Dripping Springs makes zoning changes

By Megan Wehring 

DRIPPING SPRINGS — Two zoning requests were given the green light on Tuesday by the Dripping Springs City Council. 

A request to amend zoning from Manufactured Home (MH) to General Retail (GR) was only passed with a 3-2 vote, with Mayor Pro Tem Taline Manassian and council member Wade King as the dissenting votes. 

The 1.44-acre property consists of lots 1, 2, 3, 26, 27, and 28, block C out of the North Forty Section 2 subdivision located at the intersection of Ranch Road 12 and Timberline Drive. In 2018, a Conditional Use Permit was approved for a tattoo studio on the property; the business is still operating and will not be affected by this zoning amendment, according to staff. 

Specific retail establishments were not announced for the property, but the proposed amendment left several council members worried about the effect it will have on the neighboring subdivision. 

“I am a little concerned about the increased traffic regardless of what they do on Timberline,” King said, who lives in the neighborhood. “It’s extremely dangerous to pull off Timberline onto Ranch Road 12, especially if you are going south. I have pretty steep concerns about a bunch of extra traffic.” 

Both Manassian and King also expressed their concerns about whether it is the right time to add in more commercial zoning. 

“You are kind of cutting into a community that I think is going to impact our existing residents in a way that I’m not comfortable doing right now,” Manassian said. 

This request was submitted prior to Dripping Springs entering the development moratorium. 

“We are in a moratorium,” said Ginger Faught, deputy city administrator. “We are going through our new Comprehensive Plan [and]getting ready to select a contractor for that. Part of that process will be looking at a future land use map. That’s what really helps us guide these decisions for zoning changes. If we had [a request]come forward even next week, we would likely put that on hold until we got through the moratorium.” 

With a unanimous vote, a zoning map amendment also was approved to change a Single Family-Low Density (SF-1) to Manufactured Home (MH) for about 2.279 acres out of the Phillip A. Smith Survey located at 910 Creek Road. The properties around the lot primarily consist of manufactured homes. 

Property owner Sumer Hernandez Scott requested the zoning change because the existing house is too small for her growing family. 

“Life threw us some curves,” Scott said. “So we went from having two kiddos to four kiddos last September. We are in the process of adopting my niece and nephew. We have six people in a thousand square-foot home built in the 1950s with one bathroom [and]three bedrooms. We have already upgraded and tried to do as much as we can there but we are trying to stay in Dripping Springs.” 

The property currently consists of two separate parcels, one of which does not have current access to the road, according to the planning department’s staff report. Under the zoning amendment and subsequent final plat, the property would ultimately create a flag plot that would need approval of an administrative waiver. 

“[We] are trying to divide the property into two separate pieces,” Scott said, “to allow us to put a manufactured home on the back piece of the property that would be the flag lot and keep the front piece as a home on its own. So if we need to sell that to afford to live and make everything work financially for the back, then we can.” 

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Megan Navarro (Wehring) graduated from Texas State University in May 2020 with a bachelor's degree in journalism and mass communication. In June 2020, she started a summer internship at the Hays Free Press/News-Dispatch through the Dow Jones News Fund and Texas Press Association. She then earned her way to a reporter position later that summer and now, she serves as the editor of the newspaper. Working for a small publication, Navarro wears multiple hats. She has various responsibilities including managing a team of reporters, making editorial decisions, overseeing social media posts, fact checking, writing her own articles and more. Navarro has a heart for storytelling and she believes that journalists are equipped to share the stories that are important to the community.

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