Dripping OKs PID for 700 homes

All of the necessary entitlement agreements and approvals are complete for a new Dripping Springs housing development that will include additions to the city’s roadways and wastewater management capacity.

On Nov. 14, the Dripping Springs City Council unanimously approved the creation of the Heritage Public Improvement District (PID). The agreement involves SLF IV – Dripping Springs JV, L.P. and Bobwhite Investments, LP. which includes the developer Stratford Land, based in Dallas.

The project encompasses 700 residential units on 189 acres and will lie in the heart of the city near Dripping Springs High School.

The PID, a financing mechanism to help fund the project, allows for the creation of reimbursement bonds, which will be paid by residents of the development over time through a PID assessment, said Ginger Faught, Dripping Springs deputy city administrator.

The price of PID bonds can go up to $27.5 million and the assessment paid by residents cannot exceed more than 73 cents for every $100 in property value, according to financing documents obtained from the city.

The city entered into an escrow agreement held by a title company in the event that the PID boards are paid. In the escrow agreement, the city and the developer would not be held liable.

Mim James, Dripping Springs planning and zoning chairperson, said construction of infrastructure and utilities within the Heritage subdivision, which extends to roads, effluent lines and sidewalks, is estimated to cost $50 million. That figure excludes the value of homes.

The project calls for developers to construct a road that extends Rogers Hanks Parkway. The road would go northeast to Ranch Road 12, creating an alternative route to the intersection of Ranch Road 12 and U.S. Highway 290, according to city documents.

The road will create part of the loop the city has envisioned within its master transportation plan that circles the intersection of Ranch Road 12 and U.S. 290, James said.

The development  will also support the city’s treated wastewater reuse goals, Faught said.

In the city’s plan for wastewater treatment expansion, priority will be to use treated wastewater to irrigate parks, landscapes and medians, in order to avoid discharge of treated wastewater in springs or creeks as part of its agreement with Lower Colorado River Authority, according to the agreement.

This side agreement, which the city approved on Nov. 1, extends to the city’s permit application with the Texas Commission on Environmental  Quality (TCEQ) to expand its wastewater treatment plant capacity to 995,000 gallons per day.

The treated effluent line extends from the Caliterra subdivision and allows the city to irrigate Founder’s Park and other city owned facilities, Faught said.

The line has an estimated cost of $2.6 million and will be paid for by the developer, Faught said.

James said an important aspect of the Heritage subdivision is the $200,000 price range for homes, which falls below the median price of $370,000.

The next step is for the developer to submit its preliminary plat, or construction drawings, for approval.

No date has been set as to when those will be turned in, Faught said.

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