County, Dripping Springs enter ETJ agreement: Temporary development moratorium continues 

By Megan Wehring 

Hays County and the city of Dripping Springs adopted an amended 1445 agreement this week. 

For projects located in the extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ), the county and city work together regarding subdivision matters stated under a 1445 agreement that is required by the Texas Local Government Code. 

Following the city of Dripping Springs’ adoption of the moratorium in November 2021, Hays County notified the city that the agreement would be terminated in 30 days. The city and county have since drafted an amended 1445 agreement to include information for when a city undergoes a moratorium.

Both the Hays County Commissioners Court and Dripping Springs City Council approved the amended agreement at their Jan. 4 meetings.

“In the ETJ,” said Laura Mueller, city attorney, “the county and the city have concurrent authority related to things like plats, subdivision ordinances. So, they’ve asked for the ability to review those even while we are in the moratorium while [also]keeping in mind that any project in the ETJ would still have to follow all of the city’s rules and go through the city’s process. There are minor changes only.”

Mueller added that she does expect a complete rewrite of the document within 12 months because it is outdated. 

“The issue is we want to sit down and be really deliberate and diligent about it,” Mueller said. “This is just kind of a fixture in the moratorium and the planning department(s) will sit down, review it and make sure it is what everyone wants.”

Mayor Bill Foulds said he believes that the city of Dripping Springs is the first municipality with which Hays County has conducted a 1445 agreement.

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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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