Wimberley okays wedding venue rezoning

In a final vote before a new council is sworn in, the Wimberley city leaders approved a zoning change that would allow additional development at The Water’s Point Hill Country Wedding Venue.

The council approved the Wimberley Planned Development District (WPPD) in a 3-1 vote. Councilmember Allison Davis was the lone dissenting vote. Councilmember Erik Wollam recused himself because his law office is located near the wedding venue site.

Owner Natalie Meeks, who is also the chair of the city’s Planning and Zoning Commission, said the property was incorrectly zoned when the city was incorporated in 2000. The new zoning change would allow her family to expand its business, which is located off of RR12 in the city limits.

“If our business burned to the ground tomorrow, we wouldn’t be able to rebuild because of the zoning,” Meeks said.

The proposed project would include the addition of six lodging cabins, expansion of existing infrastructure, a restaurant, swimming pool and office/retail space. The impervious cover on the property would increase by two percent to roughly 8.5 percent.

However, 12 letters of opposition within the 200-foot notice area were submitted to the city; only one letter was written in support.

Neighbors addressed concerns about noise pollution, according to the letters in the agenda packet.

Wimberley resident and former Mayor Steve Thurber advised council not to rush the WPPD process, highlighting the city’s negotiations when H-E-B was built.

“My concern is the process,” Thurber said. “A WPDD is a negotiation between the city, developers and neighbors … I’m not sure why we’re trying to hurry with this.”

Thurber said H-E-B’s original concept plan included a larger footprint, lighting infrastructure that was out of compliance and the removal of an extra 50 trees. However, through the PDD, the city was able to negotiate critical changes that H-E-B adhered to.

Thurber said the project was “beautiful” and needed a WPPD to benefit the Meeks and their neighbors.

However, Wimberley City Attorney Charlie Zech said the city only has the authority to regulate a PPD through the state’s zoning regulations. This includes building height, size, location and population density.

Mayor Pro Tem Gary Barchfeld said the plan for development was “thought out very well,” and pushed for the WPPD to be approved.

Councilmember Craig Fore agreed with Meeks’ sentiment that the current zoning would not allow the family to rebuild the business in case of a disaster like a fire.

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