Say no to RRN

New housing developments are springing up west of Buda within the Dripping Springs ETJ, near the new Johnson High School.  And the growing Buda population needs family homes.

But one proposed housing development – 782-acre Rutherford Ranch North – could well destroy the quality of life for existing neighborhoods nearby.  My husband and I live in one of those neighborhoods. Our home and property are already prone to flooding; we depend on wells fed by the Edwards Aquifer for drinking water. Rutherford Ranch North’s sheer size and poor design are a real threat to us.

We have several major concerns:

• RRN’s proposed densely configured 1252 rooftop development straddles the catchment basin of the Edwards Aquifer.

• An additional 5,000 cars and 2500+ children will immediately overcrowd three nearby schools and choke the two-lane road that fronts all three.

• The proposed increase from the standard 10% to 25% impervious cover will create a “ski slope” for heavy rains to rush into the lower-lying neighborhoods  below,  that already experience heavy flooding in flash flood conditions.

• The proposed undersized wastewater treatment plant sits directly beside Little Bear Creek, which feeds into Onion Creek and Barton Creek.  Wastewater treatment plants above aquifers have not been permitted in the past.

• Dahlstrom Cave, located below Rutherford Ranch North, directly funnels groundwater into the Edwards Aquifer and drinking water wells of Hays Country Oaks, the closest neighborhood of 200+ homes.

• The proposal asks for 31 variances from normal development standards and regulations. This is evidence of a plan that is largely non-compliant with community norms and expectations.                         

• The torrent of pollutants – fertilizer and weed killer – generated by such dense housing (10 per acre) is certain to leach into the aquifers, polluting our water and endangering our health.

Current residents welcome newcomers who seek to enjoy the unique quality of life that can be found here. But we do not think that the health and safety of existing neighborhoods should be threatened by a poorly planned, ill-advised, giant residential development such as Rutherford Ranch North.

We ask the DS P&Z, city council and county officials to say NO to the RRB proposal. Our health and safety is at stake.

Larry and Nancy Keiser

Hays Country Oaks II

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