grant plat in order to correct an illegal subdivision in Caldwell County. According to Miles, the property owner did not realize that he was not compliant with subdivision restrictions when he initially divided his property, and came forward earlier this year in an effort to correct the problem.

The Caldwell County Commissioners routinely meet on the second, third and fourth Monday of each month in the second floor courtroom at the Caldwell County Courthouse. The meetings are open to the public and are webcast at www.co.caldwell.tx.us.

 

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