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Two Dripping Springs ETJ developments get green light despite moratorium

By Megan Wehring 

DRIPPING SPRINGS — Some Dripping Springs commercial developments are moving forward, even in the midst of a temporary moratorium. 

With a 4-1 vote for both, the Dripping Springs City Council approved two waivers for commercial projects in the extraterritorial jurisdiction (ETJ) — an area outside of the city limits — at its Jan. 4 meeting. 

The first request is associated with a site development application for the Julep Commercial Park in the ETJ near US 290 and in front of the Polo Club subdivision. The project consists of nine buildings for retail, office/warehouse and commercial uses. Because the uses would be served by an on-site septic system and it would not impact the city’s wastewater system, city staff recommended approval of the waiver. 

A 7,200 square-foot office/warehouse building project at 5307 Bell Springs Road also requested a waiver from the moratorium. Like the Julep development, the Bell Springs project would also be served by an on-site septic system.

Howard Koontz, city planner, explained that the city of Dripping Springs has little to no control over developments located in the ETJ.

“We wouldn’t have control of that property from a land use perspective were there no moratorium,” Koontz said. “Although the moratorium encompasses both corporate limits and the ETJ, it’s only corporate limits where the land use change is really impactful because there is zoning associated with it. The land use change outside of our corporate limits, outside of the moratorium, would not affect staff at all. We would not consider it [because]we have no authority to regulate that.”

The applicant could also wait until the moratorium ends to move forward with development plans without the need of council’s approval, city council member Geoffrey Tahuahua said.

About Author

Megan Navarro (formerly 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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